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General Chat Thread, FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor in General; I attended a meeting with my Deputy Head yesterday the DFES has made funding avaialble to schools with a certain ...
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    FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    I attended a meeting with my Deputy Head yesterday the DFES has made funding avaialble to schools with a certain percentage of deprived children/families for a free laptop/desktop/PDA and internet connectivity in there home.This is a 2 year initiative.

    funding works as follows:

    10k lump sum for any training and ancillery costs
    £411 per pupil

    Looks do able so far

    internet conectivity for 2 years £100 per pupil(bear in mind some of these households may not even have a BT line)

    My School has funding for 50 kids so the funding breaks down as 10000-20500-5000.

    Trying to be possitive because in the end we do want to help the kids does any one have an idea on how to provide internet connectivity for 50 kids for a cost of £5000 we could use some of the 10k lump sum. Best thing i can think of is some sort of WIFI antenna on the school and providing access through the schools web connection as filtering is taken care of too. But I suspect that would still be out of budget.

    I know many of these laptops will end up in cash converters so the parents can pay for their next fix. Also there are huge issues with who will maintain the laptops. Anti virus and so forth.

    The scheme has been badly thought out and should certainly have gone through techies before landing in the lap of SMTs. Where the figure of £100 pounds for an internet conection has come from i have no idea.
    But at the same time iIcertainly dont want to throw away funding for 20k worth of kit if it can do some good.

    The net connection must be in there own homes the cant come into school and connect to the wifi there.

    Help! any inovative idea's

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    A difficult one!!

    Apart from the big companies that give free Internet access with an install phone line (Talk Talk comes to mind) The only other thing I can think of which may be doable is to use cheap mobile phones (or equivilent technology) to give internet access when required.

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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    We had a similar offer, the schools in my area have pushed the whole thing back to the LA to sort out. As far as I am aware, we are only going to identify the students who 'qualify'. There are all sorts of issues like who provides support (out of hours too), who pays for the repairs; then there are questions about do you allow access to the school network, how do you secure them if you allow them into school, how do you handle battery charging... the list goes on. We were expected to get 180 of these, about 1 in 5 of our students qualify.

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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    Quote Originally Posted by broc
    We had a similar offer, the schools in my area have pushed the whole thing back to the LA to sort out. As far as I am aware, we are only going to identify the students who 'qualify'. There are all sorts of issues like who provides support (out of hours too), who pays for the repairs; then there are questions about do you allow access to the school network, how do you secure them if you allow them into school, how do you handle battery charging... the list goes on. We were expected to get 180 of these, about 1 in 5 of our students qualify.
    Yes there are plenty of dificulties for the schools although not insumountable. The only one that I'm really stuggling with is the connectivity at home.

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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    The scheme has been around for a while now. It does pose some difficult problems, but the govts usual 'lets throw lots of money at a problem' approach this time fails to throw quite enough.
    Still, you've got to laugh.

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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    I think Dos_Box hit the nail on the head ...... inadequate funding as usual with initiatives like this.

    At my school (in an area of high unemployment) )we have been on the receiving end of a number of govt initiatives which involve throwing money at 'problems' through programs delivered by EAZ and Urban2.

    We have already had laptops given to students with no funding to provide support or cover repair costs. Quite often the kids & their parents expect the school to pick up the tab when they smash the kit, or lose it or have it 'stolen'. They have been known to get rather upset when we say no..... In the past they have also expected our technicians to provide free support to fix their software problems, or provide them with software CDs. The agencies providing the kit quietly melt away when their funding runs out, leaving schools out on a limb.

    I have no issue with providing access to ICT for deprived families & welcome the initiative, however I do object to the frequently repeated expectation that schools can & will pick up the ongoing costs. We have got wise to this at my school at last.

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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    has anyone a link to this, so I can check it out please?

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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    computers for pupils


    im in leicester city and we've started going through this aswell, theres loads to think about,

    we've had one company trying to sell us a thin client solution,
    basically drop a thin client into each house, cuts down on the nickability and maintainence,

    also we've been looking at laptops

    probably gonna go down the laptop route but its still in the early stages for us.

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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    Link has http:// twice

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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/11..._linux_web_pc/

    This is a possible idea quite low cost assuming the price goes down if you bought in bulk.
    I also like the idea for providing lots of lowcost units with a small footprint in a our school library.

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    Could be useful for a cybercafe setup for the 6th form too

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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    If your talking with a certain geographical area (although not all pupils will be) , some sort of wifi network off the school?

    Kyle

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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    Our vice principal is due to find out what our involvement will be in one of these schemes, not holding out much hope of the LA sorting it all out.

    At BETT steve from novus on the edugeek stand mentioned they had done a similar project for education using thin clients.

    For me thats got to be the way forward for schemes like these.

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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    Missed the presentation on Thursday, but my deputy head has just told me the basics. I have a similar idea to Mr T to use wireless, however our students live 2 or 3 miles away so it would be big task to get a wireless network erected nowhere near the school.

    Does anyone think this is feasible ?

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    Re: FREE Computers for the "DESERVING" poor

    Quote Originally Posted by Pear
    Missed the presentation on Thursday, but my deputy head has just told me the basics. I have a similar idea to Mr T to use wireless, however our students live 2 or 3 miles away so it would be big task to get a wireless network erected nowhere near the school.

    Does anyone think this is feasible ?
    The more I look the less feasable I think the connectiity element is. I think we will just purchase the laptops and let the LEA sort out the connectivity element. They can hardly take the laptops back once we have bought them.

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