Device of Choice (D.O.C.) Program

Gilman's Device of Choice (D.O.C.) program intends to help create dynamic and independent learners within the Gilman classroom by requiring all Upper School students to bring a device of choice. We believe that by requiring a device of choice, our students and faculty will better utilize the skills necessary to learn in the 21st century environment. Students bring devices to class so they can use them for research, collaborative work, organization, and general classroom learning. The D.O.C. program ensures that all students will have the technology tools each student is most comfortable with to maximize the learning experience. We believe that the D.O.C. program helps individualize the learning process, allowing the individual boy to reach his potential.

Upper School students are required to bring a laptop or tablet to school every day. His choice of device should be based on what he feels best suits the needs for his classes. Loaners will be available should a personal device need repair or service. We are excited about the potential that this program provides to the Upper School curriculum and look forward to watching our boys and their teachers flourish as learners and instructors.

About D.O.C.

Why did Gilman’s Upper School move to Device of Choice (D.O.C.)?

We made the decision to require Upper School students to carry their own devices for several reasons. First and foremost, this decision was made in the best interest of the students as it will continue to enrich our academic program.

Allowing the boys to carry their device of choice provides them ready and equal access to the Internet and helps them develop the technological skills they will need as they continue their education at Gilman and beyond. By using his own device, each boy will gain an individual competency with hardware and software that stays with him.

By having his own device, a student will be able to access his school-provided email account; Canvas, our learning management system; and, myriad of other educational resources anytime and anywhere he has access to a Wi-Fi network. This should ease the transition between a student's technology capabilities at home and at school.

What kind of skills can I expect my student to use in a classroom utilizing his device?

Our faculty will ask students to use their devices as tools for supporting and demonstrating their pursuit of the Gilman Skills: thinking, communicating, collaborating, and creating.

Will Gilman teach students the importance of responsible, productive, and safe Internet use?

Gilman is committed to teaching students to be good digital citizens. The Administration and Faculty assist students in creating an atmosphere that attempts to bring the values of the Gilman Five to the 21st Century.

How can my student connect to the Gilman’s Wi-Fi network?

Students may connect to the Gilman wireless network on their device. Upon selecting the appropriate network, he will be prompted for his username and password which will in turn connect the device to the wireless network.

What are some of the devices you would recommend?

Below are some general guidelines for purchasing the right device for your son:

  • Apple MacBook laptop (models vary) - this is the most popular type of laptop students use in the Upper School. Either the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro should meet your son's needs throughout his years in the Upper School. It can be the most expensive option, however, it usually holds up better than any other device.
  • Chromebook (makers and models vary) - this type of device comes in as perhaps the most affordable device that can work for your son, as it runs on the Google Chrome operating system and directly ties into the G Suite, which we use as a school. While it may not be as flashy as a Mac, it can still meet most of the needs that your son might have.
  • Windows laptop/tablet (makers and models vary) - with makers like HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Microsoft, you have lots of options for picking a Windows laptop. The most important thing to consider when choosing a Windows laptop is the ruggedness of it (can it handle the bumps of a teenager?), and the warranty. Any current Windows laptop will meet your son's needs in the Upper School, so it's more about the quality of the device itself. A visit to your local Best Buy should get you whatever you want.
  • Apple iPad (regular or Air, not Pro) - a few students use this, however, I would not recommend it as an option at this time.

In the end, you only want to spend your money once here. We recommend buying a laptop now that will last him all four years, so that you do not need to worry about buying another one until it is time for college. Some buy too cheap now, and end up having to buy another one before he graduates Gilman. So be sure to spend well now.

In terms of hardware specs, here are some general guidelines:

  • was made in the last 6-12 months
  • is running the latest operating system
  • has at least 256GB of storage
  • has at least 8GB of RAM/memory (get more if you can)
  • has at least a 3-4 year warranty (incl. accidental damage if you can get it)
  • has at least an 11" screen
  • must have up-to-date free or paid anti-virus/anti-malware software installed (e.g. Avast, BitDefender, TrendMicro)

In terms of software, Gilman will provide your son with any Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc.) or Adobe Creative Cloud (Acrobat, Photoshop, etc.) applications that he may need for a class. So please do not purchase any of these.

If I need advice or assistance in buying a device where can I go?

If you have any questions about what type of device to purchase for your son, please contact the Director of Technology, Tye Campbell, at

Are tablets a viable option for use in the classroom?

A tablet refers to any number of tablet or slate shaped devices that can be manipulated using a touch screen. While the iPad is currently the most popular tablet, there are Android OS and Windows OS tablets as well.

Students have the option to use a tablet if they feel that device best suits their needs for their classes. The tablet needs to be capable of accessing the Internet, opening various document types, and keyboard-capable for easy typing.

What are the minimum requirements for devices?

  • Laptops should have at least 8GB or RAM (memory), and at least 256GB of hard drive storage.
  • Up-to-date anti-virus software is always required - we recommend Avast or BitDefender - both offer quality, free products.
  • For iPads: 9.7" Wi-Fi-only model (no cellular) with at least 32GB of storage; should be no more than one year old when purchased, and capable of running the latest version of iOS.
  • For Android tablets: 9" Wi-Fi-only model (no cellular) with at least 32GB of storage; should be no more than one year old when purchased, and capable of running the latest version of Android OS.

What software does Gilman require our students to have?

As a G Suite school (formerly Google Apps for Education), we use the free G Suite software, including Docs, Sheet, and Slides. In the event a student needs an application from the Microsoft Office or Adobe suites, Gilman will provide it for free.

What happens if my son's device is lost or stolen?

Students and their families will be responsible for the safety and security of their personal devices. Families should check with their homeowners or renters insurance carrier to see if a lost or stolen device can be replaced through their coverage.

Another option would be to use Safeware, a company that specializes in insurance for all types of electronic devices. Explore the Safeware option.

Will Gilman have loaner devices available?

Yes. If a student's device is out for service, ETS will have loaner laptops available for use during the school day. Laptops can be borrowed overnight, if necessary.

How will my son keep his device charged during the school day?

Students should come to school with their devices fully charged. They should consider charging their devices as part of the daily home assignments.

Should students need to charge their device during the school day, there are outlets in the classrooms and common rooms. In addition, there will be a limited number of charging stations set up throughout the Upper School.

Will students be able to print from their personal devices?

Yes. There will be printers available in easily accessible locations in the Upper School for students to use for printing.

Will I receive tuition assistance that can be applied to the purchase of a device?

If you receive tuition assistance from Gilman, you can see more information about financing the purchase of a device by clicking here.

New Upper School families receiving tuition assistance will receive a letter during the summer regarding Device of Choice purchases.


Safeware specializes in insurance for all types of electronic devices.


Should you have any questions or concerns about the Device of Choice Program, please contact:

Tye Campbell

Director of Technology
School: 339