Advice for computers for students
The policy of Teddington School is to set homework and other tasks such that no specialised demands are made of the computer setup at home, and as such almost all modern computers are suitable. The following points may be helpful:
- Several school systems are accessible over the internet, and access to the web is vital for research. Some form of broadband is therefore essential, and your computer choice should be able to connect to that.
- The school network is not made available to devices brought into school, so parents should not consider portability to be an issue. Where computing resources are required in lessons, they are provided by the school. Therefore, unless there are space constraints in the home, or a need to move from room to room, or parents are considering purchases that will be taken to college and especially to university, there is no advantage in purchasing laptop computers, as opposed to desktop computers.
- Modern tablets such as the iPad while excellent for browsing the web, reading e-books etc, are not best configured for typing, or working with larger documents. While they can prove useful to have in the home, they are not suitable as the sole device available to the student.
- The school uses both Apple and Windows based computers. Documents created using Word, Excel, Powerpoint and other applications in the Microsoft Office suite are readable by school staff. Office is available for Apple Macintosh computers. iWork on the Macintosh is also suitable, as long as students are aware that the applications Pages, Numbers, and Keynote can save in Office formats; and they do so before handing such documents in.
- Parents/carers should make themselves aware of e-safety and agree acceptable types of games and times spent on line and on computers in general.
- Printers are available in school, although you may find it convenient to have a printer for home use. Laser printers are nowadays much more economical that inkjets, so if the family has no requirement for high quality photographic equipment, a laser printer would be a good investment.
- Teddington School makes no recommendation as to manufacturer of equipment – parents/carers should undertake their own research.
For a parents guide to the latest advice on how to use the internet and new technologies safely and responsibly we recommend the UK Safer Internet Centre.