Want to Buy Your Own Device for Back-to-School? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Whether families choose the district’s Safety-First In-Person option for the 2020-21 school year or Empowered Learning At-Home, Spring ISD students will experience distance learning for at least some portion of the upcoming year. Although the district is doing its best to make as many Chromebooks as possible available to loan out to families, many parents and guardians have been asking about buying devices for their students.

The good news is that devices that meet the basic specifications for Google Classroom, Schoology, web browsing and other necessary applications don’t need to be high-end computer models. Less expensive, basic laptops running Microsoft Windows 10 and Chromebook computers should work just fine.

Spring ISD is currently purchasing the Lenovo 300e with the following specifications.  

  • 11.6″ Touchscreen
  • Intel Celeron N4020 Processor (2nd Gen)
  • 4GB memory
  • 32GB storage
  • Wireless network with Bluetooth
  • Built-in Camera and microphone

Please Note:  The Lenovo is not a required model, any Chromebooks with the same basic processor, memory and storage capabilities will work.

Other important features to look for include:

  • Built-in wireless networking technology – allowing the device to easily connect to Wi-Fi networks at home and elsewhere
  • Built-in Bluetooth – allowing simple, wireless connection to a range of Bluetooth-enabled devices such as headphones, speakers, wireless printers and keyboards, and even mobile phones
  • Built-in front-facing camera and built-in microphone – for use during online learning sessions with teachers and classmates

If you can find a device with a touchscreen, that might be a plus, too, especially for younger students who may not be as comfortable using a computer mouse or trackpad.

Parents looking to purchase a new or used laptop, tablet, Chromebook or other similar device to support their student during Empowered Learning At-Home have many options to choose from. Most new devices sold these days will meet or exceed these specifications. Gently used or refurbished devices can be a great money-saving option, too, as long as you purchase them from a seller you trust.

For parents who want to borrow a district-issued Chromebook for their student, we will be sending out more details on the distribution and check-out schedule soon.

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