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General Chat Thread, Converting shops into schools.... in General; Note that I'm not saying schools shouldn't be nice environments. They can be nice environments, but just that there is ...
  1. #16

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Note that I'm not saying schools shouldn't be nice environments. They can be nice environments, but just that there is no need for every one of them to be different, shiney and, what appears to have happened, difficult to actually teach in!

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    broc's Avatar
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    Let's face it; if architects can design new school buildings that have cleaners cupboards with no running water; science prep rooms with no gas supply; science labs with gas taps on worktops with wall cupboards immediately above, computer rooms with no A/C, computer rooms with A/C & no computers, staff toilets with swipe card readers that fail, unisex toilets for staff and students in the same area... I am sure there a plenty of others.....

    How much more fun can architects have with a disused office block or shop? Imagine how you could convert a disused Woollies store in the high street into a school? Even better, convert a few shop units in a shopping mall with adjacent fast food court & multiplex cinema you wouldn't need a dining hall & teachers would be able to send the kids to see a film when they didn't fancy teaching

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    webman (15th July 2010)

  4. #18


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    The woolies store in Milton Keynes was available up till recently. That would have been perfect! Burger King directly opposite, the big hall just next door for PE, 2 multiplex cinema's, and a waterstones just round the corner.

  5. #19

    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Typical of someone who is talking about something that they don't actually do as their core business. Can you imagine it? 300 kids all with their own laptops, all with different OS's, all with different anti-virus software, none of them able to use software owned by the school as site licenses don't cover 'personally owned' equipment. It'd be a right laugh!
    Easy, you have a guest wireless network with a web authentication form for the students, together with massive investment in web applications and terminal services. This is a way forwards, I wouldn't dissmiss it as the simple fact is schools are not going to be able to afford to supply the amount of ICT equipment they currently do or have the money to regularly replace, update and renew this equipment like they do at the moment, so something's got to change. The solution - invest massively in your backend and ability to supply a secure connection to users own end device, deliver as much as possible using web applications, and have terminal servers available for those programs and services that can't be delivered over the web. Then you encourage and allow students to bring in and use their own devices.

    If it's setup right, it doesn't matter if the students device has a virus on it, as the devices shouldn't be able to see each other, and because the services are delivered via the web, any potential virus shouldn't be able to propogate back to the server. Best way to think of it is like BTopenzone for your school.

    Mike.

  6. #20
    Sarconia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I know, I said 'what if the school would cost £20m rather than £80m and that extra money could go to staffing and equipment?' and they still said they'd prefer the unique building.
    I'm with creese on this one, what a bunch of absolute morons!

    It's the same attitude as people buying say.. a pink laptop because 'it looks nice' rather than 'it's really high spec'. Looks over actual substance, argh!

  7. #21

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    Easy, you have a guest wireless network with a web authentication form for the students, together with massive investment in web applications and terminal services. This is a way forwards, I wouldn't dissmiss it as the simple fact is schools are not going to be able to afford to supply the amount of ICT equipment they currently do or have the money to regularly replace, update and renew this equipment like they do at the moment, so something's got to change. The solution - invest massively in your backend and ability to supply a secure connection to users own end device, deliver as much as possible using web applications, and have terminal servers available for those programs and services that can't be delivered over the web. Then you encourage and allow students to bring in and use their own devices.

    If it's setup right, it doesn't matter if the students device has a virus on it, as the devices shouldn't be able to see each other, and because the services are delivered via the web, any potential virus shouldn't be able to propogate back to the server. Best way to think of it is like BTopenzone for your school.

    Mike.
    Wiping out the ability to use any decent multimedia software, 3d software, specialist/non-terminal services software.

    Sure, cloud based stuff has its place, but the idea that schools shouldn't provide clients and just serve everything to the kids via cloud/ts is not going to work - there are far too many things that need full machines. Music/DT/Art/etc... all have such packages.

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    Ok strange question here, but is anyone here ACTUALLY tempted to try this procedure and apply for starting an independant school?

    Though I wouldn't want to be a HT, the idea of building a school on my own principles and with a blank slate does appeal somewhat. And they do state, that parents should have a chance/say in how these spring up? Why not someone who has worked in the background of education for X years, and is at least to some degree, paid to keep up with the latest advances in technology and education?

  9. #23

    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Wiping out the ability to use any decent multimedia software, 3d software, specialist/non-terminal services software.

