Student Computer Purchasing Guide - Updated April 2016

Voyager Academy requires that every student in grades 8-12 have his or her own laptop for use in school and at home as a part of our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. Students use their computers extensively for academic purposes. Most software, resources, and services that students utilize are cloud-based and accessible via a modern web browser. Students use Google Apps for office software (word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, etc), so Microsoft Office is not required.

Requirements

Hardware

Operating System:

Installed Software:

Network Connectivity:

This is an important requirement. Voyager has made significant investments in WiFi infrastructure to ensure reliable internet access by many simultaneous users. To take advantage, student computers must meet the above requirement. Meeting this requirement is not expensive; all devices listed in the “Device Recommendations” section are less than $300. Most new computers will have 802.11ac.

Your reseller can help make sure the computer meets this requirement. If 802.11ac is listed in the specifications, the computer meets this requirement. If 802.11n is listed, the 5 GHz band must be supported (often listed as 802.11n dual-band). Again, most new computers will have 802.11ac.

A note about cellular (3G or 4G) connections: Students are required to connect to Voyager’s WiFi for internet access when at school. Use of cellular connections on campus is prohibited. (This is a new rule effective for the 2015-16 school year.)

Device Recommendations

Voyager’s extensive use of cloud applications means that requirements for software support and local system resources are minimal. A Chromebook is an excellent, inexpensive option in our environment. Recommended models are the Lenovo N21 (~$210 with 2 GB RAM), the Acer C740 (~$260 with 2 GB RAM), and the Toshiba Chromebook 2 (~$300 with 4 GB RAM and 13.3” 1080p screen). The Toshiba model is notable for having a 1080p 13.3” screen which provides more workspace, as opposed to the lower resolution, 11.6” screens on the Lenovo and the Acer. All three devices come in 2 and 4 GB RAM variants, but please note that the 2 GB variant of the Toshiba has a lower resolution 13.3” screen.

Financial hardship

The BYOD program should not be a barrier to learning for any Voyager student. Families who are unable to financially provide a computer for their student(s) should contact Managing Director Jennifer Lucas directly at jlucas@voyageracademy.net.