+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 28
Blue Skies Thread, Replacing teacher laptops with iPad devices (or similar) in General; I've been having a think about teacher laptops as we currently dish them out, and how they are an annoyance ...
  1. #1

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    17,095
    Thank Post
    511
    Thanked 2,308 Times in 1,784 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    803

    Replacing teacher laptops with iPad devices (or similar)

    I've been having a think about teacher laptops as we currently dish them out, and how they are an annoyance to maintain, in terms of viruses, random incompatible software packages etc...

    So, I have been thinking - could we replace those devices with iPads or similar (HP Slates or whatever). Then, the devices would be easier to maintain, software such as SIMS.net could be served either via the sharepoint weparts or via citrix, data would be stored remotely (removing data protection issues) etc...

    And for those 'typing' exercises that are necessary, wireless keyboards can be provided.

    Has anyone else thought about this?

  2. Thanks to localzuk from:

    HodgeHi (19th April 2010)

  3. #2
    pritchardavid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    South Ockendon, Thurrock, United Kingdom
    Posts
    932
    Thank Post
    18
    Thanked 64 Times in 58 Posts
    Rep Power
    25
    Umm quitte like that idea!

    Still your still get virus and still have to maintain it

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Surrey
    Posts
    2,161
    Thank Post
    95
    Thanked 318 Times in 260 Posts
    Blog Entries
    4
    Rep Power
    111
    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I've been having a think about teacher laptops as we currently dish them out, and how they are an annoyance to maintain, in terms of viruses, random incompatible software packages etc...

    So, I have been thinking - could we replace those devices with iPads or similar (HP Slates or whatever). Then, the devices would be easier to maintain, software such as SIMS.net could be served either via the sharepoint weparts or via citrix, data would be stored remotely (removing data protection issues) etc...

    And for those 'typing' exercises that are necessary, wireless keyboards can be provided.

    Has anyone else thought about this?
    You could go for an even lower maintenance and budget option.

    The day of the etch-a-sketch is coming!

    Or alternatively have a look at the Asus T491 (I think that's the right version), saves the expense of wireless keyboards and the fact that people will lose said keyboards. Careful setup of the machines with GPOs to lock them down and one global image to deploy to them and you've got pretty much what you want, but with a lot more control over the actual deployment than you'd get with iPads.

    Use the disk space to put on a recovery image, with a boot menu option to reinstall the image, and prevent local storage (hide the amount of storage available if you can - it can always be used for software which doesn't need to save data in a user-accessible area) and you've got pretty much what you're after.

  5. #4

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    17,095
    Thank Post
    511
    Thanked 2,308 Times in 1,784 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    803
    Quote Originally Posted by p-dave View Post
    Umm quitte like that idea!

    Still your still get virus and still have to maintain it
    The number of viruses in the wild for the iphone are tiny compared to the hundreds of thousands now attacking windows machines... Maintaining it will be a lot less - if it uses cloud applications for a lot of things.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    You could go for an even lower maintenance and budget option.

    The day of the etch-a-sketch is coming!

    Or alternatively have a look at the Asus T491 (I think that's the right version), saves the expense of wireless keyboards and the fact that people will lose said keyboards. Careful setup of the machines with GPOs to lock them down and one global image to deploy to them and you've got pretty much what you want, but with a lot more control over the actual deployment than you'd get with iPads.

    Use the disk space to put on a recovery image, with a boot menu option to reinstall the image, and prevent local storage (hide the amount of storage available if you can - it can always be used for software which doesn't need to save data in a user-accessible area) and you've got pretty much what you're after.
    Windows machines, whatever you do to them, have a high maintenance cost. GPOs fail (especially over wireless), viruses still get past your security etc... Why persist with that solution?

    Also, why persist with keyboards for everything? Most laptop use I see in our school is limited to tapping on an IWB. Very limited typing goes on.

    (PS. What is a the T491? A search returns nothing).

  6. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Northwest
    Posts
    79
    Thank Post
    1
    Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts
    Rep Power
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Has anyone else thought about this?
    Yes we are considering it (sort of). We are not replacing any staff laptops this financial year (apart from any that fail completely) and instead focusing on getting a PC in every teaching room; following that we hope to start phasing in the iPad / slate / iTouch etc to staff.

    In connection with that we are currently evaluating the TeacherWebFolder package to enable sims access to portable devices.

    I honestly think that staff laptops have had their day, in fact I think that the Laptops-for-Teacher scheme created a bit of a monster by giving teachers the impression that they are entitled to (what many consider to be) a computer to use at home – ie “their laptop”; and despite the scheme finishing years ago schools are now under a kind of unofficial obligation to still provide staff-laptops because its now “the done thing”

    A much more useful tool now is definitely a PDA type device, providing a single point of contact to each teacher, combining phone, email, access to sims and emergence support features all in a pocket size package. Once there’s a PC in pretty much every teaching room I can’t think of anything a teacher needs to do throughout the day that can’t be accomplished on an iTouch/iPhone etc.

