FAQs: Devices for Education Teams

Frequently Asked Questions

Devices for Education Teams gives your school the devices it needs in an affordable and easy to manage way.

If you cannot find an answer to any question you may have on this page, call us on 0203 970 4994.

Windows for schools

What are the benefits of Surface Laptop SE over Surface Go?

The Surface Laptop SE is more affordable, has a longer battery life and can only be purchased by schools and educational institutions, making it less for the individual but more for a whole class in a 1:1, managed solution.

Why has HardSoft selected the Windows Surface Laptop SE as the device of choice for schools?

The Surface Laptop SE is affordable and designed specifically for schools. It can be managed centrally to reduce any risk to students and schools and its durability means that students can use them in several environments.

What is Windows 11 SE?

Windows 11 SE is a cloud-first edition of Windows designed to run on low-cost devices for primary-age students. It provides teachers with a simple, distraction-free environment for their students and for school IT admins.

How does Windows 11 SE compare to Windows 11 Pro?

Windows 11 SE is a restricted version of the full Windows 11 operating system and only features apps approved by Microsoft to ensure a better classroom experience.

What is the difference between Windows 11 SE and Chrome OS?

These are two very different operating systems for different Users. Chrome OS has a simple user interface offering users what they need and nothing more. Windows offers more features and the ability to run Microsoft apps natively.

What is Minecraft: Education Edition?

Minecraft: Education Edition brings the hugely popular online game to the classroom with an engaging virtual spin on Maths, English, Geography, Science, and all other school subjects.

What is Mobile Device Management?

Mobile Device Management or MDM is software that allows IT administrators to control, secure and enforce policies on phones, tablets, and laptops. It means that all your devices can be managed from a single source.

Which approved software is on the Surface Laptop SE?

Windows 11 SE comes with all the key Microsoft 365 apps preinstalled but third-party apps such as Zoom and Chrome can be installed. Browser-based apps such as Spotify can then be used if needed.

How can I install different apps to the Surface Laptop SE?

All of the apps pre-installed on the Surface Laptop SE have been curated by Microsoft to offer the best experience for educators and students. Microsoft are open to adding new apps by request but this will have to be done through them.




iPad for schools

Why should I choose iPads instead of laptops for my classroom?

iPads are easier to understand and use and much more portable than a laptop. They provide the freedom for students to effortlessly share their work with each other and the teacher and the touchscreen allows for the use of immersive writing, sketching and augmented reality applications.

How can teachers monitor students’ progress on an iPad?

The student progress feature can be enabled to get an overview of each student’s performance, see which apps they are using and tailor your lesson plans to meet the individual needs of the class.

How can each iPad be administered by the school?

Jamf School is a purpose-built mobile device management solution (MDM) for schools and can be used deploy and manage Apple devices.

Can iPads be shared between students?

Yes. If two or more students use the same iPad, they can still make it their own with the use of the Shared iPad feature. With a personal login or easy to remember PIN, students can find their homework, apps and assignments exactly as they left them.




Student needs

What is 1:1 computing in education?

1:1 computing, or 1:1 learning, is an approach to learning where each student owns their own mobile device such as a tablet or laptop, on which they conduct most of their learning tasks.

What are the main benefits for students of 1:1 learning?

1:1 learning has been shown to enable greater autonomy for learners, unlocks hidden potential for those with communication difficulties and promotes practice that reaches beyond the school, into homes and the community.

How safe are students when using laptops and iPads in class?

Devices designed specifically for schools have been built with security in mind, from the hardware to the cloud services they use.

Can students with special educational needs and disabilities also benefit from laptops in schools?

Technology offers students multiple ways to learn the same subject through video, 3D, illustrations or even games. Laptops and tablets can be used to ensure students learn in their own way and unlock potential that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

Can devices for schools be used at home?

Yes. Work can be continued offline at home and even if no internet connectivity is available. All files will sync to the school’s servers when the student returns.




Teacher needs

How much training will be required to use laptops or tablets for schools

The educational versions of Windows and iPad OS offer schools are easier to get to grips with due to them being reduced, less complex versions of their fully-packed counterparts. There are many online training courses such the Tablet Academy, which can support teachers and support staff with a range of new laptop and tablet devices.

How will a teacher’s daily routine be affected by 1:1 learning?

Laptops in the classroom will have a major impact on lesson plans as the use of technology opens many new avenues of delivering learning content. Students will also have greater autonomy when consuming content and completing tasks at their own pace.

How can teachers ensure each device is suitably managed and in good operating condition?

Each laptop can be centrally managed with the use of a Mobile Device Management system such as Intune or Jamf School. This means that the status of all devices can be viewed and analysed from a single computer and any maintenance can be planned from there.

What are the main benefits of 1:1 computing?

1:1 computing in schools has many benefits such as easier to monitor pupil progress, backed-up files, increased involvement of parents and other stakeholders, reduced costs, less paper and printing waste and greater learning autonomy.




School needs

Will more devices in schools mean more risk of cyberattack?

The Surface Laptop SE is designed with security in mind, from the hardware, software and cloud-based systems. Any technology in schools is at risk of cyberattack and the SE is no different.

How will a greater digital presence impact a school’s ability to meet GDPR and other privacy legislation?

The digital storage of personal data is safer and more accessible than in paper-based systems. Automation software can also be used to delete records after a given period.

What are the cost benefits of switching to a fully digital classroom with Surface Laptop SE?

Cost savings can be made with less paper and ink use while leasing the extremely affordable Surface Laptop SE gives your school access to several highly capable devices at the fraction of the cost of other devices and solutions.

Are there any hidden costs of leasing?

Not with HardSoft. All our fees are clearly defined at the point of purchase.

How long has HardSoft been trading?

We have been leasing computer devices for over 35 years.

Are there additional support plans to what is already being offered?

Yes. Our team of expert solutions engineers will be happy to offer you a bespoke solution to align with your school’s needs more closely.


Can you explain SafeGuard cover in more detail?

Our SafeGuard Protection Cover covers theft, accidental damage, fire, flood, storm, vandalism, electrical disturbances, falling objects. You can claim for two incidents per device per year in terms of accidental damage with £29 excess per incident.

How will all my school’s laptops be set up and ready to use?

Our pre-deployment service means we can set up accounts and settings in the way you need them for each individual device and have them ready to use straight out the box.

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