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General Chat Thread, Parents to confront School governors over iPads in General; @ Garacesh , I think I did answer your question. For the most part it remains a pastoral issue. What ...
  1. #121

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    @Garacesh, I think I did answer your question.

    For the most part it remains a pastoral issue. What do teachers do now if a child doesn't bring in a pen, their text book or a calculator? Where does personal responsibility and school expectations fit in to the discussion. Should a teacher expect the technological answer you are looking for? - "we'll have x number of spare devices on charge just in case". Does the teacher abandon a planned lesson because of 1 twerp forgot is $device, or continue the lesson for the other 29 students and deal with $twerp seperatly? Ask to share with a friend? Pen, paper and ye-olde-fashioned text book? What do we do know if 1 computer is not working in an ICT suite? Are we always fortunate enough to have pre-built direct replacement spares on hand?

    What do I do? Whatever is reasonable and in my power to gift at the time. If that means planning a small number of spare devices as part of the overall solution, then that needs thinking about in the overall price.

    To my mind, if the school is wanting to implement a 1:1 policy. Then their should be an expectation on the students to arrive at the begining of the day with the device fully charged and ready. Those who don't should be dealt with through the pastoral system.

    That said, it does highlight why a straight 1:1 scheme my not be the best overall solution. I'm still favouring advocating a mixed approach with netbook trollies for departments agumenting a BYOD solution.

  2. #122
    Marshall_IT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hefferzzzz View Post
    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.
    Which MDM are you looking at? Will that stop them opening certain apps or allow only certain apps to open during school times, while attached to a certain wifi? in a certain geo-fence?

  3. #123


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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    What do teachers do now if a child doesn't bring in a pen, their text book or a calculator?
    They loan them one - but as mentioned earlier with the one-user nature of tablets, loaning them a tablet may not offer any help if they need to actually retrieve work. If they just need it for research, that will do just fine, but this won't always be the case. I think I need to stress I'm not saying that acting on the lack of $device would be your responsibility, I was asking what you would have happen (even if it's not you that does something about it, somebody has to, right?)

    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Where does personal responsibility and school expectations fit in to the discussion. Should a teacher expect the technological answer you are looking for? - "we'll have x number of spare devices on charge just in case". Does the teacher abandon a planned lesson because of 1 twerp forgot is $device, or continue the lesson for the other 29 students and deal with $twerp seperatly?
    Honestly, yes, I'd expect a teacher to ask me if there were any spares for situations like this. They do it with laptops, borrowing between sets in the same department if our angels haven't bothered to put them on charge, so it's not too much of a stretch to think they'd ask for spare tablets, too.

    Thing is, $twerp may not actually be a twerp. We all know that different things use more battery power. It's entirely plausible that Period 2 Science with Mr. Nye revolved around apps that used considerable power, and now Ms. Cyrus's Period 5 Music lesson has just halted mid-flow because the app they're using is also intensive and has killed a few students batteries. An entirely possible scenario, and with the aforementioned issue of schools not having the facility to charge personal devices between uses, this holds the potential to cause issue.
    Of course in this scenario where it's half the class, the obvious answer is "The teacher should have a back-up plan, as should always be the case when a lesson is reliant on technology that can fail.", but when it's the case of only a handful of students (think GCSE years when individual curriculum's dramatically change), what about then? There's lots more to consider than "Give everyone a tablet."

    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    What do we do know if 1 computer is not working in an ICT suite? Are we always fortunate enough to have pre-built direct replacement spares on hand?
    Here, a full class is about 26 kids, so with IT suites of 30 they just move to another computer, because unlike a tablet (and thanks to mapped drives and NTFS permissions), a computer is better equipped to have multiple users. I can't speak for everybody though, other schools may have only the amount of machines for the class and no idle spares.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    To my mind, if the school is wanting to implement a 1:1 policy. Then their should be an expectation on the students to arrive at the begining of the day with the device fully charged and ready. Those who don't should be dealt with through the pastoral system.
    You're exactly right, in a 1:1 device scenario where they get to take them home, you'd expect students to have them fully charged. That's why I've tried to focus my points on batteries running out, rather than not being charged overnight. Sorry if I wasn't clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    That said, it does highlight why a straight 1:1 scheme my not be the best overall solution. I'm still favouring advocating a mixed approach with netbook trollies for departments agumenting a BYOD solution.
    Honestly I still think just departmental laptops and fixed workstations are enough to cover it. BYOD again pulls down the same problems of 'single-user devices vs the requirement to authenticate', being able to retrieve files, edit them, and save them back to your area in an accessible format - this is a problem intrinsic to the devices operating system, rather than the platform.