  7. #6

    Theblacksheep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    In a house.
    Posts
    1,876
    Thank Post
    127
    Thanked 279 Times in 204 Posts
    Rep Power
    164
    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I've been having a think about teacher laptops as we currently dish them out, and how they are an annoyance to maintain, in terms of viruses, random incompatible software packages etc...

    So, I have been thinking - could we replace those devices with iPads or similar (HP Slates or whatever). Then, the devices would be easier to maintain, software such as SIMS.net could be served either via the sharepoint weparts or via citrix, data would be stored remotely (removing data protection issues) etc...

    And for those 'typing' exercises that are necessary, wireless keyboards can be provided.

    Has anyone else thought about this?
    Parts failure, battery replacements, screen damage and other jobs that you can hack together from other laptops would be more problematic on the ipad, possibly a send away job. data recovery might be another send away job and backing up "their" poxy itunes (on a school device) would grind my gears.

    I'm sure loads of teachers would love it, not sure I would.

  8. #7

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    17,095
    Thank Post
    511
    Thanked 2,308 Times in 1,784 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    803
    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    Parts failure, battery replacements, screen damage and other jobs that you can hack together from other laptops would be more problematic on the ipad, possibly a send away job. data recovery might be another send away job and backing up "their" poxy itunes (on a school device) would grind my gears.
    We don't hack laptops together here - they are bought with extended warranties, and replaced at the end of their useful life. Same as we would with any replacement device.

    I'm sure loads of teachers would love it, not sure I would.
    Loving it isn't something I would use as a reason for or against any technology. Personal feelings of a device are irrelevant. The questions are 'can it do the jobs needed of it' and 'can it do them in a more sustainable way than the current system'.

  9. #8

    Theblacksheep's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    In a house.
    Posts
    1,876
    Thank Post
    127
    Thanked 279 Times in 204 Posts
    Rep Power
    164
    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    We don't hack laptops together here - they are bought with extended warranties, and replaced at the end of their useful life. Same as we would with any replacement device.
    Lucky you!

  10. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Surburbia
    Posts
    2,178
    Thank Post
    74
    Thanked 307 Times in 243 Posts
    Rep Power
    114
    The questions are 'can it do the jobs needed of it'
    As in "what are the user's requirements?" Have you asked any of those then?

  11. #10

    SimpleSi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Lancashire
    Posts
    5,720
    Thank Post
    1,451
    Thanked 580 Times in 434 Posts
    Rep Power
    165
    in fact I think that the Laptops-for-Teacher scheme created a bit of a monster by giving teachers the impression that they are entitled to (what many consider to be) a computer to use at home – ie “their laptop”; and despite the scheme finishing years ago schools are now under a kind of unofficial obligation to still provide staff-laptops because its now “the done thing”
    Laptops for people who do work at home was standard 10 years ago - its not just a toys for teacher thing

    And now that losing data is such an issue, I think it becomes more important to make sure that teachers are only working on a school machine and not any old computer lying around at their home.

  12. #11

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Northwest
    Posts
    79
    Thank Post
    1
    Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts
    Rep Power
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    As in "what are the user's requirements?" Have you asked any of those then?
    In a purely business sense I think it’s more a case of the schools requirements rather than the users requirements.

    The school requires teachers to input registration data into sims, the school requires that teachers are contactable, the school requires that reports are completed, etc

    If a user “wants” to use IT to teach and “wants” to prepare that work on a laptop, at home, then it’s up to them to use their own means to fulfil their wants.


    Of course it’s not as black and white as that but mobile IT in teachers hands is probably more of a business tool now than a teaching tool, and if its not now – it will be in a few years.

  13. #12

    AngryTechnician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    3,723
    Thank Post
    695
    Thanked 1,206 Times in 759 Posts
    Rep Power
    393
    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    As in "what are the user's requirements?" Have you asked any of those then?
    That may have been said partly in jest but it is terribly important. As much as I like the sound of this idea, I'd be very surprised if your users really didn't do much typing. They may be just tapping on an IWB during lessons, but what about the admin and lesson planning they do at home?

    I recently completed the practical stage of a formal research project at my school to get solid, quantitative data on how staff use IT throughout the school. I ran a 2-hour focus group followed up with a whole-school survey, as well as spending time 1-on-1 with department heads. I've worked in schools for nearly 5 years now, and still encountered things that surprised me as a result of that research. The findings have played an important part in planning my budget for this year, and I'm currently in the middle of writing up my findings as evidence of why I've asked for the particular things I have in my budget bid. It's proven to be an extremely useful exercise for me that has helped a lot with planning, and I'd strongly recommend that approach.

