1:1 Program – The Benefits of a Lease

What option is best for my student?

This is a question I am asked every year, so I thought I would shed some light on some of the benefits of the lease program and how it compares to the other two options.

Option 1 – The lease to own option allows parents to purchase a laptop by making 4 payments spread across 4 years. Once you sign the lease agreement you are agreeing to make all 4 payments, you can’t decide in year 2 that you don’t want to lease any more. There are a few options if you decide to leave the district.

There is a volume discount we get from Apple which makes the purchase quite reasonable. We get a discount on the cost of the computer and the Apple parts coverage, so please take that into consideration when price comparing at Apple. Many times parents don’t realize that AppleCare will cost twice the amount if you buy it direct from Apple. The lease is for a 13″ Macbook Air laptop and it comes with 4 years of Apple parts coverage. Apple parts will cover the computer against manufacturer defects and software issues. Apple parts does not cover accidental damage, liquid spills or cracked screens. The benefits of Apple parts is the convenience of getting the computer fixed right at the high school and you don’t have to worry about traveling to a store or shipping it back. In addition, the tech center will provide a loaner while your laptop is being repaired.

Key Benefits:

  • Local tech support-District services computers and provides loaner
  • Software – Comes pre-loaded with iLife, iWorks,  Yosemite, and additional software is made available to students for their high school duration Adobe CC, Logger Pro, Geometer’s Sketchpad and many others. Please see the software link from the 1:1 menu.
  • Teacher Support – Teachers are more comfortable with OS X and Apple Software
  • Wireless connection – Supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi – Allows for high speed Internet connection
  • Battery Life – 12 hours
  • Less Malware – Macs are less prone to viral infection, this is a big plus because students tend to download a ton of applications many of which are loaded with viruses.
  • High Ratings – The Macbook Air is ranked #1 by Laptop Magazine
  • Flash Storage – Enables the computer to acquire applications and files much faster
  • Collaboration – some classroom based projects are easier to collaborate on when having a common set of tools.

 

Option 2: BYOD

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) option allows you to bring a laptop, Chromebook, or iPad from home to use during the school day. We highly recommend a laptop over the other devices but students can be successful with a Chromebook or iPad for most of the work. There will be some flash based software and/or plugins that will not work on Chromebooks and iPads, therefore some projects or activities will require a student to have access to a laptop. Although we can’t place all district software on a BYOD device we can put some software on the devices for specific classes. For example, we buy yearly licenses of Geometer Sketchpad for BYOD students to use for class. In addition, they can download software like Logger pro and others from the software list on their computers for free. Finally, the district utilizes Google apps for education and this cloud based tool set works on any device with an internet connection. This tool set gives students free access to gmail, online file storage, word processing, spreadsheets, and many other cloud based tools to use in class or at home.

Key Benefits:

  • Currently Own a Laptop – No need to buy another device
  • Choice of Product – Can decide what brand to go with
  • Comfort Level – Student is more comfortable with a different operating system, parents are more comfortable supporting a different operating system at home
  • Expense – Apple computers may be more expensive than other brands
  • Specs – We are interested in a computer that has higher specs.
  • Cloud-Based Computing – Many tools are available for free in the cloud.

Disadvantages:

  • Repairs – The high school tech center can’t perform repairs on Laptops
  • Malware – students install software packages that lead to viral infection and computer disfunction
  • Hardware – May be old, local security may cause issues with access to the district network
  • Software – students may be using software that high school staff are not trained on

Option 3 – Day Use

The day use program allows student access to a Macbook Air at school for the school day. Students are allowed to take home laptops to complete specific assignments as long as the “Student Take Home” agreement is signed. Students will have the same access to school software but will not be allowed to download personal software or games onto the computer. Students do have the advantage of signing out the same computer day to day and are allowed to keep files on the local desktop.

Key Benefits:

  • Software – Students have access to district software and all cloud based tools
  • Computer at Home – My student has a desktop or laptop they can use when they are at home
  • Affordable option – The cost of the lease is too expensive and I don’t own a laptop
  • Responsibility – I don’t want the additional responsibility of managing the laptop at home

Disadvantages:

  • Personalization – Students don’t have full administrative rights on the laptop and can’t customize
  • Sign in/out process – Students have to allow time in the morning and in the afternoon to return the laptop to the tech center.

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