Section 1 | General Advice
- There is no one device that is suitable for all students.
- Some students prefer working on an iPad, “because it is fast and easy to use. It has all the functions that are required for class as well,” according to one student. However, others prefer a laptop, especially when typing up assignments for NCEA, “I found moving to a laptop really helped with my essays”.
- In consequence, students may bring either a MacBook, a Windows laptop, an iPad with a keyboard or a Chromebook as their digital learning device.
- It is worth considering, (if budget allows), that active pencils (also called a stylus or Apple Pencil) in conjunction with touch screens (example iPad, Lenovo 300e Windows) enable creativity, sketching, drawing, and the annotation of digital documents and images.
- Older devices (below our recommended specifications) are not suitable, as they often become slow, have poor battery capacity and cannot upgrade to the latest software. Older devices can therefore lead to frustration and adversely affect student learning.
- A phone is not allowed in class. (They are not suitable for all learning tasks.)
- Since 2014 the iPad had been our preferred device, but students were always allowed to bring other devices. Following a comprehensive review, technological developments over recent years and our experience with students on other devices, we are now confident that students will be able to complete their online tasks in years 9 & 10 on any of the devices listed in the table below.
- Many students do upgrade their devices during their five years at MAGS. If your child currently has a device from intermediate school, we recommend that they continue to use that device for years 9 & 10, then move to a laptop because of the amount of typing required for NCEA assignments.
- A MacBook is an excellent choice for year 11-13. The great majority of seniors who move to a laptop choose a MacBook. We realise the MacBook Air and Pro are both expensive, but PB Tech and Dick Smith (online) do offer refurbished models at times. Cyclone Computing also has educational pricing.
- This page for special deals for Mount Albert Grammar School families from both Cyclone and PB Tech will be updated by the start of November each year. The portals will indicate the relevant pricing. Parents wishing to buy should check out what is available in the Cyclone and PB Tech portals and also keep an eye out for special deals that may be offered at certain times from retailers like Noel Leeming, Harvey Norman, JB Hi-fi, etc.
- We have tested Windows devices and Chromebooks in order to ensure the devices in the Cyclone and PB Tech portals are indeed suitable. We already are fully aware of the quality performance of MacBooks and iPads.
- A full list of MAGS recommended websites and Apps will be posted on the MAGS website after 1st November each year.
- * BYOD means ‘Bring Your Own Device’.
Please note that the device use is monitored on the school network.
Section 2 | Minimum Specifications for Devices
(please check it has a camera and microphone)
(full details Nov 1st)
|MacBook||All are suitable (Air and Pro models)||Higher||4-5 years|
|Windows||Windows 10, 4GB RAM or better 128GB hard drive or larger (SSD drives preferred over HDD), 2.4GHz processor or higher.||Medium to high||3 years|
|iPad (& Keyboard)||iPad 6th, 7th, 8th Generation. 128GB storage recommended. Keyboard required. Apple Pencil highly recommended. iPad Air and iPad Pro also suitable, but much more expensive.||Medium to high||4-5 years|
|Chromebook||4GB RAM, 32GB storage or better||Lower||2-3 years|
NOTE: Specific Subject Requirements: If your child is doing media studies, photography or art design and wishes to have a yearly education Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, a MacBook or a Windows laptop is required and it should have at least 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD hard drive. The Windows processor should be able to perform at 2.4GHz or faster. A MacBook Air works well, but the MacBook Pro will give you more “grunt” and will process quicker. In 2020, the school introduced year 11 digital technologies which will lead on to year 12 digital technologies in 2021. Students studying this subject will need a Macbook or a Windows laptop with the same specs as those to run Adobe Creative Cloud
Section 3 | Advantages & Disadvantages of Each Device