Division 3: Student Computer Criteria

Families for whom the cost of purchasing a laptop will create financial hardship should contact the office.  We have a number of computers that can be loaned to students if necessary.

Parents looking to purchase computers for their children should be aware of a few guidelines when shopping.  Laptops running Mac OS or Windows (or one of the mainstream Linux distros such as Ubuntu) are recommended for use in class, but netbooks, chrome-books and many tablets are also acceptable.  Every device requires:

  1. The ability to play Flash (You Tube) videos;
  2. Wireless G or N networking with WPA connection;
  3. A full QWERTY keyboard for typing.

Any relatively new device will work; students do not need the latest, fastest, most expensive machines.  Most of the work students do on their computers takes place on the internet and their assignments are stored in “the cloud.”  As a result, a huge hard drive is not necessary.  Be aware however, that students moving on to Chestermere High School will need computers running Mac OS 10.6 (or newer) or Windows Vista (or newer).  See the CHS website for more details.  If you are buying a new machine, you will probably want it to be useable when your child(ren) hit high school.

When deciding which laptop to buy, it is a good idea to check out the components in it.  Computers that sell for the same price may perform very differently.   PassMark software has a great site where you can compare processor, graphic cards, hard drive, and RAM speeds:  http://www.cpubenchmark.net

Rocky View Schools has also negotiated discounts with some vendors (although you can often find better deals at large stores during Back-to-School sales).  Dell, Apple, and HP deals can be found at: http://www.rockyview.ab.ca/families/computer-vendors Check with the office or the June 2015 issue of our newsletter for the username and password.

While many accessories are available, most are unnecessary.  One, however, that we strongly recommend is a hard shell case.  This will offer more protection than a soft case and could end up saving the computer.

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