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Hardware Thread, Technology for classroom of the future in Technical; Has anyone found any good resources on the application of new technologies in classrooms? We're at the point of deciding ...
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    Technology for classroom of the future

    Has anyone found any good resources on the application of new technologies in classrooms? We're at the point of deciding what tech we want in our BSF classrooms. IWBs have just been used as projector screens in the majority of our lessons, nothing a touch screen costing 1/4 of the price wouldn't achieve.

    Things I've got down so far are :

    Class response systems (remote handsets/ask the audience)
    (getting the students to interact, more frequent and comprehensive feedback of class understanding of the subject taught and on the method of teaching allowing quantitative evaluation of changes in teaching style or content and easier collection of continuous assessment data)

    Visualisers
    Why hunt for a digital copy of Shakespear when there is a book in front of you. Why have 30 kids crowded round the front bench to see the prep/experiment when they can see it on the big screen.

    Touch screens /tablets
    So that teachers don't spend half their time with their back to the class whilst writing on the board. Weren't we writing on boards 150 years ago. Surely there are better methods of interacting with the class.

    netbooks and thin clients
    Small low power devices with centralised management and applications so that the applications are separate from the delivery hardware allowing a wider use of hardware at the desktop but with a consistent user interface.

    Remote access to applications, not data.
    Keep the data safe. No more lost USB drives. Provide access to the set of applications available in school, not relying on everyone having a matching set of applications at home, minimising the chance of someone editing the sims xml file in Mac office 2008 or OpenOffice.org and completely screwing it all up for everyone.

    AV trolleys with everything in
    Short throw projector, mic, speakers, web cam, visualiser, PC, Touch screen, UPS, to allow any space into a learning environment. (We've got most of this down to about 2500 (TBC) atm incl 4GB mac mini with windows and MS office license).

    If anyone knows of any resources that may help and specifically on how we can change the layout/environment of the classroom to improve learning even if that isn't related to technology that would be greatly appreciated.

    Any information supporting the integration of mmedia into the curriculum outside of ICT as a subject and enabling students to create coursework for all classes in media types other than that destined for print ie using podcasts, video, blogs instead of publisher and word would aslo be appreciated.

    Many of our teachers just haven't had tiome to catch up ans see what is possible. I want to be able to show some good examples, preferably backed up with evidence of some kind.

    Thanks

    ChrisJ

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjohnsonuk View Post
    IWBs have just been used as projector screens in the majority of our lessons, nothing a touch screen costing 1/4 of the price wouldn't achieve.
    Excellent point. Wireless keyboards and mice are good for use with projectors too, but make sure you get decent ones with the range to be used from the back of the classroom. We use Gyration keyboards and mice, around 100 a set, which can be used in mid-air as well as on the desk. We do also provide a wired keyboard and mouse as the wireless ones get a bit fiddly to work with all the time.

    Class response systems
    I've not seen them used effectivly, they tend to be used with entusiasm for a few goes and then fogotten about. That was a few years ago, though, so they might have got easier to use in some way by now.

    Visualisers
    A digital camera might be more flexible - visulisers strike me as over-priced for what they are.

    Touch screens /tablets
    Use Tablet PCs, control the machine hooked up to the projector via VNC. Ignore anyone trying to sell you a wireless connection directly between a tablet handset and a projector, they'll use the same chunk of bandwidth as your wireless connection (your new school is getting managed wireless throughout the building, right?).

    netbooks and thin clients
    Save money on wiring: have the teacher's PC act as the thin client server for the room, then you only need one wired connection per room. I'd go for a mixture of thin clients and netbooks in each classroom: thin clients around the edge, wired in, and wireless netbooks on the desks in the middle of the classroom. Don't forget to budget for yearly battery replacements.

    Remote access to applications
    Web-based, of course.

    AV trolleys with everything in
    Do they have to be trollies, can you not ceiling-mount the projectors? Might it be more practical to use large LCD screens in some classrooms?

    mic, speakers, web cam
    Video and audio conferencing strikes me as something that should be used more in the classroom. Video conferencing can look snazzy, but it's sound that's the real application. If you have a decent quality microphone, and your not using bandwidth to do video, you can link two locations together and talk between them in real time, as if the other party is just out of site around the corner somewhere.