  14. Thanks to AngryTechnician from:

    HodgeHi (19th April 2010)

  15. #13

    AngryTechnician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    3,723
    Thank Post
    695
    Thanked 1,206 Times in 759 Posts
    Rep Power
    393
    Quote Originally Posted by Kipling View Post
    If a user “wants” to use IT to teach... then it’s up to them to use their own means to fulfil their wants.
    In my opinion, any school that leaves using IT to teach as a "want" (rather than something that is actively encouraged or required) is failing its students.

    That aside, I would also point out that an awful lot of that work at home is unpaid overtime, and that if it couldn't be done at home, it wouldn't be done. Very few people like being in the office/classroom until 9pm. The school should be ecstatic that teachers "want" to do that work, and should think long and hard about providing kit that makes it easy for the teachers to do it.

  16. #14

    localzuk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Minehead
    Posts
    17,095
    Thank Post
    511
    Thanked 2,308 Times in 1,784 Posts
    Blog Entries
    24
    Rep Power
    803
    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    Lucky you!
    It isn't luck - it is the school recognition that IT is a critical part of education, and as such ensure we invest in it properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    As in "what are the user's requirements?" Have you asked any of those then?
    User requirements in a school environment are in most cases as Kipling says, dictated to the users. There are the odd few who do other things but as a school with limited funds we can't always afford to do this sustainably.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipling View Post
    If a user “wants” to use IT to teach and “wants” to prepare that work on a laptop, at home, then it’s up to them to use their own means to fulfil their wants.
    It is difficult to find the point where a school draws the line on what it funds. What you see as a want, some may see as a need.

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    That may have been said partly in jest but it is terribly important. As much as I like the sound of this idea, I'd be very surprised if your users really didn't do much typing. They may be just tapping on an IWB during lessons, but what about the admin and lesson planning they do at home?
    True, teachers do planning on their devices - but do these devices need to be fully fledged laptops with built in keyboards which they then have to carry all 2 + kg of around with them all day, plugging various things in every lesson, with the obvious pitfalls that they come with? My point is that in a classroom environment - the teachers don't often need that functionality, it is a function that is more often used at home, or during PPA time, so why pay for devices which have that functionality 100% of the time?

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    In my opinion, any school that leaves using IT to teach as a "want" (rather than something that is actively encouraged or required) is failing its students.

    That aside, I would also point out that an awful lot of that work at home is unpaid overtime, and that if it couldn't be done at home, it wouldn't be done. Very few people like being in the office/classroom until 9pm. The school should be ecstatic that teachers "want" to do that work, and should think long and hard about providing kit that makes it easy for the teachers to do it.
    I'm not going to go into this argument much, as it has been done to death, but please don't claim teachers do 'unpaid overtime' when they have 13 weeks holiday...

  17. #15

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Surburbia
    Posts
    2,178
    Thank Post
    74
    Thanked 307 Times in 243 Posts
    Rep Power
    114
    In a purely business sense I think it’s more a case of the schools requirements rather than the users requirements.
    Sure, I had user's requirements in order to do their job effectively in mind - these aren't always quite the same thing as what manglement think they need and it's always worth asking users even if you do get a few comedy answers.

    I would also point out that an awful lot of that work at home is unpaid overtime, and that if it couldn't be done at home, it wouldn't be done
    Absolutely. There's a Y5 teacher sat on the other side of the room right now **typing away** on a school laptop lesson planning, and doubtless will be for a couple of hours yet. Although she does this most weekday nights I'm quite sure she'd rather not. Can't comment on Secondary teachers coz I don't live with one but Primary schools all seem to *strongly depend* on this happening, ergo there is an unquestionable moral obligation to support it by providing a usable laptop stuffed with relevant s/w - the cost of that is a teensy fraction of the hours they get for free.

    please don't claim teachers do 'unpaid overtime' when they have 13 weeks holiday...
    Salaries are already down-sized to accomodate that aren't they?
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 19th April 2010 at 08:17 PM.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 5th January 2011, 09:40 AM
  2. Teacher Laptops v Teacher Desk Computer
    By geeky in forum Wireless Networks
    Replies: 48
    Last Post: 5th February 2010, 08:21 AM
  3. Replacing our laptops for registration
    By rush_tech in forum Hardware
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 31st March 2008, 05:58 PM
  4. Laptops with Broadcom Wifi Devices
    By timbo343 in forum Hardware
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 28th February 2008, 06:14 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •