Around December of 2017, many of the BSN students signed a terms-agreement with the Department of Technology to receive new devices as a replacement for the outdated iPads.

In the last several years all BSN students (ages 11 and upwards) were required to pay three-quarters of the price for iPads as part of the BSN curriculum. However, just last year, students were given the latest Microsoft hybrids free of charge: The Surface Pros.

We sat down and had a chat with Ben Moore, former student of the BSN and one of the members of the IT department that helped set up the transition period for the device switch.

We inquired about the reason for the large transition, and he stated that he believed it would “Get us more involved in technology”, and that “They are built better for school work, for example writing an essay on word is easier”.

In his opinion, the largest obstacle when moving to the Surface Pros was the “Roll-out”. “We had to provide 70 teachers with Surface Pros, and 570 students with Surface Pros in the first week or so”.

Mr. Wilson, another member of IT staff, stated that the most difficult aspect of the change was “The user training. Teaching people how to set-up and use the Surface Pros”.

The final thing we asked Mr. Moore about was the general purchase of the Surface Pros: why the parents had to pay most of the iPad’s price, but the Surface Pros were provided without charge. When questioned with that, he stated: “The iPads were more of a personal device, they were owned by the students. The Surface Pros however are a property of the school, and when a student leaves, the school can take them back”.

 

Opinions of students from various year groups

 

“I think that the iPads were more convenient than the Surface Pros. The Surface Pros are quite bigger and heavier. A lot of things can’t be accessed through the Surface Pros, which I think annoys most of us. They are also more fragile, some not lasting more than two months mostly due to broken metal stands. But technology wise, the Surface Pros are faster and easier to share information with others.”

Amira (Y10)

“Personally, I like having a Surface Pro. They are way more convenient than our iPads. Although on the iPad, it was easier to game or check your Instagram account as it wasn’t blocked. The stylus on the Surface Pros work well and the battery life lasts quite long. The screen resolution and quality are better enhancing different.”

Aminata (Y10)

“The Surface Pros are very useful, especially when it comes with a stylus, but they are less compatible as they are heavier than the iPad. The Surface Pro weighs 910 grams while the iPad weighs 477 grams.”

Dunmininu (Y9)

“The Surface Pros are an improvement from the iPad because they allow you to do more. However, the transition was very sudden, and it was difficult at first to use it efficiently in lessons because no one knew how to use them (including teachers). Despite this the Surface Pros allow us to share, edit and view documents easier. The Surface Pro is also far more equipped for work, whereas the iPads are made for personal use (Music, YouTube, Gaming…maybe). On the other hand, the Surface Pros are inconsistent with their performance and sometimes they freeze or crash exactly when you start playing games. Furthermore, the internet connection is not as strong/efficient as before because of how many of us are using the internet and Surface Pros at once. The Surface Pro covers are appalling to look at compared to the iPad covers and it is not as good at protecting the Surface Pro.”

Serban (Y9)

By Igor, Serban, Aminata, Amira, and Dunmininu.