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General Chat Thread, Parents to confront School governors over iPads in General; Wonder how many techies are at that school? I hope its not just 1 guy from RM expected to fix ...
  1. #106

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    Wonder how many techies are at that school? I hope its not just 1 guy from RM expected to fix them on a Monday morning

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    So what does that different approach look like?
    That entirely depends on what the problem you're trying to solve is.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    But a laptop would require more desk space. Have a shorter battery life. Maybe even want a mains connection. Not very practical in a food room being used to display a recipe (yes I know - print the recipe before the lesson and use paper )
    That's an argument for that class/room getting a set of tablets with desk mounts and not one for parents paying for expensive kit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simcfc73 View Post
    Wonder how many techies are at that school? I hope its not just 1 guy from RM expected to fix them on a Monday morning
    ...5 minutes before the lesson is supposed to start. [If my experience is anything to go by.]

  3. #108


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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    But a laptop would require more desk space. Have a shorter battery life. Maybe even want a mains connection. Not very practical in a food room being used to display a recipe (yes I know - print the recipe before the lesson and use paper )
    Desk space, y'got me on. But when a kid's cooking something, they tend not to have a laptop sat next to them. I hear flour is a to get out of keyboards In your situation, I'd expect the teacher to display the recipe on the whiteboard.

    Laptops can be charged between uses. Back to our earlier point of these devices wouldn't be used every lesson. The lessons where they aren't in use, they're (ideally) in the trolley, charging. You can't charge your tablet whilst it's in your bag.

  4. #109

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    The thing I have never understood about all these magical technologies that will enhance/transform (add any buzz words here) teaching in schools is why leave every separate school to organize and plan there own roll out.

    You end up with 100s of schools all doing different things, purchasing different tablets, using it in different ways etc - which all costs HUGE amounts of money - and is often badly planned at the majority of the schools.

    If this new technology (tablets this time around - and was netbooks, interactive whiteboards etc before) truly is so completely game changing when it comes to teaching - why doesn't the government roll out the technology to 2-3 pilot schools.

    Learn the issues, fix all the problems, build teaching plans, curriculum and even whole school plans BASED on the technology.

    Then and only then pass all this information onto schools so they can progress with their own projects knowing the money will be well spent and will actually help teaching!

    It all just seems to be the tail wagging the dog.
    Last edited by siuko; 17th January 2014 at 11:21 AM.

  5. Thanks to siuko from:

    Garacesh (17th January 2014)

  6. #110

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    But a laptop would require more desk space. Have a shorter battery life. Maybe even want a mains connection. Not very practical in a food room being used to display a recipe (yes I know - print the recipe before the lesson and use paper )
    Quote Originally Posted by X-13 View Post
    That's an argument for that class/room getting a set of tablets with desk mounts and not one for parents paying for expensive kit.
    No, that was an example of how a content only tablet device might be more suitable in a given situation than a full blown 15" laptop. It's also a problem that can be solved with either a printer, classroom specific devices or 1:1 student devices. Which is the right solution is the wider question that school need to grapple with.

    (example of non 1:1 solutions) That entirely depends on what the problem you're trying to solve is.
    To a certain extent. But in broad strokes we should be able to offer up some generic ideas, no? It's all to easy to shout 1:1 is a bad idea without having to offer up alternatives.

    Mine isn't the only school that's grappling with these issues. Other schools have worked solutions without going down the 1:1 route. I'd be interested in hearing what they choose to do. More ICT suites? More laptop trollies? Chromebooks? Virtual Desktops?

  7. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by siuko View Post
    It all just seems to be the tail wagging the dog.
    The tail in this case usually being the hardware suppliers trying to carve out a new market or the SLT who want the latest tech in school to play with...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    But a laptop would require more desk space. Have a shorter battery life. Maybe even want a mains connection. Not very practical in a food room being used to display a recipe (yes I know - print the recipe before the lesson and use paper )
    and were back to the old adage the right tool for the right job. in a kitchen id suggest no tablet or laptop is a great idea though if you really need then get cheap keyboard, mouse, screen and usb hub and shove the device itself in a cupboard. a smaller laptop should have better battery life but why not have socket sin the floor so they can be charged and used in class. granted its an expense but id suggest whatever you do all but unavoidable as some people are incapable of keeping devices charged. desk space i dont see a small laptop taking up much more room than a tablet and no more than most textbooks

  9. #113


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    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    But a laptop would require more desk space. Have a shorter battery life. Maybe even want a mains connection. Not very practical in a food room being used to display a recipe (yes I know - print the recipe before the lesson and use paper )
    Desk space, y'got me on. But when a kid's cooking something, they tend not to have a laptop sat next to them. I hear flour is a to get out of keyboards In your situation, I'd expect the teacher to display the recipe on the whiteboard.

