Academics

Academic Technology

Every Catholic Memorial student is required to have a device that will facilitate his education both in the classroom and at home. The minimum hardware and software specifications required for these devices, along with a Home Technology Readiness Checklist and a list of Frequently Asked Questions can be found below.

The thoughtful inclusion of technology resources throughout the curriculum will not only enhance the educational experience for all of our students but also better prepare them for the collegiate and work environments they will encounter beyond Catholic Memorial.

Below are recommended minimum standards for families purchasing computers for their sons to meet Catholic Memorial’s technology requirements. Please note that a device that meets ANY of these requirements will be sufficient to run the full range of productivity and educational applications that a typical student will need during his time at CM. Selecting a device with higher requirements will provide better performance and may extend its useful lifespan.

2022-23 Tech Requirements

GOOD BETTER BEST
Processor Intel Core i5 Intel Core i7 Intel Core i7
Memory 8GB 16GB 16+GB
Storage 256 GB SSD 256 GB SSD 512+ GB SSD
Operating System  Windows 11 Home Windows 11 Home Windows 11 Professional
Webcam Yes Yes Yes
USB Yes Yes Yes
HDMI No No Yes
  • Processor – We recommend Intel over AMD processors because we feel they provide better performance, reliability, and compatibility.
  • Manufacturer – We have no strong preferences regarding brands but suggest families choose one which they have researched for durability and reliability or are comfortable with based on their own experience.  The HP and Lenovo brands shown above were selected merely as typical price point examples.  Apple computers with comparable specifications are also excellent, though typically, slightly more expensive options.
  • Retailers – Laptops are commodities whose prices change almost daily.  We strongly encourage families to shop around for the best pricing when they are ready to make a purchase.  Frequently, specific models being phased out are still excellent computers but may be steeply discounted.
  • USB – While most students store and exchange files with faculty and other students via cloud storage, we encourage families to choose devices that have some USB ports which not only allow the use of a thumb drive but also facilitate the connection of external devices like keyboards and mice.
  • Microsoft Office – Students do NOT need to purchase Microsoft Office.  Their CM email account includes free access to the Office suite of products.
Not so long ago it seems, a single laptop or desktop computer with an attached printer in each home was more than enough to meet the needs of an entire family. A little juggling of schedules was adequate to overcome any conflicts that might arise among family members. In recent years, though, technology has become more central in completing homework and facilitating parents working from home, while at the same time, our homes and entertainment experiences have become far more internet dependent as well. Very recently, the remote working and learning requirements brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic have brought to the forefront the importance of being deliberate and thoughtful in planning our at-home technology environments. Ensuring that all family members have the appropriate spaces, technology, and capacity to complete their daily activities has been both essential and at times challenging.

To help address some of these challenges, here are a few simple guidelines for families to consider with respect to their home technology environments. While not an exhaustive list, the items listed below are some of the most important, and attention to them will provide the most benefit for all.

Internet Bandwidth
This is the single most important consideration. As more and more devices in the home share a single internet connection, the strain increases on available bandwidth as determined by the contract with your Internet provider (Verizon Fios, Xfinity, RCN, etc.). In particular, the increase in streaming video for remote classes and meetings places a high demand on bandwidth. To conserve bandwidth, consider turning off video when possible for meetings and classes and rely exclusively on audio. Turn off devices that are not necessary but may be consuming internet bandwidth, like streaming audio services. While not using a high amount of bandwidth, every little bit helps. Use an online application to test the speed of your internet connection. If you continue to experience poor performance on your device, it may be worthwhile talking to your provider about options to upgrade your service.

Wireless Coverage
Most households use wireless services to connect the many devices in the home to the internet. Frequently, though, your internet router does not provide good coverage throughout the entire house, and there may be many spots with weak or even no signal where it would be beneficial to use connected devices. A network extender can assist with this problem. These can be readily purchased through technology retailers, but their configuration and location are important to maximize their usefulness. Poorly placed or configured extenders can actually worsen network performance, so be sure to get technical assistance from the retailer or your internet provider first. Also, be sure to enable access to security features on your wireless network. You don’t want to be the internet provider for your neighbors.

Printing
Although more and more documents are exchanged and submitted electronically, printed copies of materials still play an important role in our lives. While having a multi-function device that can print, scan, and copy may seem like a luxury, it can be of great value in facilitating work and school activities. Most are now capable of wireless connection and can be placed anywhere with sufficient wireless signal. Consider placing it in a location that is accessible to all but where the noise will not disturb others in the household.

Charging Devices
Identify locations where your devices can be conveniently charged when not in use and, preferably, can be plugged in during extended use or overnight.

Comfortable Workspaces
A couch or bed may seem like a comfortable short-term location for completing some work, but it is not ideal for long stretches of sustained work or studying. Identify specific spaces where each family member can work which has good lighting; available power; sufficient space for textbooks, notebooks, and other resources; and comfortable ergonomics.

Sharing Devices
In a fully remote environment, everyone frequently needs to be working simultaneously. Each user will likely need his own device in order to complete work and assignments in a timely way, meet necessary deadlines, and participate in scheduled activities like classes, meetings, or webinars. Consequently, it is often simply impractical for family members to share computers.

FAQ

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  • Are Apple products allowed or recommended?

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  • Does my son need a separate calculator if he has a laptop?

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  • How long should a computer last?

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  • How will you ensure that academic integrity is maintained since students can so easily exchange documents?

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  • My son already owns a Chromebook. Does that meet the requirements?

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  • Should I purchase an antivirus software subscription for the device?

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  • Should we purchase an extended warranty or service contract for the device?

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  • We have more than one son at CM. Can siblings share devices?

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  • What brand of computer do you recommend, and where should we buy it?

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  • What peripherals and accessories should I purchase?

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  • What software should I purchase for my son to use in his classes?

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  • What will my son use the computer for in class?

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  • Where do we go for technical support or hardware repairs?

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  • Where will my son store his files and how does he back them up?

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  • Will my son be able to charge his computer during the school day?

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  • Will my son be able to purchase e-textbooks in place of hardcopies of the book?

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  • Will my son need a printer at home and will printing be available at CM?

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  • Will my son use the device every day in every class?

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CM prepares students for the rigors of college and beyond. While here, boys embark on service-learning opportunities, leadership development, and character formation programs inspiring them to become confident, courageous young men motivated to do good in the world. 

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  • Catholic Memorial

    Catholic Memorial

    235 Baker Street
    West Roxbury, MA 02132
    P. (617) 469-8000
    F. (617) 977-5689

About Us

Catholic Memorial, the Christian Brothers School of Boston, prepares boys for college, manhood and a world full of unknown challenges, ambiguity and complex problems and the importance of relationships.