    I hope you don't feel like I'm attacking you - you just seem to be the most vocal opposition (to me, not tablets) right now, so I figure it would further the debate for me to aim my questions towards you. It's nothing personal

  4. #124

    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siuko View Post
    Learn the issues, fix all the problems, build teaching plans, curriculum and even whole school plans BASED on the technology.
    There's a lot of sense in what you say, but unfortunately basing pedagogy on technology, rather than vice versa, is very much not recommended for a number of reasons and is certainly unlikely to get past senior educational thought leaders and decision-makers (even Mr Gove).

    Alex, you might want to look at the free Meraki MDM from Cisco; it works well for iOS devices though not so well for Android. As for SmoothWall issues, I'd set up a transparent proxy using background tab authentication. It's working well for us here with both iPads and Android tablets.

  5. #125

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    I hope you don't feel like I'm attacking you - you just seem to be the most vocal opposition (to me, not tablets) right now, so I figure it would further the debate for me to aim my questions towards you. It's nothing personal
    Lol, not at all! And I am getting your meanings, proably being abit obtuse in my replies

    Actually, as I said above, we are just starting to open up this whole can of worms again so I value these kinds of discussions. Helps me get my own mind on the subject in order!

    If it was up to our DH we'd go out an buy 800 iPads tomorrow. I'm forcing a more slowly-slowly approach. My first response it to define the problem we are trying to solve, define the outcomes we are wanting to achieve and only then look at matching a solution and $devices to the schools needs. But I do, personally, see real ad-hoc benefits in 1:1 devices that other solutions can't accomodate for as easilly.

    What's been particuarly interesting in this thread over the past few pages is we seem to have gone from - rubbishing the school in the OP for a bad purchasing decision, the whole iPad/Table bad thing, through the put up as meny barriers to the solution as we can think of, and are now actually talking issue to be solved and solutions.

    It's not that it's a bad idea and can't work. I just anybody going into it should go in eyes wide open. I can't believe any school doesn't. When you think of the costs involved, this is not something that can be done on a headteachers whim or a single SLT membet championing a scheme. We're talking about governors approval and high value tender processes.

  6. #126
    jbailey's Avatar
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    I have spent considerable time discussing and researching various options with SMT for similar schemes at this school. I am not convinced either way at present on any of these 1:1 schemes but the discussions are good as we (and SMT etc) had to look at a whole range of costs, infrastructure issues, management headaches, possible benefits, Governor and parent opinion etc etc.

    Re creating division amongst students, One of the key points of any schemes we have looked at is what percentage of parents have to take up a scheme for it to be viable and what is required for the school to support those parents that cannot afford it or simply do not want it. Creating a divide between students who have and have not is nothing new, when I went to school I had hand me down uniforms and I didn't go on the school trips. My parents happened to be poor and couldn't afford the fees. In a BYOD\1:1 situation, I would be the poor sod turning up to school with the beat up old hand me down device

    The whole tablets as consumptive devices thing I find interesting, What we do have here is a loan bank of ipads in use for nearly two years now and I would say I'm not sold on this idea of tablets or especially the Ipad as a consumption device only - things have moved on a lot with apps and services for content creation, but in general I don't even think web access is JUST "consumption".

    Do I consume a video on configuring a server on you tube for example? I'm not sure I do, I read\watch it and ask questions on the comments section and apply what I have learn from it - well hopefully! How is that different than reading a text book on sums with a teacher to ask questions to and then doing some sums, can you tell I'm not teaching staff yet I don't call that "consuming maths content" I call that a maths lesson?