    Laptops can be charged between uses. Back to our earlier point of these devices wouldn't be used every lesson. The lessons where they aren't in use, they're (ideally) in the trolley, charging. You can't charge your tablet whilst it's in your bag.
    Expanding on this, I wonder @tmcd35, what would your proposal be regarding drained batteries? If we're going to base education around these tablets, what happens to a pupil whose battery has either discharged and not been recharged, or has failed (and to the same ends, I guess, damaged or lost/stolen devices) a multitude of different scenarios where a device is not available?

    If it's low battery, would you propose charging pods in every classroom? Allow the kids to bring their chargers with them and plug them into wall sockets? Keep spare devices charged up to loan out? Most tablets don't have replaceable batteries like laptops do, so how would you personally provision for this?

    What if the device has been damaged or stolen? Spare devices are again an option but you're still shelling out for more devices this way.

    Although it's been brought up repeatedly, I can't see sharing or loaning a device as an option, due to the one-user design of tablets. There's no way $User on Device1 can access their files on Device2 if it's 1:1 devices that get to go home, not without some serious kludging and infrastructure re-work. Whilst I'm not against infrastructure moving forward when appropriate, this also should be factored into the cost and difficulty of implementation. It's not just "Buy $tablet, get smarts."
    Last edited by Garacesh; 17th January 2014 at 12:01 PM.

  10. #114

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    We seem to have strayed from the OP slightly, although this is just as meaningful. And I have long professed the same mantra: You don't need to buy and have a tablet because it can do the same job as pen/paper/phone/computer/<insert device here>. If it does it better, faster, easier, and has a proven benefit long term for the user regardless of who it is, then great, but not just get it for the sake of have them (or worse, boasting you have them).

  11. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    Expanding on this, I wonder @tmcd35, what would your proposal be regarding drained batteries? If we're going to base education around these tablets, what happens to a pupil whose battery has either discharged and not been recharged, or has failed (and to the same ends, I guess, damaged or lost/stolen devices) a multitude of different scenarios where a device is not available?

    If it's low battery, would you propose charging pods in every classroom? Allow the kids to bring their chargers with them and plug them into wall sockets? Keep spare devices charged up to loan out? Most tablets don't have replaceable batteries like laptops do, so how would you personally provision for this?

    What if the device has been damaged or stolen? Spare devices are again an option but you're still shelling out for more devices this way.

    Although it's been brought up repeatedly, I can't see sharing or loaning a device as an option, due to the one-user design of tablets. There's no way $User on Device1 can access their files on Device2 if it's 1:1 devices that get to go home, not without some serious kludging and infrastructure re-work. Whilst I'm not against infrastructure moving forward when appropriate, this also should be factored into the cost and difficulty of implementation. It's not just "Buy $tablet, get smarts."
    The loan device is exactly how the scheme that presented to us would have you deal with this issue. As you have pointed out, it's not really a solution, more a different set of problems in the shape of a solution.

  12. #116

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    Quote Originally Posted by GREED View Post
    We seem to have strayed from the OP slightly,
    I agree with the OP. Parents should congratulate the school on their blue sky thinking and in roads into collaborative learning

    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    Expanding on this, I wonder @tmcd35, what would your proposal be regarding drained batteries? If we're going to base education around these tablets, what happens to a pupil whose battery has either discharged and not been recharged, or has failed (and to the same ends, I guess, damaged or lost/stolen devices) a multitude of different scenarios where a device is not available?
    Why does technology have to provide the answer to every problem? Is it unreasonable to expect children to bring in their devices charged? If the school is spec'ing devices for a school day, should they not be looking at battery lifes? A 6-8hr battery will last an entire school day. Charging can't be that difficult to manage outside those hours - can it?

    Theft/Damage? Depending on what part of the issue you are looking at it's a combination of a pastoral/head of year level problem, police problem, and insurance problem.

    There's no way $User on Device1 can access their files on Device2 if it's 1:1 devices that get to go home, not without some serious kludging and infrastructure re-work
    WebDav? Why are personal documents being stored on the device at all?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktech View Post
    The loan device is exactly how the scheme that presented to us would have you deal with this issue. As you have pointed out, it's not really a solution, more a different set of problems in the shape of a solution.
    Not really, I'd call it bad planning. Ill thought out solution rather than "a different set of problems in the shape of a solution".
    Last edited by tmcd35; 17th January 2014 at 12:23 PM.

  13. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    Ensure each department checks the trolley regularly, keeping a log of any damage and reporting it when they notice it arises.
    If you work at a school that can accomplish this can i come work with you please!

