What is BYOD?
It must be a “laptop”, or “laptop-style”.
This means the device must have a full-sized keyboard, and must run either Mac OS, or Windows Operating systems. Examples include all varieties of Apple Macbook, Most PC laptops, and the Microsoft Surface. It excludes iPads, other tablet devices running Android software, Chromebooks, or any linux-based tablet or laptop.
It must have a battery that lasts for 7 hours or more.
The College does not permit re-charging laptops at school and therefore your laptop needs to have exceptional battery life. All batteries degenerate with use over time so while it may last 7 hours when new, you should expect this will reduce considerably over it’s lifetime. We strongly recommend choosing the longest-lasting battery that fits your budget. Choosing something with 8 or 9 hours is a safer bet.
It must have 5GHz wireless capability, at minimum N or AC speeds.
This refers to the wireless card or chip inside the device. Oakhill runs a high-density wireless network that makes use of the 5GHz spectrum to optimally deliver high speed wireless access to our students and staff. Wireless is typically delivered over 2 spectrums, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. 2.4Ghz is commonly used in home and office routers and can suffer from performance degradation in highly dense environments such as apartment blocks, or anywhere where there is lots of wireless activity.
What are the options for acquiring a laptop?
Purchase via the Oakhill Partner Online Store
Oakhill has partnered with Computers Now, an education reseller to offer parents a range of devices. Each device has been carefully selected to meet the specification, performance and longevity requirements of the program. Purchasing devices from Computers Now also offers the benefits of “bundle” pricing that includes an extended 3-year warranty across all devices, including on-college repairs arranged by Oakhill ICT. You also have the option of adding protection against accidental damage and theft via the optional insurance. It may also be worth investigating if your home and contents policies and/or credit card provider offers extensions to cover laptops. Click here to visit the online store.
Purchase a laptop from a supplier of your choice
If the above option do not suit your preferences you may purchase a suitable laptop from any supplier provided it meets the minimum standards set out above. Please also keep in mind that most vendors sell laptops with a 12-month return-to-base warranty, rather than a 3-year warranty as offered above. Obtaining or negotiating an extended warranty is highly recommended. We also recommend considering insurance against accidental damage and loss. It may be worth investigating if your home and contents policies and/or credit card provider offers extensions to cover laptops. Computers Now are happy to organise insurance to devices even if you have purchased it from another store (9951 7904).
Provide a pre-existing laptop of your own
You may provide an existing device that you already own. However, please check that it satisfies the above requirements, as many older laptops will suffer from battery degradation and may not have compatible wireless. Again, it needs to be stressed that no recharging will be available at school during the day.
Do I need to purchase software?
The only software you may wish to purchase is security software such as anti-virus. All other general-use software is either provided by the college or freely available on the internet.
Security software is critical for Windows laptops and also highly recommended for Macs. There are numerous commercial paid versions, and often new laptops will come with a security suite pre-loaded. There are also several free programs available. AVG Free and Avira Free are recommended for Windows, Malwarebytes and Sophos Free are suited to Macs. The choice to either buy a commercial product or use a free product is entirely up to you and what you are comfortable with.
Licensed Software provided by the College
Oakhill College provides all students with a copy of the latest version of Microsoft Office via a free download from Office 365. Students are also able to obtain free copies of Adobe Photoshop and other Adobe products on request from the ICT Services Helpdesk. Video tools from Adobe such as Premiere Pro are available for a charge of $10 each.
Other required software
All other software such as browsers, plug-ins and utilities as required by the BYODD program is freely available on the internet. A list of required software, including links to download, is available here.