    My current opinion is that I don't see tablets as a replacement to our desktop pc and mac machines, but they are a flexible IT tool and I can certainly see how having a standardised, personal 1:1 device per student for use as a IT supported diary, jotter, calculator, voice recorder, camera, textbook, homework, communication and research tool - in my opinion, would be a great benefit.

    However, this not necessarily something parents should pay for. I wouldn't want to stump up 20 quid a month for my 2 kids currently, we are skint! like I say I am still on the fence with 1:1. The cost in both cash and man hours is huge and I am not sure if its achievable in an "average school" like ours without additional funding from somewhere - Yeah right.

    currently I would prefer our school looks at a better BYOD\WIFI access policy (something I am doing currently) to enable students\staff who already own devices to have more use from them in school as a way of getting some real feedback on personal device benefits.

    Good thread, lots of food for thought for me - thank you for your time

    My 2 cents.

  7. 3 Thanks to jbailey:

    Garacesh (17th January 2014), tmcd35 (17th January 2014), TronXP (17th January 2014)

  8. #127
    maark's Avatar
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    I think there could be advantages in 1 to 1 scheme - have seen them work well in harrogate school but they are already working at a high level with good standards of discipline, attainment and quite an affluent catchment area. Not so sure it would work so well in other colleges. It requires a big culture shift from teaching staff - need to be able to keep students on task without limiting them in the ways we do at the moment by locking down games, monitoring via impero etc.
    Cost is a big factor - harrogate had to go to 200MB internet and upgrade switches to 10GB backbone as well as huge number of access points.
    Also you would need to give staff an ipad each so they can get the best out of them and they would probably still require a laptop or desktop in the room as most don't like to use them to create content on. Staff would need the higher capacity ipads and they would need replacing every 3 years at least as apple would not allow them to run latest ios after that probably. Add on to this sims emerge, foldr to access existing resources, apple TVs etc.
    I think that we need to give students access to the internet on demand as that is the way the world works now - we all use google, you tube when we want to know how to do something but it is finding the best solution and managing the transition that is difficult.

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    The crux of it, I feel, is whether these devices are instead of or in addition to the existing provision. We know here that our staff would wish to retain our main ICT Rooms, that areas such as Design and Music would need to because of their software demands, and that they still like the idea of retaining the smaller clusters dotted around. And let's not forget the staff laptops, which very few would be willing to give up in exchange for a pad (a pad as well would be nice, though, eh?). So if their wishes are heeded, then any other provision of devices would largely be in addition to. So then you have to ask where the funding comes from - even if it's only shared with parents. Then there's the potential knock-on effect on staffing - are the current support numbers enough? Oh, and of course, if you happen not to have a site-wide wireless facility, there's that hefty expense to take into consideration as well. Different schools have different priorities, so none of this is a one-size-fits-all, and your starting point when it comes to facilities and finances is very much a leading factor.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibson335 View Post
    The crux of it, I feel, is whether these devices are instead of or in addition to the existing provision.
    This is the discussion I'm currently having with the DH. I can't easilly envisage a would where a solution would be "instead of". Which in turn leads to the questions - "how do the devices augment the existing ICT?", and "how do the deviced effect existing ICT" - like you say more/less dedicated computer suites, managed wireless, etc.

    But before you even go there, there's the murkey issue of end user expectations. If they are expecting content creation devices and you give them content consumption devices then project is doomed to failure. This is why I shy a way from the one device fits all scenario.

    But however well meaning, other solutions can't have the same impact as 1:1 devices. I don't think in a 1:1 scenario a teacher should necerssarilly be planning lessons around the devices themselves. The devices shouls almost become invisible, and just be there ready and waiting as the needs arise.

    The costs of providing both a more diverse range of content creation devices and 1:1 consumption devices is very prohibative, probably even with parental support. I think it's at this point BYOD starts to look attractive.

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    In either event, I'd far rather we had BYOD tablets than BYOD smartphones.

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    BYOD, connect to a public wi-fi, straight through into a VDI Sorted.

