During the Q&A part of the night, there were a few questions about devices. Here is the response from Joe Andrews, Manager of Technology Services.
I would obviously recommend that the incoming freshmen have some sort of computing device available to them, and according the survey the District had sent out, the vast majority of kids apparently do. For new purchases, we are agnostic, really, as to the platform. If you like Macs, I say sure, go for it. If you prefer Windows, that’s absolutely fine. Chromebooks are obviously familiar and will fit the bill quite nicely, too. The idea is that much of the computer work they’ll be doing is cloud-based, like Google apps or Microsoft Office 365 – both of which students have license to use on any of the aforementioned platforms – iOS, too, if iPads better suit their style. The school will have devices (carts of Chromebooks) to be issued on a on a department-by-department basis for kids who can’t/don’t travel with their own. Relative to the Middle School, you’ll find that the technology piece isn’t as central to the day-to-day classroom activity (presently, at least), so there will probably some classes that will rarely require a computing device at all. It all rather depends on the individual teacher and how he or she has chosen to structure his/her courses. Classes like CAD (PC) and computer graphics (Mac) are taught within computer labs, so there’s no need to worry about having a device on hand that would be able to run those programs. We certainly couldn’t mandate such a thing for home use anyway.
As to applications, students obviously get the Google Apps free, but also Microsoft Office for free as long as they are in the District through their Office 365 license (https://portal.office.com). I can’t envision a scenario in which a teacher would request students to purchase any software, so I wouldn’t worry about that side of things. I can’t really speak to the college question, but my understanding is that most if not all use a learning management system of some sort (Blackboard, Canvas, Schoology, Moodle, Edmodo, etc.) that is platform-independent.
I hope that helps to some degree at least. I’m sorry it wasn’t made clearer at the presentation.