Notebook ticks boxes for Auckland school

August 2015

 

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Papakura Normal School considered a range of options before they settled on the HP Stream 11” notebook as the device of choice for its students. With the devices now an integral part of students’ learning, the school hasn’t looked back.

Elizabeth van der Klip, e-learning co-ordinator at Papakura Normal School says the school’s contracted technician and a company the school was talking to about their digital work platforms both recommended the HP Stream for the school environment.  After trialling the device and sharing with the wider school community at parent information evenings, van der Klip was sold.

It wasn’t a decision reached lightly, however. The school considered a range of options, including tablets and chromebooks. 

“Our big consideration for devices was in regards to if they would be cost effective for our parents,” says van der Klip.

“The other consideration was smooth operation for use with what we were looking at doing with Office 365 and the tools available through Microsoft.”

The HP Stream is a ‘browser’ type device operating on the Windows platform. It allows students to access Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps, giving them the best of both worlds.

Maddy Simpson from Hewlett Packard agrees that the accessibility to Office 365 is important.

“Office 365 gives access to the Office suite which parents, teachers and students will be familiar with and which would continue into any work environment.”

She also emphasizes the importance of accessibility to Google Apps.

“The Google apps available are now widespread and peer reviewed, so applicable to NZ classrooms and supported with local support groups.”

The size of the device was also taken into consideration by Papakura Normal School.

Van der Klip says the HP Stream is a good size for students to use for a large proportion of the day.

“They are not so small that the students would get eye strain looking at the screen over the course of the day. They are also small enough to go into schoolbags so they are not obvious when students are walking to school.”

Van der Klip is also impressed with the battery life of the device.

“So long as the students ensure they charge their device overnight, we are not experiencing any problems with them using the device on battery for the duration of the day.”

The HP Stream has quickly become a way of life for the students at Papakura Normal School, who use it in conjunction with Office 365 for their school work.

They use One Note on the device for core curriculum areas like Reading, Maths, Writing. They use the inbuilt camera to take photos for Powerpoint presentations.

“With the Stream being a Windows 8 device our students use the ability to have a split screen while they are researching topics on the internet. They have their document open alongside the internet pages making it easy to take notes,” says van der Klip.

The only downside for van der Klip is the amount of memory available on the device. She points out that it hasn’t been a major issue for the school as the students’ work is saved to the Cloud with Office 365. However, she says it could present a challenge for the school in terms of storing photos (not taken using the in-built camera) and other programmes.

“While we discourage students from downloading games or other non learning programmes from home to their devices these can have an impact on the memory depending on the size of the game.”

Other than the memory size, van der Klip says she hasn’t come across any real limitations and the school is looking at the HP Stream as an option for parents again for 2016.

She says she would definitely recommend to other schools.

“It is a cost-effective, reliable device that allows the users to have the full use and benefits of Windows.”


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