Virtual Campus Tech Recommendations

Recommendations for ALL SBA home learning (Yellow through Red Phases)

- High Speed Internet Service - at least 20 MB (preferred provider is EPB due to strength and reliability)

- Quality Network Router - this is hard to quantify; however, AC and gaming routers service video work best

- Dedicated Space - as much as possible, all specific space for learning each day

- Dedicated Computer Resources - See below per grade levels

Technology at Home for K-7th Grade

SBA K-7th on campus students are NOT required to have a dedicated computer for their coursework (not 1:1 grade levels), HOWEVER, this becomes a need when parents have/need students work from home (Yellow - Red Phases).

Recommended computer equipment:

- Desktop or laptop computer for coursework

AND

- iPad or iPhone (android phones or tablets as well) for conferencing

This equipment allows the student to use their computer for notes, activities and content while also seeing conferences, videos and meetings. If you have to choose one, please choose the computer. If you need to use an iPad, please get a keyboard (bluetooth or case version).

Technology at Home for 8th-12th Grade

Essentially students need the same equipment as students are required to have for On Campus coursework with the following adaptations:

8th-9th - laptops not iPads

- Laptops allow split screens, multiple app use and the display of content MUCH easier for

home learning

- Consider an additional monitor for watching conferences, videos and meetings

10th-12th - additional screen

- Consider an additional monitor for watching conferences, videos and meetings

- Laptop or desktop screen can then be used for notes, searches and content creation

MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air

Apple laptops are durable and user friendly. They are also fully compatible with iOS apps for parental functionality. The only drawback as an educational device is the price, based on potential obsolescence as younger students progress. Several hundred dollars can be saved by purchasing used or refurbished devices.

Here are our recommendations:

  • Target Price: $800-$1200 and up

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 or better

  • Screen size: 13inch or higher

  • Camera (720p generally standard these days, but check)

  • RAM: 8GB or more

  • Internal storage: 256GB or more solid-state drive (SSD or NVME); worth the $

  • 2 USB ports; 1 USB-C;

  • HDMI video output

  • Chrome Browser (user installed) to easily access Google features

  • Nice to have: Touchscreen

Chromebook

Chromebooks have become very popular in the last few years, and capabilities have been significantly enhanced. Thus, prices have been trending upward to the point that some are as expensive as low-to-medium priced PC laptops. Chromebooks are entirely cloud-based, using Google Chrome Browser as the “operating system.” They use the suite of Google Apps, such as Drive (Docs, Sheets, Slides), Google Meet, Gmail, Photos, YouTube, and many more. Newer models are also compatible with Android apps. (Many schools use them for their base platform, because they can be configured and managed through G-Suite as a group for security. SBA does NOT use G-Suite to manage Chromebooks.)

Although compatible with most apps and functions needed for virtual learning, parents should weigh the cost/benefit/simplicity of the Chromebook vs. a PC laptop for $150-200 more.

Because Chromebooks do not have user-installed programs, they need less local storage and less RAM than a normal PC or laptop. Many are tablet-style (360 degree “foldable”) and have touchscreens.

Here are our recommendations:

  • Target price: $250-$450

  • Screen size: at least 10 inch--14 inch better

  • Camera (should be standard on all)

  • RAM: At least 4 GB

  • Internal storage: At least 64 GB

  • Processor: Intel Celeron; AMD A4 or better

  • Nice to have: Tablet style (foldable)

  • Nice to have: Touchscreen

  • Brands to consider: Asus, Dell, Google, HP, Lenovo

Windows PC laptop

This market is fiercely competitive, resulting in a host of very capable devices at reasonable prices. The applications needed for a good learning experience at SBA are not extensive...most, in fact are web-based. However, so that your student’s laptop will be useful for the next several years, you will want to have a processor and memory that will accommodate programs, such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, etc.

Here are our recommendations:

  • Target Price: $400-$650

  • Processor: Intel Core i5, AMD A6 or Ryzen Gen 5 or better

  • Screen size: 14inch or 15.6 inch (14” maybe for younger students)

  • Camera (720p generally standard these days, but check)

  • RAM: 8GB or more

  • Internal storage: 256GB or more solid-state drive (SSD or NVME); worth the $

  • 2 USB ports; 1 USB-C;

  • HDMI video output

  • Chrome Browser (user installed) to easily access Google features

  • Nice to have: Tablet style (foldable)

  • Nice to have: Touchscreen

  • Brands to consider: Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo