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General Chat Thread, Unfriendly Article vents at Edugeek and its members in General; The thing I find is all these plans of byot are all just getting started. People that mention using iPads ...
  1. #121

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    The thing I find is all these plans of byot are all just getting started. People that mention using iPads etc need to realise its a device that only came out in April last year, we as IT people shouldnt be seen as blocking/holding things back when a new device shows up and suddenly our plans for the next year or 2 suddenly need to be halted and changed to meet these untested (and in the ipads case, hard to manage/deal with) devices which have very mixed positives and negatives. I would naturally say no/block devices until we had time to evaluate how to get it implemented correctly, should we drop all the current work since a few mention "this is the way to do it and we need it a day after it came out", blocking is the correct response as there is simply limited time to deal with this. Its bad when people seem to think its all about power/control, its actually all about doing it right and to do that it takes time and a device which requires a large part of your curriculum to be redeveloped (ymmv) to meet the needs and even then it could just be a fad. This is before the fact that the next ipad will do other things etc which require more testing etc each year. We never rush into things as its simply bad practice be it education or industry and any one that says thats a hold-back attitude is simply far into blue skys thinking really without having to actually do the work to make it all work. XP for example is still in use because it works, its not to say people wont move to windows 7 but thats only over a year old and these things take time to implement and test. We get it in the neck if we rush and it goes wrong and we are seen as backward/power hungry if we take a slower plan and dont suddenly drop our 2 year plan to deal with these extra devices etc that came out a month ago etc. Actually I forgot, a lot of teachers in my school think we telepathically know about problems they dont report so its not a leap to think we can see years into the future....

    On a side note I am disappointed to see swearing creeping into a few posts but I suspect that is indicating your frustration GD.
    Last edited by boyboy; 24th February 2011 at 10:58 AM.

  2. #122

    NikChillin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    I was asked a few days ago to find out when XP would be out of support as some schools are going to be sticking with it until they have to move, either due to lack of support or the hardware fails. They cannot afford to go to EES as a licence scheme or to purchase replacement licences, are going to have to use the kit for 6-7 years (being realistic), have a presently working solution ... and so will stay as they are. They are, thankfully, sticking money to one side to try and cover the change when it appears, but they think it might be more cost effective to invest that in there wired / wireless network to allow students to bring their own devices instead.

    Hard choices ...
    Exactly the same here, we have quite an extensive wireless system in place now and actively encourage the students to use their own equipment.

  3. #123

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    Well someone has to say it: Mr GrumbleDook, how dare you berate us for this and that aspect of our future plans for our systems when you apparently don't have such a fundamentally significant date, one I'm reasonably confident is known by most of us, at your finger tips? ;b
    Ah, but I did have it, gave him the URLs from the MS site where he could find the lifecycle of most of their software and smiled, knowing that google isn't everything. (Technet search FTW! ... It is not about knowing everything ... but about knowing how to find everything.)


    Meanwhile, questions for GD, Spannerwotsit or any other folk who do Authoritative[tm] for a hobby:

    1) List some compelling, pragmatic reasons why a system happily running XP, IE8, FF-de-jour or whatever together with a large prior investment in software for that platform, shouldn't keep doing that until at least 2013 (when the next Windows *may* hit the streets). Please skip the old drivers for new h/w issue, we all know about that. Don't forget to include any supporting evidence re. improvement in educational attainment.
    You mean apart from new software coming in due to changes of curriculum? Or new staff coming in with better ideas about things? Funding for particular projects which have different software / system requirements? Staff leaving so the school opts to purchase resources you don't already have? Students (in secondary in particular) coming up from schools where they have been using mobile devices very well and are now expected to just drop that set of skills? Students having more to do with the IT of the IT of the school (Search for SSAT & Digital Leaders project)? A growth in computing and programming (Search for Scratch, Kodu, PHP in schools, Arduino)? A move to games-based learning perhaps (Search for Dawn Hallybone, Tim Ryland, Redbridge game network)? I would have previously said a change in specialism might force through some stuff (eg Arts, Language, Computing, etc) could affect this but recent changes make this unlikely now ... and this is before we get started on schools moving to academies or hard/soft federations, where networks are joined together and you might not have too much choice about dealing with a setup different to your own!

    I suppose it comes down to how much change a school might naturally go through with changes to the curriculum, how it manages it, how much they communicate with and involve IT in all of this ...

    If I take one quick example ... I know of a number of schools who have moved their English course to one making more use of media-rich coursework. In one this meant that they introduced the use of Audacity to do audio editing (creating radio adverts) as they could not make significant change of hardware. They found that the work was of good quality but not getting good enough grades. The following year they opted to look at video-editing instead, tried a few Macs but the support overhead was too great at the time (mainly the hand-holding of one member of teaching staff who refused training on several occasions, rather than the support of the kit or the students) and it was also more than was required. This kit then got moved to Art and English used Movie-Maker. This crashed a heck of a lot and so they found (through trials) that Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 worked, but worked best on Windows 7 (they had a few machines with Vista available) on the kit they had ... they tried setting the machines up as stand alone (still working on a 2003 environment) but this caused problems with file transfer so they are now planning to move to Server 2008 R2 and a plan on migrating some more machines to Windows 7 to keep consistency across the system. The other option is to make use of Adobe Premier Elements, but if they have to plan for a change they have decided that it would be best to look at the whole estate and plan to migrate as they replace hardware in each room ... possibly taking them up to 2015.

    2) Do Primary schools exist?

  4. #124

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    People that mention using iPads etc need to realise its a device that only came out in April last year
    Similarly, SP1 for Win7/2008 R2 was only released very recently and I've encountered some issues that made me think it worth the wait (now fixed luckily).

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