Global Curriculum

Technology at Vistamar

Vistamar "Bring Your Own Laptop" Program


Vistamar is committed to providing our students with the most dynamic and engaging learning experiences possible, which includes those driven by digital educational technologies. We also support the professional growth of our faculty through their exploration and use of edtech in their classrooms. Vistamar thus not only recognizes but prioritizes the critical role that technology plays in today’s learning process within our community.

To this end, Vistamar launched a “Bring Your Own Laptop” (BYOL) program in the fall of 2017 to allow our students to make even more effective use of digital technologies. All students are required to bring their own laptops to campus every day and use them as directed by their teachers according to the school's Responsible Use Policy (see here for details). Most laptop devices should be acceptable, provided that they meet the minimum specifications listed below (see the FAQ below). Students on Moderated Tuition will receive assistance to help them meet the requirement.

Our BYOL program will impact instruction at the school by ensuring that technology is always available to students, that their daily technology experience is consistent, and that the technology is well performing, with the result that our program will allow students to explore, make, and share their work more meaningfully and personally, especially as Vistamar continues to grow its STEAM and coding offerings. Moreover, our BYOL program will serve to connect students both within the Vistamar community, as well as helping them to participate in local and global conversations.

BYOL Program FAQ

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: What kind of computer should students bring to campus?

    Vistamar’s BYOL program does not impose specific requirements regarding brand, mode, or operating system for the laptop, provided that the device meets the minimum specifications below. Apple Mac devices made in or after 2012 or Windows machines running Windows 7 or 10 (we recommend avoiding Windows 8) should satisfy the program requirements. iPads and Android tablets, smartphones, and Chromebooks will not be acceptable. For specific questions about the requirements, contact Vistamar’s EdTech Office by phone at 424-277-1099 or by email at edtech@vistamarschool.org. More details on minimum device requirements are listed below.
     
    Specifications
    Mac
    PC
    Processor
    Intel i5 or i7
    Intel i5 or i7
    Operating System
    Mac OS X (10.10 or newer)
    Windows 7 or 10
    Memory (RAM)
    8 GB minimum
    Hard Drive
    128 GB minimum (Preferably a Solid-State Drive)
    Wireless
    Must have 802.11an/801.11an or 802.11ac/801.11ac
    (802.11bgn and 801.11bg will not be supported)
    Camera/Microphone
    Built in
    Software
    • Microsoft Office (provided by Vistamar; details to follow)
    • Google Drive and Chrome web browser
     
    Additional Notes

    • It is strongly recommended that the machine is protected by a warranty or maintenance plan for at least one year from purchase date.

    • Battery life is critical, given the daily drain on it. Ideally, the computer should have a operating life of 8 hours on a single charge, and students must come to a school each day with a fully-charged computer. We also advise students to bring a charger, since Vistamar is unable to provide loaner power cords.

    • We also strongly recommend that students to bring their own headphones or earbuds to campus each day, given that we have a limited supply of our own headsets.
  • Q: Do I have to buy a new computer?

    It is not necessary to purchase a new computer, provided that the device meets the minimum specifications listed above. Otherwise, it may have difficulties running necessary software at Vistamar. Refurbished computers often perform as well as a new machine and can be purchased at a much lower cost than a new device.
  • Q: Are there suggested purchasing options?

    CDW has put together a collection of device options, along with warranties and other options: see the "Featured Products" here, with special pricing options for Vistamar.

    Otherwise, devices can be purchased at any Apple Store, Microsoft Store, Best Buy, or other consumer electronics retailer. Alternatively, see the available refurbished deals for Apple devices on mac of all trades and for PC devices at Best Buy.

    Note that refurbished machines can often work just as well as a new machine.
  • Q: What if we already own a computer?

    Provided that the computer was purchased relatively recently (e.g., within the past 3 years) and meets the specifications outlined above, it should be adequate for school use. Vistamar’s BYOL program will not require the newest and most powerful computers in any way.
  • Q: Is supplemental moderated tuition available?

    A stipend of up to $400 toward a device purchase will be available for students participating in Vistamar’s Moderated Tuition program. Please complete the Supplemental Moderated Fund Request form here and call 310-643-7377 or send an email to byol@vistamarschool.org for more information.
  • Q: Do I have to buy any productivity software?

    We strongly recommend that you install Google Drive and the Chrome browser, before arriving to campus next fall. We will set aside time to ensure that students have time to install software and connect to printers.

    Microsoft Office will be provided, as needed, to all Vistamar students, when instructions for installing it will be shared.  Otherwise, for most situations, G-Suite software will fulfill all of their needs.
  • Q: Is any technical support available on campus?

    Vistamar will support students in connecting to our network and printers and accessing basic tools like myVistamar and Google Drive. We will also provide access to our technology support staff who can help students with minor problems during the school day.  

    On account of our staffing limitations, however, we are unable to provide extensive technical support for personal computers. The school will offer Chromebooks on short-term rental bases, when personal devices require service. Please note that individual families will be responsible for all service on students laptops, and for this reason, we strongly recommend that an extended warranty is purchased along with the laptop.
  • Q: How can students protect their device and digital documents?

    Vistamar does not insure student-owned devices against loss or damage, and we therefore strongly recommend that warranties be purchased along with the device.

    To protect against data loss, we also recommend that all digital documents created and used by students be stored in Google Drive. As students graduate from Vistamar, they will be able to retain possession of all of their digital documents stored in Drive.

    Students are encouraged to clearly label their devices to avoid misidentification, and we also recommended that students store devices in their lockers when not in use. Devices should never be left unattended around campus.

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Vistamar School is a private independent high school in the South Bay region of Los Angeles
Vistamar School  |  737 Hawaii Street, El Segundo, CA 90245  |  T: 310.643.7377  |  F: 310.643.7371