The Louis Riel School Division (LRSD) strongly encourages students to buy and own a device, such as a tablet or laptop, they can use at school. Currently, all high school students bring their own laptops to school, and we encourage families of students in grades 5 to 8 to consider this option as well. For families who are unable to purchase a device, LRSD does have an allotment of student laptops that can be used to support learning.
To help families narrow down their choices as there is an abundance of brands and options available, LRSD has provided the following information and FAQ.
Important Factors to Consider
Purchasing a new laptop or tablet can range in price from $300 and up. However, a device in the $300 to $600 range is suitable.
You will want the device to comfortably fit in your child’s school backpack without weighing them down. On average, a 15” laptop can weigh as much as 2.4 kgs (5.6 lbs.) or more.
Choose a device with at least six hours of battery life, which should be enough for the school day.
Having a device with a physical keyboard for taking notes, completing assignments and researching is strongly recommended.
Wireless Network Capabilities:
The device must have Wi-Fi/wireless capabilities.
Memory and Storage:
All LRSD students have 1 TB of online file storage in OneDrive.
Screens should be nine inches or larger.
The device should be built to last with solid construction and parts.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What should I purchase?
While LRSD does not recommend any specific type of device, here are three main categories of devices that have received positive reviews:
2. Which type of device should I choose?
Laptops are the best, most cost-effective choice. They come in three types: Windows based devices, Apple computers, and Chromebooks.
- Entry level: $300 (HP Stream Laptop)
- Mid-level: $600+ (Asus ZenBook)
- High level: $900+ (Mac Air, Lenovo Yoga)
This is a touchscreen without a keyboard; however, you can purchase a Bluetooth keyboard separately. They come in roughly two types: iPads and Android tablets (Samsung).
- Entry level: $400 (Samsung Tablet)
- Mid-level: $600 (Samsung Tablet)
- High level: $900+ (iPad)
A laptop that converts into a touchscreen tablet. Typically, more powerful and quicker than a tablet, but with a touch screen.
- Entry level: $500 (Acer Switch 3)
- Mid-level: $800 (Acer Spin)
- High Level: $1000+ (Surface Go 2)
3. What type of operating system should the device have?
All Windows-based laptops and tablets must be running Windows 10. If you have a Windows laptop that is running Windows 7 or 8.1, LRSD students can download Windows 10 for free from our web store.
All Mac and Chromebook laptops should have the newest operating system installed to ensure that the device is compatible with all our online systems. This is also true for all iOS and Android tablets.
Only Chromebooks that can access the Google Play Store should be considered. Chromebooks manufactured in 2018 fall into this category.
4. Are there any devices that are not compatible with LRSD?
The following devices will not work with the division’s internal systems and are not recommended. Several factors, including limited screen size or screen resolution, the inability to connect and use LRSD online documents, assignments or software, are issues with the devices listed here:
- Devices with screens less than nine inches
- Any Chromebooks made in 2017 or earlier
5. Can I purchase a used device?
Used laptops/tablets are a great option for families to consider. Used devices must meet the basic requirements and have batteries capable of at least four to six hours.
6. Will the students have open access to the internet?
No, LRSD filters its internet feed, blocking approximately 25 categories of information on the internet. Students that are connected to the school’s wireless system use the exact same filters that we have in place for all school owned devices.
7. What if our device gets stolen?
Theft of personal items can be a concern in a building with many people. Students must take responsibility for safeguarding their personal property by not leaving any valuables unattended.
LRSD is not responsible for lost or stolen personal items, however we have put several measures in place to help secure student belongings.
LRSD can register student devices in the STOP Security Plate program based on parental requests. This program helps deter the theft of devices and identify lost or stolen devices. Parents must notify the school if they wish to be registered.
8. Will the students do all their work on their devices?
We do not expect, nor do we encourage, all day use of student devices. Many classroom activities do not require the use of student devices.
9. Do I need to buy a special laptop case?
We do not encourage the use of laptop cases. Students typically have a backpack for carrying school supplies, which they can also use to carry their device. Please ensure the backpack has sufficient space to hold all the items a student will need to carry and if possible, has some padding or protection for the device.
10. Do I need to purchase virus protection?
If you purchase a Windows device, you do not need to buy an antivirus program. There is an antivirus program already built into the operating system (Windows 8 or higher). If your laptop is running Windows 10, we recommend you use Microsoft Security Essentials (this is a free option).
11. Do I need to purchase additional software?
Purchasing additional software packages is not required. All LRSD students are eligible for the Microsoft Student Advantage program. This program provides Microsoft Office to all students in the division free of charge for up to five computers (Mac or PC).