What is BYOD?
It must be a “laptop”, or “laptop-style” device.
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 Pro, Go or Laptop. It excludes iPads, other tablet devices running Android software, Chromebooks, or any Linux-based tablet or laptop. The minimum specification for a laptop device should be i5 Intel Processor (or equivalent), 8GB RAM, 128GB to 256GB Hard Drive.
It must have a battery that lasts for 8 hours or more.
The College does not permit re-charging laptops at school and therefore your child’s laptop needs to have exceptional battery life. All batteries degenerate with use over time so while it may last 8 hours when new, you should expect this will reduce considerably over its lifetime. We strongly recommend choosing the longest lasting battery that fits your budget. Choosing something with 9 or 10 hours life is the best option.
It must have 5GHz wireless capability, at minimum AC standard (preferably AX, or Wi-Fi 6).
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. In 2020 the College deployed the very latest WiFi6 access points campus-wide, so any laptop equipped with WiFi6 will take full advantage of this.
What are the options for acquiring a laptop?
Purchase via the Oakhill Partner Online Store
Oakhill has partnered with CompNow, an education reseller that offers 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 CompNow also offers the benefits of “bundle” pricing that includes an extended 3-year warranty, including on-site repairs arranged by Oakhill ICT Services. You also have the option of adding protection against accidental damage and theft via additional 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 CompNow online store.
Purchase a laptop from a supplier of your choice
If the above option does not suit your preference 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 offered by CompNow. 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.
Provide a pre-existing laptop of your own
You can also 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, may not have compatible wireless cards or may be running older and non-compatible operating systems. 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 Malwarebytes 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 the Office 365 portal. Students are also able to obtain Adobe Creative Cloud applications on request from the ICT Services Helpdesk.
Other required software
All other software such as browsers, plug-ins and utilities as required by the BYOD program is freely available on the internet. A list of required software, including links to download, is available here.