    Also i've had to spend more on repairing bookable laptops than i have on the bookable iPads we have.
    Last edited by Marshall_IT; 17th January 2014 at 12:33 PM.

  14. #118


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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Why does technology have to provide the answer to every problem? Is it unreasonable to expect children to bring in their devices charged? If the school is spec'ing devices for a school day, should they not be looking at battery lifes? A 6-8hr battery will last an entire school day. Charging can't be that difficult to manage outside those hours - can it?
    I wasn't talking about technology. I was talking about you, personally. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. How would you account for these situations. If you're doing 1:1 then I'd consider it completely fair to assume some staff will plan lessons based around these devices, would you agree? Assuming this happens, what about when a child doesn't have their tablet because $reason? I'm not saying the solution has to be a technical one, but there would need to be a solution nonetheless - the kid can't just sit there and not do any work, no? So what would you propose?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Theft/Damage? Depending on what part of the issue you are looking at it's a combination of a pastoral/head of year level problem, police problem, and insurance problem.
    Nuh-uh, you misunderstand me.

    A child comes into School. $teacher has planned a lesson based around the tablets for today. "Miss/Sir, someone tried to mug me yesterday and now my $tablet screen is smashed. I can't use it for this lesson." What do?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall_IT View Post
    If you work at a school that can accomplish this can i come work with you please!
    It isn't perfect here, but since I wrote a powershell script to pull back the last list of users and fire it off as an e-mail to head of $department (with semi-automatically generated details of the vandalism), staff have actually been a lot more prompt about reporting problems, since it can be traced now. I've suggested they operate under the mantra of "If you find it and it's broken, but you don't report it, and you use it, you're going to take the shtick for it.".. Seems to be helping. But that's for another thread :P
    Last edited by Garacesh; 17th January 2014 at 12:35 PM.

  15. #119

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    The problem with iPads is the implementing them. I don't have a single issue with them I think they're smart, nice looking, easy to use devices! The issue being here is that it's very hard to implement 100 of them when there is no such thing as wireless management (except for MDM) but that has still a lot of limitations. Kids are freely available to delete any of the settings causing me countless amounts of problem. A lot of teachers buy them and wonder why the internet is slow (because you didn't research and invest in a system that can handle that many wireless devices). They are made to be personal devices on a personal account Apple didn't think they'd be used this much in education and now they're trying to adapt even with most of the schools running a Windows based network. They struggle to work with proxies and that's all Apple kit. They don't support NTLM authentication creating issues with systems like Smoothwall.

    Unfortunatley it is this which is the issue, all these things it's the implementation of them into an already existing network is extremely hard and difficult. You don't have the freedom to manage them like you can with Windows based products. I visited a school in Swansea that gave all their children 1:1 iPads and he had to stop county's fibre connection and buy in standard home broadband connection so they didn't need to use a proxy, they don't do any filtering they now need to "trust their kids" he has had to get a MacBook and syncs them using Apple configurator and that's it now that all of his network been adapted to iPad use, there were a lot more things but I cba to name them all.

    I think any new technology like this is good to be used in schools and the ipad has great potential but Apple really need to sort out management on these devices, if they were as easily managed as laptops where this debate now wouldn't be going on period.

  16. #120
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    FWIW,

    I am not going into the tablets are good/bad as that akin to getting into a vegetarianism is good/bad - everyone thinks they are right and no one really gets any benefit from the discussion.

    SLT like the idea, I have put forward my concerns to SLT regarding such a scheme and they have been taken into consideration, it helps that I work in a place where I am seen as an important part of the machine and not just that bloke in IT.

    We (head, me, hod ICT) have had three meetings about this with 3 different companies - Academia, Millgate, Jigsaw.

    We have the infrastructre to cope with another 600 devices, we will be using MDM while they are connected to our network so they wont be able to do anything they couldn't on a 'school' machine. Apparently most parents are fine with the idea and the costs involved (as long as its one where they get to keep the device), the ones that genuinly cannot will be provided with a loan unit for the duration that their child is with us.

    Each company has their own merits but the one we are going to further discussion and parental consultation on will be with Millgate. They are the only one we found to be offering a pool of a few devices for some of those that cannot afford to pay, a range of tablets - not just ipads, the parents get to keep the devices at the end of it, Millgate willl take care of all of the payment processing and chasing / insurance / faulty product issues.

    I *just* have to get the devices here before they go out to add security/apps/mdm - this will be part of the contract with parents if we do go ahead.

    Still early days but as long as its done right and the teachers actually use them as they should do, I cant see it being too much of a problem. Maybe.

  17. Thanks to Hefferzzzz from:

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