September 21, 2012
Schools In The US Roll Out ‘Bring Your Own Device’ Schemes

For college students, bringing a laptop to class has been a vital part of college life for years; it allows them to keep track of fast-moving lectures and create, save and co-ordinate their notes easily, contributing to more efficient studying methods. But now many high schools across the US are also trying to integrate laptops into their classes, with one school in New Hampshire, piloting a 'Bring Your Own Device' program. The scheme, aimed at encouraging children in schools to further their learning by using interactive apps and programs, is still in a trial period, but is seeing great success already.

For the parents of pupils starting at a high school that may be promoting a similar policy, it is essential that the students' devices are functioning at peak form to allow them to get the most out of their studies. This includes making sure all typing equipment (especially for tablet devices) is in good condition, ensuring parental blocks or sufficient anti-virus software is installed, and perhaps most importantly, making sure the laptops have enough RAM memory to perform properly.

Some educational apps or programs might need large quantities of RAM to run, and many students will multi-task while they study; perhaps downloading a paper while streaming a demonstrational video of an experiment, browsing the internet for background information and typing up their findings on a word processing program. All of these tasks require a certain amount of memory to run, be that Apple or PC memory, and without the adequate amount, students may find themselves at a disadvantage in their studies. A slow laptop will inhibit pupils from accessing the data that they need, when they need it, and may impede progression.

Students are noted as saying that bringing their own laptops to class helps them to manage their workload more easily and allows them to keep up with the lesson flow. Another school, Hollis Brookline High School, started their version of the scheme last year to widespread success, and much of the same feedback is anticipated from the new arrangement in Greater Nashua. When computer memory is at optimum level and the machines are working at the highest standard, studying methods can be greatly refined; lessons can be supplemented with easy-to-access extra reading, videos or other media, and a higher volume of material can be offered to the students. If the schemes see similar levels of success, many high schools may soon roll out policies to step further into the 21st century and allow devices in all classes.

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