    Sure, cloud based stuff has its place, but the idea that schools shouldn't provide clients and just serve everything to the kids via cloud/ts is not going to work - there are far too many things that need full machines. Music/DT/Art/etc... all have such packages.
    Of course your specialist areas would still have to have dedicated machines, but, at least in this school, a majority of machines are just used for net browsing and typing stuff in word which can be done through a browser or TS session. Whatever happens, I think allowing the proper integration of students own devices is an absolute must for any new ICT infrastructure, which is why the designs for our new system revolve around this very principle.

    Anyway, this is offtopic from the origenal post - I think there's a whole new thread in it's own right to be had around this topic.

  10. #24

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    Of course your specialist areas would still have to have dedicated machines
    But there, you've just shown why the comment in the original article is nonsense. The school would end up having to support cloud stuff, whilst also maintaining centralised ICT resources.

    Not to mention that in order to provide all those web based apps and terminal services apps, the school would end up running a considerable centralised system.

  11. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    But there, you've just shown why the comment in the original article is nonsense.
    OK, that particular article suggests that all ICT provision could be delivered that way, which is perhaps a step too far, but the idea and principal of allowing students to bring in their own devices to use at school is not actually a bad one in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    The school would end up having to support cloud stuff, whilst also maintaining centralised ICT resources.

    Not to mention that in order to provide all those web based apps and terminal services apps, the school would end up running a considerable centralised system.
    Yes and yes - but I don't see a problem with this, it's just a different approach.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    Funnily enough, when I had discussions with architects & representatives from PfS when I was a governor some years ago, I was told part of the Govt brief was that BSF schools had to have 'presence' and 'make an impact' and have 'wow factor'...... & when I suggested something along the lines of a TESCO 'shed' with the ability of reconfiguring space flexibly inside the architect got very snooty & said nobody ever got a design award for designing a shed....
    i think most architects seem to be curiously dense or at the very least dont think how a building will be used. Yes it may look pretty but i know of one school that for reasons best known to some architect or other instead of having drainpipes had chains from the guttering to the drain and the server room had a balcony with a concrete lip which naturally flooded and filled the server room with water. toilet cubicles that you couldnt open the doors on as the loo was in the way and the upper floor for some reason has a 30cm gap where you can see the floor below from all the way along one side and the only reason i can see for that is so kids can drop stuff on each other

    though in the few build a box type schools in Bradford the walls between classes are very thin so its a bit of a nightmare noise wise as each class can hear the ones(s) either side quite well

  13. #27

    creese's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    i think most architects seem to be curiously dense or at the very least dont think how a building will be used.
    I used to work in CAD a few years ago and most architects don't think full stop! We had someone who regularly went over the drawing and pointed out their errors.

  14. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    Easy, you have a guest wireless network with a web authentication form for the students, together with massive investment in web applications and terminal services. This is a way forwards, I wouldn't dissmiss it as the simple fact is schools are not going to be able to afford to supply the amount of ICT equipment they currently do or have the money to regularly replace, update and renew this equipment like they do at the moment, so something's got to change. The solution - invest massively in your backend and ability to supply a secure connection to users own end device, deliver as much as possible using web applications, and have terminal servers available for those programs and services that can't be delivered over the web. Then you encourage and allow students to bring in and use their own devices.

    If it's setup right, it doesn't matter if the students device has a virus on it, as the devices shouldn't be able to see each other, and because the services are delivered via the web, any potential virus shouldn't be able to propogate back to the server. Best way to think of it is like BTopenzone for your school.

    Mike.
    What happens if you live in an economically deprived area where parents cannot afford to buy their children devices such as laptops?
    Last edited by broc; 15th July 2010 at 04:15 PM.

  15. #29

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    What happens if you live in a an economically deprived area where parents cannot afford to buy their children devices such as laptops?
    Ah, that's where the government gives the kids money to buy one instead.

  16. #30

    broc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ah, that's where the government gives the kids money to buy one instead.
    Last Government maybe; I cannot see this Government doing it ....... With computers for pupils we found the laptop wasn't a problem, it was connectivity. Many households don't have land-lines because they cannot get credit, so they tend to use PAYG mobiles. Even a 'free' laptop has it's limits without www access.
    Last edited by broc; 15th July 2010 at 04:32 PM.



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