Just out of interest, was this a school management decision?No wireless here, weary of future health implications, especially for the younger pupils and could not afford the infrastructure upgrade that would be required anyway.
andyturpie (17th October 2011)
We did the infrastructure work last year to support BYOT.
The scheme was opend up to staff and sixth form this year, we currently have around 150 user owned devices on site.
The infrastructure was - 10GB/s backbone, 80+ Meru access points, Commercial broadband (due November), 300x concurrent citrix licenses.
The wireless connects to a 'dirty' network which protects the internal network; connecting allows access to Citrix apps, Moodle apps, Google file storage.
To support BYOD we have ditched MSOffice for Teaching and Learning - this has saved us around £19,000 per year (to license MSOffice to 1900 users on Citrix/Terminal services we need to buy a license for every device). We are using Google apps instead of office for students, and libreoffice where google isn't upto scratch.
We have a strategic software strategy - software can only be purchased by departments if it can either run; license free on home user equimpent, via Moodle or via Citrix.
Well, when wireless has come up we state the costs involved to work well (i.e. any classroom in the school to comfortably handle 20-30 laptops at once) and the health warnings that are widely available across the web (most of the worries are the signs of negative effects on younger children in increasing studies, their fragile little skulls!). Our Head Teacher isn't particularly interested in technology so the only serious pushing for wireless is from a few minor teachers.
Personally, health and costs aside- we (i.e. myself and my line manager) just aren't that interested in the mobile learning 'benefits' that are claimed. I've seen and read some very good examples of great uses but to me it is like an icing on a cake and I'd rather myriad other services before a wireless network.
Already have around 1000 workstations, but in future we will be going thin client and utilising citrix a little better. Will continue to provide physical workstations for Art and Music as running Creative Suite 5.5 and Sibelius on thin client didnt really prove successful.
Although the latest release of IOS looks like its going to cause massive headaches and managing the devices sounds like a complete pain we will be going down the iPAD route probably for staff to start with, with a small number available for students. Suggestions being made that more tech enabled teachers will use Ipad with apple TV and citrix instead of using a PC or thin client.
We are at a major convergance point to looking at doing major upgrades ready for the future. Hoping to (if teh money holds out) virtualise backend, go vanilla & update to server 2008 & W7. Then have a good look at infrastructure, cabling, backbone & possibly wireless then tentatively move into thin client. Our aim is to get to the point where we could potentially provide BYOT if that is the way we or the school wish to move. If we don't we will still be in a position to provide good home working support for staff and students & be flexible in what we can achieve on site.
Mobile devices seem to be the next order of the day. Currently we are looking into providing Internet access to pupil phones and other personal devices. We already provide access to 6th former personal laptops under our 'Guest' account, though this involves them changing their laptop settings. For ad hoc mobile devices then it will need to be transparent.
It is not clear however, how this resource will transmit into teaching and learning. Has any schools got experience with any development projects using mobile devices effectively?
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