Digital Sidcot: Thinking of getting a device for your son/daughter?

Thinking of getting a device for your son/daughter?

Frequently asked question: “If I am going to buy an IT device for my child, what should I get?”

We are often asked what sort of device would be best to buy for a student at school. To help those of you thinking about buying an IT device for your child, we have provided a list of some suggested features. This is only our suggestion and you are, of course, free to choose any device you think will be the best for your child. Over the next few years students will increasingly be using their own devices in the classroom so a mobile device would be advisable.

Below is a minimum set of features we would recommend a device has to be used for school work:

  • 10” screen or larger
    10” is the minimum to ensure students can see the work they need to complete easily.
  • Stylus
    This is so notes can be taken in the lessons and any work requiring to be handwritten could be done on the device.
  • Keyboard
    A keyboard is needed to assist with tasks that require more typing e.g. essays or project write ups.
  • Capable of running the Citrix Application for remote access to the school
    To enable access to the school system and the applications used within school – the ‘power’ of the device largely becomes not relevant as our servers will do all the ‘work’.
  • Able to run Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel and One Note
    These are the core apps needed in school. The mobile version and online version are suitable for most tasks.
  • Microsoft, Mac (including MAC OS and iOS), Android or Chrome OS based device
    These are the operating systems we know work well with the school systems.
  • No 3G/4G
    This is to ensure your child is kept safe in school whilst online as all their internet traffic will go through the school system.  If you allow a data connection, then you will be responsible for ensuring your child remains safe online whilst in school.

So why are you recommending a tablet based device?

We are recommending a tablet device for the following reasons:

  • Very portable.
  • Same processing ’power’ as a desktop/laptop (in most cases).
  • Battery life tends to be much greater than laptops.
  • Allows the use of a stylus and touch screen which can help with lessons.
  • Allows new innovative teaching and learning methods to be used in the classroom between the teacher and the students.
  • Allows the pedagogy of teaching and learning to evolve.
  • Allows staff to tailor the delivery of lessons more to the students’ needs allowing them to work in the best way for them.

Suggested Devices

Some devices which match these requirements are:

Premium – these are the best devices, which are suited to tasks which require a lot of ‘power’ on the local device e.g. CAD/CAM, Photoshop etc..

  • Microsoft Surface Book
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (i5 or above) or the New Surface Pro (i5 or above)
  • iPad Pro

Mid-Range – Good all round devices which will do most things at a reasonable cost. 

  • Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (m3)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
  • Samsung Galaxy TabPro S 12 Inch

Budget – Will work fine, but will probably work best at using the School's remote access to do more challenging tasks.

  • Lenovo MIIX 310
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A 2016

Based on on-line prices correct 26th June. If you have any questions please feel free to email james.russell@sidcot.org.uk 

Independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18 in Somerset