Technology Recommendations

 

Technology is an ever-changing piece in the education world. The following information has been compiled so that parents and students understand the bare minimum system requirements to consider before purchasing any technology.

Reference on this site to any specific commercial product or service is for the information and convenience of the Boylan Catholic High School community, and does not constitute endorsement or favoring by Boylan Catholic High School.

Information is listed in alphabetical order. All product names and logos are registered trademarks and are property of their respective owners.

Have questions? Email Associate IT Director - Mr. Joshua Anderson Email

 

This page is frequently updated, last updated on: Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 09:30:10 PM (CDT, UTC/GMT-05:00)

The most recent revisions — 5/27: Updated minimum specifications for most hardware, updated accessories section, added Rock Valley College / Office 365 Section. 4/3: Updated Apple iPad examples. 2/1: Changed terminology of Google's End-of-Life Chromebook Policy to it's new Auto Update Expiration (AUE) naming convention.

 

 

Hardware:

While Boylan Catholic does not require students to own the hardware as listed below, the following recommendations are offered to parents and students considering technology purchases. Theses recommendations meet minimum requirements for student use at Boylan Catholic.

Please be aware that most components may not be upgraded AFTER purchase (e.g. RAM may soldered to the motherboard thus preventing the end user from adding more RAM after purchase). Research your purchase(s) carefully.

 

Google
Chromebooks:

Google Chrome OS
Minimum specs:
Notes:

Examples:

Acer Chromebook 11
C740-C4PE
(4GB Model)

Lenovo N22 Chromebook
(4GB Model)

Chromebooks are also manufactured by:

Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, and others

 

11" Screen or larger

4GB RAM

16GB or larger internal storage

802.11a/b/g/n WiFi
(preferred 802.11a/b/g/n/ac)

Bluetooth 4.0

8+ hour battery life

Boylan provides each student with a Google Apps for Education account. This account provides access to many services which include a Boylan student email address and access to Google Drive/Docs/etc and online file storage. Students using personal Chromebooks for school work, should switch-user and login using their Boylan student account for the best experience.

Google Chromebook
Auto Update Expiration (AUE) Policy -

PLEASE check the AUE date on specific models before purchasing. The earliest a Chromebook will reach AUE is ~5 years after the initial (model) launch. When a Chromebook has reached AUE, it will no longer be supported or receive security updates. AUE dates may be extended, please click the link below for details.

LIST and more information: https://support.google.com...

Windows 10
Cloud Optimized
Notebooks:

Windows 10
Minimum specs:
Notes:

Examples:

HP Slate
ASUS VivoBook

 

11" Screen or larger

4GB RAM
(preferred 4GB+)

32GB or larger internal storage

802.11a/b/g/n WiFi
(preferred 802.11a/b/g/n/ac)

Bluetooth 4.x

8+ hour battery life

These "cloud optimized" notebooks are low cost alternatives to Google Chromebooks, run Windows 10, and cost around the same price as comparable Google Chromebooks. These devices are budget friendly, internet focused notebooks and are designed for browsing the internet and lite office productivity applications.

 

 

'traditional'
computers:

Desktops,
Notebooks

macOS 10.12+
Windows 10
Minimum specs:

Examples:

Apple MacBook,
Apple MacBook Pro,
Apple iMac,
Apple Mac mini

Examples:

Acer,
ASUS,
Dell,
HP,
Lenovo,
other well known brands

Processor
Better: Intel Core i5;
Best: Intel Core i7

8GB RAM
(preferred 16GB+)

256GB HD
(preferred SSD or 7200RPM)

802.11a/b/g/n WiFi
(preferred 802.11a/b/g/n/ac)

Bluetooth 4.x

6+ hour battery life
[for Notebooks]
(preferred 8+ hours)

 

 

 

HybridS:

(Notebook/Tablet)

Windows 10 PRO
Minimum specs:
 

Examples:

Surface Pro (2017 Model)
Surface Book
Surface 4 Pro

Processor
Better: Intel Core i5;
Best: Intel Core i7

8GB RAM
(preferred 16GB+)

256GB internal storage
(preferred 512GB+)

802.11a/b/g/n WiFi
(preferred 802.11a/b/g/n/ac)

Bluetooth 4.x

8+ hour battery life
(preferred 10+ hours)
 

 

 

Tablets:

Android
Apple iOS
Minimum specs:

6.x - Marshmallow (or newer)

Must have access to
the Google Play Store

Note: The Amazon brand Fire, Fire HD, Fire HDX, etc. tablets ARE NOT RECOMMENDED

iOS 10.x (or newer)

iPad Pro (12.9"),
iPad Pro (9.7"),
iPad (5th gen),
iPad mini 4
128GB Storage (or larger)

802.11a/b/g/n WiFi
(preferred 802.11a/b/g/n/ac)

Bluetooth 4.x

8+ hour battery life
(preferred 10+ hours)

 

 

Smart Phones:

Android
Apple iOS
Minimum specs:
6.x - Marshmallow (or newer)

Must have access to
the Google Play Store

iOS 10.x (or later)

iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus,
iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus,
iPhone SE

64GB Storage (or larger)

802.11a/b/g/n WiFi
(preferred 802.11a/b/g/n/ac)

Bluetooth 4.x

6+ hour battery life
(preferred 8+ hours)

 

 

Accessories:

Two power-adapters/cables:

For Chromebooks, notebooks, tablets, notebook/tablet hybrids and smart phones: One power-adapter/cable to leave at home; the other to act as a "mobile" power-adapter/cable that can be carried with the student at all times.

Always use original or certified power-adapters/cables.

Example: Anker cables: PowerLine II / PowerLine+ / PowerLine: Lightning, Mico USB, USB-C cables

Protective case:

A protective case is recommended to prolong the life of mobile devices from accidental damage. Cases come in various categories from protective sleeves for notebooks/hybrids to encapsulating cases that protect tablets and/or smart phones.

Portable USB Battery Pack:

Many students opt to have a portable USB battery pack. These portable battery packs allow devices such as smart phones and tablets (depending on capacity/feature) to charge when a power outlet isn't available.

Capacity varies between battery packs. Power provided by portable USB battery packs also varies based on cable quality/length and the device being charged.

Portable USB battery packs are popular amongst students and athletes who are away from outlets for long stretches of time.

Example: Anker battery packs: PowerCore II, PowerCore+, PowerCore Speed, PowerCore, Astro

Bluetooth Speakers:

Example: Anker Bluetooth speakers: SoundCore Sport XL, SoundCore 2, SoundCore Boost, etc.

 

 

software:

Boylan provides each student with a Google Apps for Education account. This account provides access to many services which include a Boylan student email address and access to Google Drive/Docs. Although Boylan Catholic currently recommends Google Drive/Doc, other alternatives are listed below.

 

Provided

by Boylan
:

Google Drive – drive.boylan.org
  • Accessible via student’s school email account
  • Multi-platform / Cloud based suite
  • Includes cloud file storage accessible at Boylan
  • Apps available of Mobile Platforms:

    • Android and iOS
  • Can import and export MS Office format files *

* Importing / Exporting MS Office formats is a conversion process which may result in minor page layout and formatting changes. Students should ensure they save/export documents in the proper format requested by their instructor.

 

 

Free Alternatives:

LibreOffice – www.libreoffice.org
  • Available for traditional desktops/notebooks and hybrid devices running:

    • Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux
  • Can import and export MS Office format files *
iWork (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) – www.apple.com/iwork
  • Available for iCloud, iOS, and macOS / OS X
  • ‘iCloud’ file storage / interface accessible at Boylan
  • Can import and export MS Office format files *

* Importing / Exporting MS Office formats is a conversion process which may result in minor page layout and formatting changes. Students should ensure they save/export documents in the proper format requested by their instructor.

 

 

Paid Alternatives:

Microsoft Office 2013 or later † – office.microsoft.com
(with at least Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
  • Available for Windows and macOS / OS X

Currently Boylan does not recommend Office 365 with its online/cloud services component, and can not guarantee that Office 365 online/cloud services will be accessible via the Boylan network.

 

 

 

Grads enrolling at rvc:

Boylan Grads Enrolling at Rock Valley College:

All actively enrolled students at RVC receive access to "Office 365 ProPlus which includes full versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote and can be installed on up to five personally-owned PCs/Macs and up to five mobile devices, including iOS and Android devices."

Read more at http://www.rockvalleycollege.edu/StudentServices/TechnologyServices/microsoftoffice.cfm


enrolling Elsewhere?

Visit your college's website to see if they offer the same program: search for "Office 365" (no quotes), or reach out to IT / Technology services.