hmm, government playing catchup with Libya
Aim of scheme: -
"By putting ICT into the homes of the most disadvantaged secondary pupils in the most deprived areas we aim to:
• give these pupils the same opportunities as their peers;
• provide the conditions which can contribute towards raising educational achievement, narrowing the attainment gap and supporting progress towards their targets
• support personalised learning by providing access to ICT whenever or wherever is most appropriate for learning
• encourage the development of ICT skills appropriate to the 21st Century for the pupils and their families."
"The funding is for pupils who are resident in the 10% most disadvantaged areas as defined by Index of Multiple Deprivation (2004) and who are eligible for free school meals. Further details of the Index and the formula are at Annex 1 (Formula and allocation)."
full details here...
hmm, government playing catchup with Libya
As a similar scheme run like this before, I seem to remember a school in another local LEA having funding thrown at it ti provide computers and internet access to pupils at parents in their homes. THis was also aimed at poor/disadvantaged areas as well
Test bed is the name which used to get branded about. BUt i dont understand the politics of it.
I heard about this a while ago, one question I never got the answer to was who supports these PC's once they go into the homes of students at your school?
Also whats to stop the parents of these disadvantaged students going down the pub and selling the computers for a knocked down price?
I have been sitting on this for a little while know. We, in my area, didn't want to say anything until the funding criteria was sorted out. Who is entitle to what etc, but apparently this will be decided at local govt level, but make no mistake, it will cause large headaches when they have laptops, or move from one area to another (who owns the PC etc). Anyway, it makes the govt look good whilst giving the poorer kids a chance to play Doom.
I have a number of issues with ths scheme as I do with anything based on Free School Meals.
If you are in an area of people with a heck of a lot of pride they may be going out and working and getting family tax credit, but still be worse of than those not working and claiming benefit ... but because they get family tax credit they may breach the limit on getting FSM.
And the criteria used for for the Index seem to change depending on political goals rather than economic ones ...
Don't get me wrong ... it is getting better and the idea behind the scheme is a good one, but I am worried about who the funding will go to, and whether the kit bought will be supported properly.
I've been thinking about this scheme recently and when you look at the funding strands that go to LAs (not schools) I have yet to see definite infomration about what percentage goes to the schools to support the home-school link.
The fact that they recommend that the home computer connects directly to the school so it joins the NEN (that'll go down well with the kids wanted to do online gaming, IM,) but surely that will take support from the school ... and how will that be managed in a BSF school that has already had its funding for support?
I am waiting to see the framework of specifications from becta to see what it doesn't allow more than anything else ... if broadband is connecting directly to the school how about thin client (dirt cheap and will have an impact on more homes for the lower level use of ICT .. ie not media rich stuff.) The funding is for 2 years ... what happens then? If it is successful will it be kept going? If schools commit to this how will it be sustainable?
Too many questions ... and still not enough answers.
I'll go and hide until there are more answers rather than get worked up with what could be a waste of resources.
Well, here I go sticking my neck out again: I think this is great. Not this last Friday in a meeting with the Head, I discussed with him the disadvantaged as we looked at ways to provide better home-school links using ICT. The Head at my school feels passionately about the digital divide- and it's a reality. The divide means that where one child can take their work home and learn more by engaging in the use of ICT outside of school, another child can only go home and dream about doing all those things (and yes- even playing doom, chatting, and making web pages on MySpace like their more well off friends).
I don't (frankly) care whether support would be extended for laptops or computers- and nor do I care about having to undertake that support either. If it means more students get to engage ICT for educational purposes and that they also get to *use* a computer for fun stuff then I'll do it.
Yes- the government are using the poor to strike another badge for themselves and social decency. I don't care about that. Neither will the kid who gets a new laptop or PC and can be equal with their friends. The least of our worries should be who reinstalls Windows when the machine needs it!
by looks of it..
Laptop/computer is owned by school so if parent goes and flogs it they have to pay for it and signed contracts make that clear..
As for support idea is support is done by company providing laptop/computer aka computer not working they ring company a up and they send enginner out etc...
Any companys involved in the supply of this will make a fair bit if done right (been noted on sveral stock markket sites that rm going to make some money out of this scheme).
But if lea decides support needs to come from school then this needs to be noted and correct mesures such as extra staff etc
Policy of make sure got backup as computers get wiped to install state might work here...
anyway i just annoyed as looks like we are just outside of top 10% or bottom depending on how you look at it.
I can understand and support your passion ... but I worry that after 2 years schools will be expected to fund this themselves ... and as with other schemes, we will have catered for the lower end ... the higher end have catered fro themselves ... but it is those in the middle that miss out as they may start to have poorer quality equipment in the school as well as the budget machines at home.
One of the reasons this scheme has come about is because the eLearning Foundation has not had quite the uptake that it deserves ... I wish I could generate more interest in this for my school, but until we reach 65% of new students we are not going to be able to cover everyone.
Once *everyone* has the same access I will be happy, but it will come at a cost and engagement of students through learning rather than technology achieves the best results ... and at the risk of sounding a heretic, I don't think enough schools are doing enough in other areas to say that it will be solved by technology.
If you provide the equipment you also have to plan the materials to engage *all* the family, not just the students. The materials from UK Online will only cover so much and more work will need to be done by staff to rewrite all their materials (another pointer towards extended schools).
I am waiting for information about what input the LA / RBCs are going to have on this scheme, not to mention actually finding what the targets are, the criteria for success and how it *officially* fits into other Govt schemes ... until then I will probably be cynical towards it unfortunately.
Had a big document given to me today that covers this scheme and has lots of info regarding ownership etc... but the support and maintenance is a bit vague.
Will have another look at it tomorrow.
"jump" and "bandwagon". That's all I'm saying 8)Originally Posted by russdev
I support the scheme as well and are currently taking part in E-Learning Foundation inititives, but I can't help wondering that at the end of the day the government are going to pat themselves on the back again with this one and the only people that are going to benefit from this in the long run (students will benefit very slightly IMO) are the PC Manufactuers or the companies that have been enlisted with the support of the PC's. As they are not interested at all in where the computers are going and helping disadvantaged familes they are only interested in the $$$ at the end of the day.
Its all well and good the govenment putting money into these schemes, but as soon as they come up with another idea the money dries up and they start supporting something else. Laptops for Teachers, e-Learning Credits etc etc etc. End of the day the schools are left to pick up the peices with no extra funding.
Laptops for teachers funding has been rolled into other funds for a school and effectively cut ... and if you have been part of an LA with large buying power it means that you could be spending £100 more on the laptop if you buy it just as a single school.
eLCs will die out eventually and those nice little annual subscriptions to resources will stop and teachers who have come to rely on them will want them because it saves so much time compared to creating their own resources (which they can't do as they don't have enough time and the school doesn't have the funds to provide cover for them to work on creating the extra fantastic resources becuase the funding is creamed off to spend on eLCs) ...
The schools that are successful are clever about how they allocate time to staff for creation of resources, they use the eLCs to fund pilots and projects that might be used as research ... earning more money for other things (including staffing) ...
Can anyone see a vicious circle here?
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