The ISF Academy
Welcome to the ISF Laptop Program information page
The One-to-One (1:1) laptop program has been designed with the goal of supporting students to be engaged, inquiring members of our community and lifelong learners. We are convinced the authentic integration of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) with existing curriculum is integral to your child's current and future academic and personal growth.
On this page you will find information about:
- Why Apple?
- Why we require one brand of laptop for Middle School
- How to order your child's laptop
- What to do if you already have a laptop
We strongly urge you to review all the material on this page before making your purchase decision.
Today's computer market offers a rich set of choices that meet a wide variety of individual needs.
After careful analysis that took into consideration different computer models, student needs, effective learning environments, and successful 1:1 laptop programs it was clear Apple was the best choice to meed our student's needs. Apple laptops and OS X (Apple's operating system) hold up to the rigours of daily use while being easy for novice users to understand and powerful enough for advanced users to complete complex work.
Apple computers are built well and will hold up to the level of use our students will put them through. Operating System (OS) updates are easy to perform ensuring your child's laptop has the latest security patches which will protect them as they use their computer.
Which laptop model?
Additional information about the best laptop model can be found on the "Ordering a Laptop" page.
For Middle School students we recommend the 13" MacBook Pro. It is powerful, has the connectors needed to work at school, is durable, is light, and will last three years. The 13" model laptop screen is large enough to support students for the work they will be doing. They do not need a 15" screen at this age.
Beginning from 2017 we no longer recommend the MacBook Air. The MacBook Pro and the Air weigh almost the same however the MacBook Pro has a more powerful CPU making it a better choice for students over the expected 3 year life of the laptop.
Being older and more experienced, Senior School students are allowed to select a laptop model, Windows or Apple, that meets their needs. Some students, who do a lot of design, artwork or movie editing might benefit from having a larger, 15" screen.
Why we require one brand of laptop for Middle School students
By having the Middle School students use the same brand of laptop we are able to provide the best possible support for their learning.
- Teachers can support students because they are familiar with the student's laptop
- Students can support each other when learning new skills and tools
- Teachers can plan their lessons more confidently knowing which software is on their student's laptop
- Technical support can be more efficient and effective because the technicians are familiar with the hardware
- Your child will learn ICT skills at the same time as their peers, re-enforcing their learning
- At this age, a mixed model laptop situation is difficult to support
- Learning resources can be designed to a higher level
Apple iTunes Account & Family Sharing
All students need to have an iTunes App account for their laptop. This allows them to install approved programs and update existing software on their laptop.
You can use a family iTunes account that you have shared with your child or you can create an Apple Family Sharing account. We recommend using an Apple Family Sharing account. This allows you, the parent, the ability to manage and approve the software your child wants to install on their laptop.
What if my child already has a laptop?
If your child already has a laptop, great! They are welcome to bring it to school, however, there are some limitations. Please note the following:
- The laptop is 2 years old or less.
- Older laptops begin to slow down and can have a hard time running newer, updated software.
- The laptop has to be registered with the IT Department - this has to be done so it can connect to the WiFi network
- The laptop must meet the following specifications
Apple & Windows Computers Specifications
- Operating System
- Apple computers: the operating system is 10.10 or newer
- Windows computers: the operating system is Windows 7 or newer
- The CPU is iCore 5 1.1 GHz or faster
- Memory: 4 GB of RAM or greater
- Hard Drive: 256 GB of storage or greater
- Screen size: 13" or larger
How to order a laptop
Parent Laptop Information Presentation (2017, April 26th - Primary Library)
A parent information session was held on April 26th. Details where shared with parents on laptop models and how to purchase a laptop. The presentation and a video of the presentation can be found below.