When you decide to buy your kids a laptop, the main question isn’t what brand you should be considering. What you need to know is how the laptops are going to help them in school and how you can make sure it isn’t going to distract them from their work.
As guardians, while it’s our job to provide them with all the tools they need to pass their subjects, we should consider key things when buying our kids laptops for school.
Assess the school work
Knowing what your kids are doing for school will help you narrow down the kind of laptop you need to buy for them. Other than writing papers, what else are they doing? Videos? Infographics? You don’t need to choose a laptop that supports a 4K resolution. Instead choose mid-range laptops that can provide a decent enough graphic support so they can do their projects properly.
No need for touchscreen
While there are operating systems that look seamless when you’re using a laptop with a touchscreen capacity, it isn’t exactly necessary. For instance, the Windows 8 OS is designed for a touchscreen laptop, it can still be used with a keyboard and a mouse. Besides, most laptops already come with a touchpad.
Size and battery life
Cheaper laptops tend to be bulkier and heavy in size. This wouldn’t be a problem if your kids won’t bring their laptops in school. However, if they’re expected to lug it around school, more expensive laptops are more portable. The same logic is true for battery life. The cheaper it is means that it might last about three to four hours without plugging in, whereas expensive laptops can last to about half a day.
It’ll depend on how often your kids need to bring the laptop to school. If it isn’t needed every day of every week, then there’s no harm in choosing the cheaper option. Besides, there are laptop backpacks which are durable and built to help with carrying the weight of the laptop.
Install useful applications and systems
Once you’ve bought the laptop, the next step is installing the applications they need for their school work. Windows laptops usually already come with the complete MS Office Suite, which means Word, Powerpoint, and Excel are sure to be there. But since you’ve already assessed the kind of work they submit to their teachers, you can add a few more applications.
You might want to consider installing Photoshop, movie maker, and other creative applications. Ask your kids about this since they most likely know what they’ll need for school.
Make sure you’ve also installed an antivirus to make sure information going to and from their laptops will not be compromised. There are a lot of sophisticated hackers ready to steal sensitive information being sent using emails or even social media channels. Secure their laptops by installing an antivirus which doesn’t just protect from sketchy websites and spam, but also evaluates each link that appears on the search engine and tags them as safe to visit or not.
Discuss responsible use with your kids
Just like with getting their first pet, kids must know how to take care of their laptops especially when they bring it to school. Teach them where they can store after use, how to clean the laptop, and what to look for when they’re not sure if a website is safe or not.
Additionally, they must know the dangers that come with constantly being online. While you have installed an antivirus to protect the information they sent out to the internet, it cannot protect them from cyber bullying. They must know that when provoked online, they should just ignore it and move on. Inversely, they shouldn’t post anything that can incite bad behaviour like sharing an offensive joke.
Kids must understand that anything they post on the internet will forever be on the internet. And lastly, they should know to avoid inappropriate content.
Buying your kids new school laptops is more than just looking at specs and brands. It is about making sure that the tool is being used responsibly and that it contributes to their learning rather than hinder it. Make sure to keep these things in mind once you decide your kids are ready for a laptop.