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Hardware Thread, Oh what to do.. in Technical; Hi all. Im looking for some ideas and get an understanding of what other Primary Schools are doing. The school ...
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    ictrich's Avatar
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    Oh what to do..

    Hi all.

    Im looking for some ideas and get an understanding of what other Primary Schools are doing.

    The school Im at is at the point where the 30 PC's in the ICT suite are nearly 5 years old (OPtiplex 780's)

    The IWB in the classrooms are nearly 8 years old (RM Classboards)

    Only 6 ipads so far.

    Im looking at what others are doing with PC replacements. Windows 8 touch screen, laptops etc? Are you keeping your ICT suites? Im reading a lot are getting rid of the ICT suite and putting devices in classrooms. Obviously then got to ensure decent wireless system.

    Are people using the new style flat screen LCD screens with Notebook software? Or are Smartboards still the best solution for a classroom?

    We are a google apps school, so Chromebooks are an option.

    Im just not sure where to start! and yes budget will have to be considered.

    Anyone doing BYOD for primary schools?

    Cheers

    Richard

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    MOst of my primary schools have moved over to laptop trolleys. The teachers find they can incorporate ict in to other lessons as they can bring the laptops in to the class. Still on Windows 7 pro and still getting Smartboards as the cost of a flat screen TV + smart licencing is just a bit out of reach.

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    witch's Avatar
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    We have an IT suite that was new about 2 years ago and we are considering replacing it. We have no intention of removing it in the forseeable future.
    We have a very nice Ruckus wireless system that has been the best thing we did - it has made life much easier for the staff. We have two sets of netbooks - they have proved very useful although I think if we got them today (they are a couple of years old) we would be getting some sort of tablet. But not ipads because of the configuring etc - we would want them on a network properly - and then there is the price.
    We have recently replaced our promethean boards and moved up to ActivInspire. We have also installed those nice Casio projectors. I did suggest looking at the interactive projectors or boards but the head wanted to stick with what he knew. The staff still get given laptops but they get the nice reconditioned ones from ICT Direct which are brilliant value and save us a packet
    We are all Windows 7

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    zag
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    Laptop Trolleys + Windows 7 + Good managed wireless should be enough for most Primaries.

    If they are big ones then static suites can also make sense.

    Also class sets of ipads work quite well but are sometimes difficult to manage.

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    We still have an IT suite and 10 laptops in every classroom, we have a dedicated IT teacher who takes the pupils for IT so teachers get ppa,

    our kit is about same age but we are upgrading software from XP to 7 on the ones that can. the rest is being replaced.

    we still use the Promethian Interactive Whiteboards attached to the member of staffs laptop.

    also got Ruckus site wide.
    Last edited by hardtailstar; 23rd September 2013 at 11:01 AM.

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    ictrich's Avatar
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    Great, thanks guys.

    The problem we have is we have so many stairs and steps within levels.

    I think we would need about 6 trolleys to be able to get to all classes.

    No lifts!.

    Any milage in touch screen desktops in an ICT suite?

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    witch's Avatar
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    Can't see the point of touchscreens for a desktop - or a netbook come to that. We have one set of touchscreens and they are absolutely disgusting most of the time.

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    zag
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    Yeh same here we have touchscreen enabled devices but they work far better with just windows 7 and ignoring the touchscreen features

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    We are on 3 yr lease with workstations so will be replacing them regularly. Mostly trying to get the staff to think about how they want to teach so we can plan things like tablets and laptops. Thinking about replacing whiteboard & projector combos with interactive displays but again this needs thought from the staff on how they teach. Other than that it is admin systems and communication.

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    I am not sure what is your Optiplex 780 current specification, but firstly, I would just upgrade those desktops RAM or/and replace Hard Drives (if you feel those computers are too slow) as well as upgrade OS to Windows 7 or 8, if you have not done so, to save your school money for the first year.

    Secondly, look at your network switches, if you do not have managed network switches then you may consider to get one (e.g. HP Procurve, Cisco Catalyst).

    Thirdly, once you have good network in place, you may consider to invest into a managed wireless network(e.g. Ruckus, Cisco, Meraki).

    By the time you get all these in place your 30 desktops become very old, then you may replace them with very nice desktops, laptops, tablets or mixture of these.

    So instead of spending all your money at once, you can just spread them out over 2-3 years period and that how I did it for my current school.

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    We still have a suite (30 machines) and a mini suite (10) and a few clusters around the school. We aren't planning to get rid of these any time soon as 1) they are used so much 2) laptops aren't really that practical as we are a large school with different building with steps etc and it would simply cost too much to make laptops available everywhere. Our teachers are good at taking lessons (other than IT) to the suite, why not have a Numeracy/Literacy lesson in the suite rather than take laptops to the classroom. Same thing right?

    Long term we are going to implement BYOD. We were gearing up for it this year but unfortuantely budgetary decisions meant we have had to delay. But we will do it at some point.

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