Student Owned Laptop Standards

POD Laptop Standard Student Owned Device


At this time Laptops are the top choice over tablet computers for grade 6 to 12.  An adequate laptop can be purchased for under $500 and can run all required software on a large enough screen.  Laptops are required in high school so that students can use their own device to write provincial exams with the lockdown software called Quest A+.

A Tablet computer may be adequate for students in 5th grade or lower or as a second device (check with the teachers).  These are great choices for ebook readers, long battery life, durability and weight. Both iPads and Google Nexus 7 are rated high by Consumers magazine.

The following laptop standards are recommended.

  1. Rugged design
  2. 13 - 15 inch LCD with 1 gig video ram so unit could be plugged into a monitor and keyboard at home. Larger LCD not recommended as they use too much power and are heavy.
  3. Quad core processor with 4 gigs of RAM
  4. A service agreement with the seller that provides loaner/replacement computers during any required repairs.

Students unable to bring a device to school

Schools with a POD initiative usually have enough devices for daily student sign out. RVS has found that in POD schools over 90% of students bring their device on a daily basis.   Students unable to bring one from home should be able to borrow a school device for the day.  Many RVS schools have Chromebooks as loaners.


Minimum Recommended Laptops / Tablets to Bring

Parents should consider the following when purchasing a laptop or tablet for their Child.

  • Built in wireless N or AC - machines more than a year or two old may not work in RVS
  • Rugged design
  • Will child be allowed to load games or connect to a large monitor for use at home?  If so consider purchasing a devise designed for gaming. ie lots of processing and video power as well as RAM and HD space.
  • Virus/Spyware protection - required for all PC laptops
  • Battery life - 0lder Laptop batteries generally do not last more than 3 yrs.

Elementary Students: K - 4

Apple iPad 3 or 4

Android tablet or Windows Surface

Grade 5 -12

Students bringing their own laptops must have one capable of running Quest A+.  Personal Chromebooks, Linux or other OS devices and Surface/Transformer Tablets cannot run this software.  The only laptops capable of running the software are devices running Windows or Mac OS software (excluding all tablets except Surface Pro).

Students that want higher end creativity tools a laptop is a great choice.

Laptop with 11 inch screen

11" MacBook

11" rugged PC Laptop with 4 gigs RAM 750 gig HD OR 128 gig SSD



  • Productivity software.  OpenOffice and LibreOffice, FreeOffice, Kingsoft Office Free, NeoOffice (free) or MS Office (Available from Alberta Education for all students Spring of 2016)
  • Virus Protection.
  • Photo editor: 1. Picasa, 2. Fotor, 3. On1 Perfect Effects 9 Free, 4. Serif PhotoPlus Starter Edition, 5. Pixlr Editor, 6. GIMP, 7. PhotoScape, 8. IrfanView
  • Movie editor: Windows Movie Maker, Kate's Video Toolkit, cloud base WeVideo, Avidemux, VSDC Free Video Editor, MPEG Streamclip 1.2.1b6, VirtualDub, Free Video Editor, Lightworks,
  • Audio editor: 1. Wavosaur, 2. Waveshop, 3. Acoustica Basic Edition, 4. MP3Gain, 5. Audacity, 6. Music Editor Free, 7. MP3 Quality Modifier, 8. Wavepad, 9. mp3DirectCut
  • Or iLife Suite (comes on all Macintosh computers)

Device Vendors

Visit this link to RVS Vendor Stores that provide a discount for our parents.

Memory Express has a good selection of Windows Laptops and a very good service agreement program.

Dell has payment options and great costumer support.

Your school can provide the following link to parents and students so they get a Apple product discount:

Parents can purchase where ever they like the examples above are Vendor who provide great support.

Schools may choose to recommend a particular OS and level of machine so that it is easier to have the Student repair team support them.  Several schools in RVS asked students to purchase Macbook Pro because they have a metal case and all the productivity software included (video, sound, image editing software)

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