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Blue Skies Thread, Teachers and Laptops in General; Originally Posted by glennda you could also say the school doesn't have the money to provide it - if they ...
  1. #16
    bodminman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    you could also say the school doesn't have the money to provide it - if they want to take a pay cut so they can get a laptop i'm sure they will just buy a laptop!
    Nah, they'll just make a member of the non teaching staff redundant to make way for a few shiny laptops!

  2. #17
    BKGarry's Avatar
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    At my current school (been here 4 year) staff have always had laptops, as they used to use it with bromcom years ago, and then since at least 2004 they have used SIMS.net and Lesson monitor.

    In the move into our new school, we looked at the cost of PCs per classroom, but to be honest, the space saving and mobility of staff with laptops it is much easier. The one thing we did do is purchase a HP "USB Docking Station" (basically a port replicator) which means they only ever have to plug in 1 usb cable for Ethernet, Sound, Projector, IWB and any other peripherals.

    Also, when we have been looking at purchasing in bulk, i find laptops can be cheaper than PCs especially when you have a laptop assigned (not through a student purchase scheme) to each student in years 09, 10 and 11.

  3. #18

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    We provided a desktop in each teaching space, plus enough in staff areas to hot-desk, and PCs in offices for those who have offices. Remote access from home for all. There were grumblings on occasion but the setup is robust and there's little downtime from PC failures. No problems of connecting cables and finding tey don't work for whatever reason, no flat batteries, less to carry, less to drop, less to have stolen. Laptops provided to a small handful of staff who really did need to be mobile and managing things from a minibus or whatever. In a school where teachers going home before 6pm is a rarity and many are at work before 8, the classroom and office desktops get used heavily outside class time.
    And realistically teachers do have their own PCs at home and also have broadband access so working remotely isn't a problem (and they do work late too - I've fielded help calls well after midnight!)

  4. #19
    steve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    Ahhh but you forget (and I had an argument with a HT about this) that their job starts at 8:45 (or whenever registration starts) and ends at 3:15 (or whenever the last bell for the students ring).

    My argument to the HT was that the staff have non contact time/ppa time and use it to go offsite to the shops or what have you and then moan they have too little time to work at school hence taking the work home. I used the point that if they used the ppa time like it is meant too and work until 5pm in the school instead of leaving at 3:15, they have ample time to use the school equipment and plan lessons.

    Not saying all teachers are doing this but many are from experience of nearly 20 schools in my LEA that I have helped out.
    Teachers are typically paid to work a fixed number of hours per year (1265 for a full time teacher). Their teaching / ppa / extra curric events / meetings don't usually go anywhere where near this figure. When they choose to use these is often left to their discretion - e.g. do they do lesson prep in holidays, weekend or after school - it's their choice.

    What you would be doing is changing the working practices of the staff, which really should be negotiated with their unions.

  5. #20

    john's Avatar
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    We have got rid of the staff laptop and it was a painful experience for some but laptops are cheap enough now for them to afford to buy an entry level one and they are professionals how can a professional person be without one in this day and age really?

    All our rooms have a fixed PC with Projector and IWB and that works the best and ensures reliability and keeps the on-costs down.

    We will have from September, when we are a larger site, a small number of netbooks staff can book out on a short term loan to support them during reporting times or in the event of home PC failure.

  6. #21

    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    and they are professionals how can a professional person be without one in this day and age really?
    I would say how can a professional employer expect their workers to their jobs without providing them with the tools to do it

    I don't mind a HT saying I'm going to save money by not buying laptops/photcopier paper/sealing the leaking roof but I don't think these are good business descisions.

    I would particularly respect a HT who led by example (as oposed to wanting an Iphone/IPad/laptop every year/personal colour laser printer and Desktop machine provided for them )

    Si

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    bodminman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    I would say how can a professional employer expect their workers to their jobs without providing them with the tools to do it
    Isn't providing them with the tools etc onsite doing this?

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    truebluesteve's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies - there are some very interesting points in them.

    The SLT view on the issue of staff who dont have computers at home is that it is unreasonable in this day and age to expect the school to provide one. If they didn't have their school laptop then would have to buy their own as everyone else does. Its difficult to argue against that!

    From a personal point of view I wouldn't mind seeing the back of laptops as they are very high maintenance compared to a desktop pc and wont last as long.


    Infrastructure wise we will be ok as each classroom has at least 1 network socket. What is more of an issue is the space to place additional PCs as we have more teachers than rooms. Also heads of year offices currently only have PC for the administrator so we may have issues there with network ports.

