Every student at St Dominics Priory College in Years 6 to 12 has access to a laptop via our College laptop program. Having dedicated access to a laptop enhances learning opportunities both in a formal educational setting and at home.
In 2015 our laptop program partner HP asked St Dominic's Priory College to participate in a case study of our environment, which is available for download below.
Frequency Asked Questions
1. What is the laptop program?
The laptop program provides a College managed device to every student in Years 6 to 12. This ensures the student has access to all the applications required for each subject on a device that has adequate battery life and performance to perform the task.
The College uses a thin client technology called Citrix to deliver the student laptops.
The laptop is rented to the student on a yearly basis, the rental cost of the laptop is added to the annual College fees.
St Dominic's Priory College manage the applications on the device, ensuring required software packages and updates are installed. The device is locked down, providing students with only the software they need for learning and preventing installation of other software. All web browsing passes through our College filtering, regardless if the student is accessing the device at campus or at home.
2. What is Citrix (thin client)?
A thin client is a centrally managed computer that relies on another computer to do most of its work. It operates in a client/server relationship, where the student's laptop (the client) connects to a server at St Dominic's Priory College to access applications and files.
Thin clients offer the following benefits
- Standardized environment: Thin clients all run the same software, delivering a reliable classroom experience
- Ease of upgrades: When a new version of Windows or an application is released, it can quickly be deployed to all users simultaneously
- Lower cost of operation: Laptops cost less as the server is providing the applications and files
- Backup: Regardless of where the student is working, the data is saved to St Dominic's Priory College's file servers. This lowers risks associated with hardware failure or device loss.
Citrix relies on an active network connection, when the student is working from home this would be your home internet connection. While Citrix does use some internet bandwidth, the usage is minimal. Depending on your connection speed and what application the student is using, this could be between 40 Kbps and 750 Kbps.
3. Is the laptop program compulsory?
All students in years 6 to 12 are required to participate in the laptop program with a device rented from the school.
4. Can I bring my own device?
We understand many students already own a laptop, however all students are required to rent a device from the College. This decision is to ensure the hardware, software, reliability and warranty can all be supported and controlled by the College.
In the event the laptop has a technical issue, we can very quickly fix the problem or replace the device with an identical device. This keeps classroom disruption to a minimum and allows our teachers to focus on teaching.
5. Many other schools offer BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), why don't you?
While we have thoroughly evaluated BYOD as a potential model for use at St Dominic's Priory College, we believe there are a number of downfalls that prevent it being effective in our environment.
- Non-standard software impedes staff ability to deliver class content
- Unknown device reliability poses potential interruption for students and classes
- Difficulty for Information Technology staff to support unknown devices
- School replacement of faulty devices is unavailable with BYOD, students may be without a device for weeks while problems are repaired
6. Why have you chosen to rent the devices?
We believe using a rental model offers the greatest flexibility to students, parents and the College.
- Rental is more affordable than a traditional "buy your own device" model
- Students are immediately issued a replacement device in the event of software or hardware failure
- Software licensing is more economical when the College owns the device and these cost savings are passed onto families
- Standardised software and hardware provides students and teaching staff with a reliable computing experience
7. What does the program include?
All students will receive a laptop, charger and case. Students are responsible for keeping all 3 items in good condition and reporting any damage to Information Technology staff.
8. What are the specifications of the laptops?
The laptop modem is a HP MT41.
It is a 14" laptop with a resolution of 1366 x 768 and is specifically designed to be a thin client. The device has 4GB of ram and runs an AMD A4 4300M APU, which is more than capable of delivering Citrix reliably.
9. Who owns the laptop?
The College owns the laptop and will manage all warranty and repairs of the laptop.
10. What happens at the end of the year and during school holidays?
The students retains the device during the term holidays. At the end of the school year the device is returned to the College and reissued the following year if the student returns.
11. What happens if the laptop stops working?
St Dominics Priory College will manage all technical faults, warranty claims and repairs of the laptop.
12. What happens if the laptop is damaged?
If the vendor deems the warranty to be accidental damage, St Dominic's Priory College will cover the first accidental damage claim of each year. The student and family will be responsible for covering any additional claims.
If the vendor deems the damage to be outside of accidental damage or the device is lost, the student and family will be responsible for covering the full cost of repairs or replacement.
13. What software is included?
The laptop will have access to Windows, Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite and all other software the student needs for classes.
14. Can the student customise the laptop?
No, the device is locked down. Only the College can add or remove software from the device.
15. Will the laptop work at home?
Yes the laptop will work anywhere there is an internet connection.
16. What is the cost?
The cost varies from year to year. This information can be obtained by contacting St Dominic's Priory College directly.
Any other questions or enquiries can be made directly to the College.