Top 6 Tips for Selecting the Right High School Laptops
Picture this. You’re a high school administrator trying to figure out how to best help your students in the stretch run of April and May, gearing up for exams, projects and (gulp) final grades. You assume that they each have reliable personal laptops to get all their work done, in between gaming or binge watching their favorite streaming shows, of course. Or so you thought. What if it turns out their laptops aren’t as new or functional as you all believed them to be? You do NOT want to put your students in a position where they need to wait in line for a library computer to study for their chemistry final.
Whether it’s due to an outdated machine, or accidentally losing or breaking it, unexpected laptop mishaps happen. But educators need not despair. Here are a few tips to help you figure out exactly what kind of new laptop your students will need to wrap up the school year with flying colors and cruise into summer.
Make sure it has a Windows-operating system.
The four years of high school are meant to prepare students for college and the workforce, and in those settings, it would be rare to use a Chrome-based operating system. From freshmen to seniors, your students are going to need to put in some hours on Windows-operating systems with Microsoft Office, Adobe and other programs to prepare for the future.
Find a laptop that’s party proof.
Okay, we won’t give into the stereotype on movies and television that all high schoolers love to party and are liable to drop a laptop in a pool or mistakenly smash it while breakdancing. But even the most cautious of students can have an accident that will leave them taking notes with a pen and pad. Make sure to invest in tough laptops, made of magnesium or carbon alloy with a polycarbonate shell.
Keep it light.
No one wants to lug around a heavy device all day in their backpack. Students do a lot of commuting, from home to the bus, and from class to class. Aim for a laptop that weighs 4 lbs or less.
Minimize charging time.
Most of your students are going to want to be wireless for as long as possible for ease-of-use while studying. Make sure their laptop can last through the school day without needing to be charged so they don’t lose access mid-project.
Go for the gigs.
High schoolers will likely end up saving a ton of files, videos and other content on their laptops, so make sure they have sufficient space. The general rule of thumb for high school is at least 128GB of storage and 8GM of RAM (memory).
Be seen and heard.
We’ve entered a new reality since the pandemic that has normalized virtual classes, especially in high school. You’ll want to make sure your laptops have high-quality built-in cameras and microphones so teachers and classmates can see and hear each other clearly.
Whether you’re quickly replacing laptops or preparing for the next school year, you’ll typically have a variety of styles and custom options from which to choose. Make sure to match the capabilities against your budget and take performance into account. You can also find some great examples of quality laptops with the functions mentioned above at the Sharp Dynabook web page.