Stone recommends Windows.
Situated in Dartford, Kent, Oakfield Primary Academy opened its doors in 2008. It is part of the Galaxy Trust and is a large school serving the needs of 708 pupils aged 3 – 11 years old. The school says learning, laughter, challenge and responsibility are encouraged and celebrated.
As a newer school, it boasts a contemporary, innovative building with state-of-the-art facilities and benefits from an extensive range of equipment and apparatus. All classrooms have access to laptops, iPads and interactive whiteboards, however, the laptops at ten years old, were approaching end of life.
Tanya Aldrich, Oakfield’s IT Technician, is responsible for providing technical support throughout the school and managing their IT estate. She said: “Our existing laptops were quite heavy and clunky, so were not ideal for children. They ran very slowly, which was frustrating for both children and staff, and we also needed to introduce Windows 10, so it was the right time for an update.”
The school was familiar with Stone products as Stone had supplied them with numerous pieces of kit over the years. “My own computer uses a Stone keyboard that is at least 15 years old and it’s as good as new,” she said, “so I was keen to talk to Stone experts to ask their advice.”
Tanya caught up with Stone when they were exhibiting at Bett, the industry leading exhibition for education technology. At the Bett show, the Stone team listened to Tanya as she outlined the needs and aims of the school. They then arranged to visit the school for further consultation and to showcase several potential products.
Stone structure their teams to ensure their staff can be experts in their respective verticals and product areas and every customer has their own dedicated account manager as a trusted point of contact for advice, guidance and support.
“Stone really know their stuff, and of course, they know schools. After discussing the various options available, we narrowed it down to a few core products that may have been suitable,” said Tanya. “Stone came into school to demonstrate them and I invited other staff to come along too, including our Head of Finance and teaching colleagues.”
During the visit, Stone explained the advantages and limitations of the various models they had set up, and the staff were able to trial and assess the products for themselves. Eventually, they all unanimously agreed that the Stonebook Mini was the ideal product for the school.
Compact and reliable, the Stonebook Mini is as lightweight and portable as a netbook yet provides the power and performance of a larger laptop. Designed with education in mind, it’s robust enough to withstand the knocks of life in primary school without compromising on affordability, functionality or quality. Powered by Windows 10 and featuring an 11.6” HD display and a 6 and half hour battery life, the Stonebook Mini is an agile learning companion that’s built to last the entire school day.
“Once we had decided on the model, we then had to consider how best to fund the new equipment,” explained Tanya. “Stone were really patient as we asked them to continually amend the quote as we worked through a variety of scenarios that worked for the school. We are really happy with our final decision.”
The school decided to lease the 140 laptops for three years and each device is under warranty for three years, supported by Stone’s own expert engineers and helpdesk. At the end of period, the school can then choose to extend their warranties, or simply replace the machines. This flexibility and added layer of support from Stone is paramount for Tanya as she is a team of one.
“I have every faith in Stone products, but it’s good to know they are just a phone call away if we do have any issues and we need to fix or replace any of the machines,” she said. “The warranty is just fantastic.”
Tanya says that she and all the service users are pleased with both the look and performance of the Stonebook Mini, which has made using IT in the classroom much faster, easier and intuitive.
Stone really know their stuff, and of course, they know schools.
If there is an issue, I know that Stone will come to me, which makes life a lot easier.
Stone understand how important it is to keep everyone happy - IT, finance and the teaching and support staff.
Tanya Aldrich, IT Technician