    This issue has been rumbling on for a while now and our laptops are breaking down and becoming difficult to repair. So much so in fact that we may be forced to buy a few new ones as spares untill a strategy is formed by the SLT

  9. #24

    nephilim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve View Post
    What you would be doing is changing the working practices of the staff, which really should be negotiated with their unions.
    Not at all...you are replacing mobile equipment (which has a tendancy to be easily broken, stolen, misplaced, damaged, easy to get virus' when taken home etc) with equipment that is secure (in terms that they are in the school), less likely to be stolen, misplaced, broken, damaged, and for the most part less likely to get a virus.

    As for union consultation, NASUWT said they were against the laptops for teachers scheme in the first place as it would cause nothing but havok (according to the NASUWT union rep in my old school), and are still against teachers using laptops at home (again according to the union rep)

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    I feel I have to jump in and add my 2p as a proponent of 1:1 notebooks for teachers.

    For the past 5 years or so we've been handing out notebooks to 'eligible staff' - eligible being staff members who aren’t tied to desks. The policy has been run on the understanding that while the notebook is in the care of the staff member it is their responsibility and that we will charge for any damages even if it is warranty replaceable.
    We've mixed this policy in with highly robust (but still fairly cheap) HP notebooks (TPM, Drive Guard and enough horse power to throw any OS at them) and most of all a site wide wireless network.
    Further to that we require that once every 6 months the PC spends 2hrs up in the IT office being checked over.

    In reward staff get their notebook swapped out every 3 years with a new model with the old ones going to student use (however the increasing use of thin clients in the school is diminishing the need for notebooks).

    Staff members regularly take their notebooks home and hook up to our VPN (which has been a huge hit since being introduced) and rarely forget to bring their notebook back in as they know the response will be - 'come back in 2 hours' at which point they are issued any old random notebook that we could find lying around.

    So yes it sounds like we operate with a lot of stick and not a lot of carrot but it works - the staff get the work done, annual replacement costs to the IT Department is around 8k/year and I would never ever consider limiting the staff members to just desktops in the classrooms and PCs in the staff room.

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    So yes it sounds like we operate with a lot of stick and not a lot of carrot but it works - the staff get the work done, annual replacement costs to the IT Department is around 8k/year and I would never ever consider limiting the staff members to just desktops in the classrooms and PCs in the staff room.
    how many staff?

  12. #27
    jamesfed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glennda View Post
    how many staff?
    Averages between 70-80 with notebooks at any given time, another 20 who just have a desktop (admin staff ect).

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    truebluesteve's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    I feel I have to jump in and add my 2p as a proponent of 1:1 notebooks for teachers.

    For the past 5 years or so we've been handing out notebooks to 'eligible staff' - eligible being staff members who aren’t tied to desks. The policy has been run on the understanding that while the notebook is in the care of the staff member it is their responsibility and that we will charge for any damages even if it is warranty replaceable.
    We've mixed this policy in with highly robust (but still fairly cheap) HP notebooks (TPM, Drive Guard and enough horse power to throw any OS at them) and most of all a site wide wireless network.
    Further to that we require that once every 6 months the PC spends 2hrs up in the IT office being checked over.

    In reward staff get their notebook swapped out every 3 years with a new model with the old ones going to student use (however the increasing use of thin clients in the school is diminishing the need for notebooks).

    Staff members regularly take their notebooks home and hook up to our VPN (which has been a huge hit since being introduced) and rarely forget to bring their notebook back in as they know the response will be - 'come back in 2 hours' at which point they are issued any old random notebook that we could find lying around.

    So yes it sounds like we operate with a lot of stick and not a lot of carrot but it works - the staff get the work done, annual replacement costs to the IT Department is around 8k/year and I would never ever consider limiting the staff members to just desktops in the classrooms and PCs in the staff room.
    Well I thought the decision had been made to withdraw the scheme, but I have just been told that that it hasn't.

    One of the big issues that I do have is that a many staff treat their laptops like they would a company car, and are very blase when they get damaged. There is an expectation, I think, that they are entitled to a laptop!

  14. #29
    IrritableTech's Avatar
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    I've assisted the move from laptops to desktops in a number of the schools my team provide support to. I always think that desktop machines give a much higher standard of service for teaching and learning (that's the aim right?).

    Usually as a sweetener, the teacher gets to keep their old laptop to take home and use. Many, after a reinstall with the basics are more than capable for the basics the teacher wants to do from home.

  15. #30
    IrritableTech's Avatar
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    I've assisted the move from laptops to desktops in a number of the schools my team provide support to. I always think that desktop machines give a much higher standard of service for teaching and learning (that's the aim right?).

    Usually as a sweetener, the teacher gets to keep their old laptop to take home and use. Many, after a reinstall with the basics are more than capable for the basics the teacher wants to do from home.

    Edit: Sorry for double post oddity.
    Last edited by IrritableTech; 9th January 2012 at 01:03 PM.

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