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    Gibson335's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I think it's at this point BYOD starts to look attractive.
    And well-managed BYOD brings with it its own inherent set of problems. Which is no reason not to do it, but it can be a legal minefield. We have limited BYOD (Internet access only) and are likely to expand that, but at the same time trying to manage the potential for increased support demands. I happen to think that of all the current technological delights we have to select from, BYOD will be the one we veer towards most in the next few years. It sort of feels as if a move to a mixed fleet of devices, such as desktops, laptops, tablets and pads, is almost inevitable, and also expected of us. But it's easy to say, and not so easy to afford, not when you still have to continue a cycle of replacement.

  14. 2 Thanks to Gibson335:

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    We could set kids' tablets up for that anyway. They can download Microsoft Remote Desktop, connect to our Guest network and they'd literally just need the IP of our beefy RDP host to get in and get on with things.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibson335 View Post
    I happen to think that of all the current technological delights we have to select from, BYOD will be the one we veer towards most in the next few years. It sort of feels as if a move to a mixed fleet of devices, such as desktops, laptops, tablets and pads, is almost inevitable, and also expected of us. But it's easy to say, and not so easy to afford, not when you still have to continue a cycle of replacement.
    Exactly this. Which is why I'm actively slowing the conversation down here and asking - how do we currently use ICT? How do we want/expect to ICT? What impact will any changes have on existing ICT?

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    http://www.upton-by-chester.cheshire...s_at_Upton.pdf

    Straight away I was able to spot something:

    Students who don't take part may have to share, so straight away you have students who may not have the tool required to do the lesson. If sharing with another student (we all know its not always the best) and does that mean the student is sharing with another students device? Having a current netbook scheme here I can say with real experience this is not the best solution and doesn't solve teaching and learning which these devices are supposed to be enhancing. There has been an incident when a device was borrowed and a students device did get damaged, there was a little tiff between the Parents and the School.

    We currently here provide loans to Students who's Parents do not sign up.

    As for the talk about "Apple" it doesn't matter if you want to call it iOS, most people who like Apple tend to go for iPads and forget about rivals. Malware on Androids, strange I have yet to see a single one. Fact is you are paying a lot of money for an Internet Access device with APPs regardless of cost that's what you are buying. I am looking at tablet's for next time around and the hudl seems like a nice cheap option to get Parents to purchase. All the reviews say the exact same thing that I do, that value for money is spot on.

    For 150 you get internet access, APPs and protection (for a little bit more a case too). So for half the cost of an iPad you get everything that your going to need. This is not an argument about all the extra features like Windows 7 Pro vs Windows 7 Starter, this is about using a device to access the internet/apps and use anywhere.
    And again it goes back to the "Expecting parents to pay a lot of money" for a device that you can get a lot cheaper. People jump on the Apple band wagon because we all have experience in working with people that don't consider the real picture but instead "I like apple, lets get ipad its omg amazing". We all know the type.

    The Scheme we are running is being improved all the time and in the 1st year of netbooks the school didn't choose something that simply looked pretty, the school went for "Productivity". Sorry for the grump but I can understand if you was doing a managed service to seriously consider Apple devices but then if your a Vanilla system there are alternatives. And a lot of schools are simply NOT looking elsewhere or even bothering to check for cheaper alternatives. I my self have had to evaluate 5 different tablets for the next new year 7s.

    Also found this part a sham: Why iPads?
    An extensive comparison of various devices was undertaken and the iPad proved to be the most competitive in a number of key areas:
    • 10 hour battery life
    • Lightweight and portable
    • Extensive range of cheap/free Apps, developed specifically for educational use on the iPad
    • Familiar and desirable
    • Intuitive to use, as there is only one input method
    • Range of inbuilt sensors and two cameras
    • Competitively priced
    • Apple's closed ecosystem, means that only certified Apps can be installed, giving some degree of confidence in the Apps to which students have access. The Apps will not contain viruses and can be restricted by age group.

    Sorry to say but most tablets offer the above.
    Last edited by mthomas08; 17th January 2014 at 03:57 PM.

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