Technology has transformed the classroom and made paper notebooks and chalkboards a thing of the past. But when it comes to choosing solutions for students, not all devices are created equal.
Learning platforms – laptops, tablets or mobile devices – need to provide support for a range of ages while being secure, cost-effective and robust. Here are seven factors to consider in picking a student device that’s fit for purpose.
1. Suitability for blended learning
Blended learning combines the flexibility of online education with in-person teaching, and it’s becoming increasingly common in classrooms – especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Student devices must allow seamless transition between traditional learning and digital activities, whether through 1:1 BYOD device use or shared device stations in the classroom.
2. Embedded security
It goes without saying that security is of critical importance for student devices. At minimum, any student device should have antivirus software installed and consideration should be given to user identities and conditional access features. Some schools will also offer guidelines on the security requirements of its students’ devices.
Today’s students need to be able to learn from anywhere – in the classroom, at home, in the library or even on the school bus. As such, device portability is crucial. Traditional laptops are often favoured as BYOD devices, but there are mobile alternatives available such as two-in-one laptops with a touchscreen and fold-back keyboard or electronic stylus. What’s suitable here will depend on the ages and needs of the student.
4. Collaboration tools
Modern students need to be able to learn and work together both inside the classroom and out. Student devices should be equipped with tools that make collaborative learning intuitive and fun – while supporting individual learning outcomes.
5. Up-to-date and monitored
An up-to-date operating system (OS) is essential both for security monitoring purposes and because many schools have minimum requirements that need to be met for student devices. Keep in mind buying a second-hand or older device could mean the operating system is no longer supported, increasing the risk of security issues.
6. Hybrid flexibility
Hybrid devices provide greater flexibility than a laptop or tablet, while providing the advantages of both. These devices come in a few forms – as mentioned earlier, some are convertible from tablets to laptops with a flip-back or removable keyboard, while others are primarily laptops with tablet features such as a capacitive touchscreen and stylus. These hybrid devices are popular amongst students as they enable learning and productivity in a range of modes and environments.
7. Robust and rugged build
The ideal student device will offer lightweight portability while having a robust build and hard shell that can withstand the wear and tear of daily use. Purchasing a sturdy protective cover is also a good idea to help safeguard against being knocked around in a school bag.
If you need advice on choosing the right devices for students, get in touch with our team at Landmark Computers – Melbourne’s most trusted IT store since 1994.