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Cloud Services Thread, Replace student desktops with BYOD in Technical; Has anyone heard of a school that has done this? Idea's are being discussed about removing student computers and pushing ...
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    win
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    Replace student desktops with BYOD

    Has anyone heard of a school that has done this?

    Idea's are being discussed about removing student computers and pushing all data into the cloud. The students will BYOD to access this work anywhere both on and off site.

    Is this the way forward for education or are reliable desktops still the norm?

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    What happens if students do no have a device to use? Will they be then not get the same education as other students?

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    I think in every school you will need at least one suite of desktop PC's. The school can't expect all students to have their own device they could use and the parents may not want their child bringing in their £500 iPad to school. It's a good idea and concept plus it would save the school a ton of money in electricity bills but thinking of this logicaly it would be silly to get rid of every single desktop PC in the school and rely on students bringing in their own device.

    What happens when the child can't BYOD, does that student then miss out on lessons that involve computing. How are you going to perform IT lessons when child X has an iPad, child Y has an Android tablet and child Z has a mac though the teacher is showing the students what to do on a Windows based computer? This won't work.

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    This is not a new concept but one that has been around for a few years now.

    Some schools have taken the leap of faith to implement tablets, whether that be BYOD or provided by the school, and some have reported issues and successes.

    If a school is fairly new and hasn't yet invested in all the associated infrastructure then I can see them going straight to the cloud-based, tablet solutions but.. if you;ve made al that investment in hardware and infrastructure then it would make more sense to phase it out over a period of time and not replace like for like, i.e. buy tablets or laptops instead.

    In some areas, they are considering tablets for KS3 and Chromebooks (or the like) for KS4 and KS5 as the latter need to write reports, etc. and tablets aren't so easy to use in that respect.

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    I'd more be looking to provide the option for BYOD to be a useful supplement to learning.

    First step is a decent WiFi setup which is easy to login to After that its all about making your services easy for the students to access; for us that meant setting up (and publishing guides on) WebDAV to let them get to their documents and network shares as well - don't forget email guides as well.

    After that and almost more importantly than anything else is working out ways that these devices can be used in lessons... this is the hard part which were still working on here!

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    I've seen schools moving towards this approach - but slightly differently.

    I think it's probably unreasonable to expect every student to 'bring their own device'. Those who don't have the money for equipment, don't want to bring it to school for one reason or another or don't have the latest device must all be considered. A BYOD scheme also must be device agnostic. This usually means everything must be browser based, rather than app based. Schools need to ensure that cloud storage is support on a range of platforms (windows, iOS, Android, OSX, Chrome, Linux...)

    Most schools have entered a scheme to finance the purchase of a device which will typically include insurance. Schools who take this approach may also buy additional devices to loan to students. Schools have also probably decided on a single device on which to base their T&L. This is typically referred to as 1:1 schemes (one pupil one device). Once you've made this decision, you can look at removing some of your traditional IT suites. However as stated, you can't remove them all, the current curriculum in my opinion still needs them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesfed View Post
    I'd more be looking to provide the option for BYOD to be a useful supplement to learning.

    First step is a decent WiFi setup which is easy to login to After that its all about making your services easy for the students to access; for us that meant setting up (and publishing guides on) WebDAV to let them get to their documents and network shares as well - don't forget email guides as well.

    After that and almost more importantly than anything else is working out ways that these devices can be used in lessons... this is the hard part which were still working on here!
    And your latter statement is exactly what should have been decided BEFORE SLT or whoever instigated the decision to use tablets, etc.

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    Thanks for all your great responses, I am also not keen on replacing desktops with BYOD. It should be permitted but not in place of standard school computers. Hopefully my arguments against (produced from your collective posts!) will deter them for now. Perhaps it will be reconsidered when it becomes more mainstream.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abillybob View Post
    It's a good idea and concept plus it would save the school a ton of money in electricity bills
    I'm not sure that it would. Instead of using the electricity to power your desktops, you'd be using it power a large VDI farm and to power your student's BYOD Devices instead. You may save some but I'm not convinced that the savings would be huge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norphy View Post
    I'm not sure that it would. Instead of using the electricity to power your desktops, you'd be using it power a large VDI farm and to power your student's BYOD Devices instead. You may save some but I'm not convinced that the savings would be huge.
    Not sure he wants to use VDI, he doesn't mention it.

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    True enough, I jumped to a conclusion there.

    That said, unless you specify that students must buy device X with software loadout Y on it, they may have a lot of fun editing documents. As good as Google Web Apps and the Microsoft equivalents are getting they're no match for the likes of Office and OpenOffice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Not sure he wants to use VDI, he doesn't mention it.
    True but its going to be difficult in the extreme to deliver a standard curriculum using standard apps (which lets face it, is what 99.9% of teachers will want to do) without using something like VDI in order to ensure that the students have a standardised working environment.

    And in any case this raises another issue with people saying "lets switch to BYOD" - they get halfway down the rabbit hole before anyone thinks to say "Hold on a moment, lets define exactly what we mean by that..."

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    Hi,
    Also i think with this idea of completely removing the tradition desktop PCs with BYOD devices and saving to cloud, what happens to controlled assessment, online exams etc where screens needs to be bigger and privacy etc. I can't see removing all desktop/laptops from schools. You will always need ceratin suite of desktops/laptops. Also on your admin side (administration users i.e. business managers, faculty assistance etc) will need desktops as they usually based at one particular point and so desktop device is a better fit.

    It is interesting a lof the talk of schools moving to cloud storage without defining a) what they want to get out 2) how to train up teachers to embrace this 3) contingency plans when internet (and cloud services) is not available (yes its got better in recent years but there is still a possibility of outage due to HW malfunction, provider having faults, cables damaged etc)

    I believe a lot of reserarch needs to be done by school(s) who are looking at this and understanding the true nature of moving to cloud so they don't get caught out. I am not suiggesting that they shouldn't do this but rather that they need to evaluate and discuss a lot of things before moving in this direction.

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    If you expect students to use IT then surely the school need to provide IT facilities. Just like they have to provide textbooks. It shouldn't be a pre-requisite of attending a school that you must purchase your own device to use in school. I can see BYOD as a supplement to using IT rooms especially for older students who have more study periods.
    Also once the local thieves find out that all the students have their own devices they bring into school each day wont be long until they are mugged.

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    Also if BYOD is the only choice for students what happens if their device doesn't work during the lesson? Do they miss out? With school provided desktops/laptops you can quickly replace it with a spare. Also in these situations are the IT Dept expected to fix the device for the student? What if it breaks when IT have it?

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