    For podcasting, the TTS EasiSpeak is pretty good. Microphone-shaped, easy to use, plugs in to a PC just like a USB memory stick and lets you just copy an MP3 file accross, cheap enough so you can buy whole-class sets.

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    my 2p...

    IWBs when used effectively are incredibly useful. IWBs are more than just a way to control the PC - they also function as a normal whiteboard - except you can save or print your notes, you can have as many colour pens as you like and you can have multiple pages of notes that you can move between. I appreciate the point of always facing the class - however 150 years of writing on the board is a tough habit to break... We kitted out a room with a IWB and a tablet PC - no one used the tablet, despite being trained and shown the benefits.

    Visualisers we've found to be worth the money - a basic entry level visualiser 300, training/printing help sheets 10, getting rid of OHPs forever - priceless! Although at first I did think - a digital camera on a stick, how much?! -The ease of use, the instantaneous way they can get something on screen means teachers use them far more than they would a digital camera.

    I'll have to bow to other's expertise on the networking side - but it sounds good!

    In terms of furniture and layout - have you looked at flexible desking for the wired in PCs? There's a lot of options from pod type tables of 4-6 PCs or single fliptop desks. Also a control panel for the projector, and any other devices - either a lectern or a wall panel. It's something we're looking into -means no more lost remotes, batteries etc. Also can be linked via IP so you can control projectors remotely, see lamp life and schedule shutdowns.

    Good luck with the project!

    JUDY

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by judyB View Post
    IWBs when used effectively are incredibly useful.
    No, large display screens, when used effectively, are useful, interactive whiteboards are just input devices. Saving / printing notes, different coloured annotations and multiple notes pages are all features of software, which runs on the PC attached to a large display (big screen or projector), which might also be plugged in to a seperate interactive whiteboard. PowerPoint has all the features listed.

    Being able to share resources around a department seems to be the stage where display screen / IWB usage really takes off. It might be an idea to look at what ready-made resources are available to buy in to get people started. BoardWorks' content has seemed very good in the past - teachers can modify the provided resources and re-use bits.

    For pen-based input, try eBeam or Mimio devices. Around 300 each, can deal with a larger display size and can be used on a flat surface like a table.

    Visualisers we've found to be worth the money - a basic entry level visualiser 300
    TTS are now doing a visuliser for 75, which strikes me as a more sensible price for a camera on a stick.

    There's a lot of options from pod type tables of 4-6 PCs or single fliptop desks.
    As this school is (hopefully) being substantially refurbished, you might be actually hiring a proper carpenter, in which case you might be able to get whatever you want made.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Excellent point. Wireless keyboards and mice are good for use with projectors too, but make sure you get decent ones with the range to be used from the back of the classroom. We use Gyration keyboards and mice, around 100 a set, which can be used in mid-air as well as on the desk. We do also provide a wired keyboard and mouse as the wireless ones get a bit fiddly to work with all the time.
    We've used GYRATION kit too. Only downside is you can't easily write and that keyboard and mouse is two things to carry round.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I've not seen them used effectivly, they tend to be used with entusiasm for a few goes and then fogotten about. That was a few years ago, though, so they might have got easier to use in some way by now.
    This would have to be included in the rules for teaching practices that assessments using the system were carried out every N weeks.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    A digital camera might be more flexible - visulisers strike me as over-priced for what they are.
    I agree. They'd tend to go missing, flat batteries, no live preview etc

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Use Tablet PCs, control the machine hooked up to the projector via VNC. Ignore anyone trying to sell you a wireless connection directly between a tablet handset and a projector, they'll use the same chunk of bandwidth as your wireless connection (your new school is getting managed wireless throughout the building, right?).
    Tried this about 5 years ago with no other wireless clients on an HP tablet on wireless G and the control was not fluid to the point of not being usable. VNC /RDP compression may have improved since then. That also means 2 PCs per classroom! Thanks for the reminder though. I'll wait for the Apple tablet....

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Save money on wiring: have the teacher's PC act as the thin client server for the room, then you only need one wired connection per room. I'd go for a mixture of thin clients and netbooks in each classroom: thin clients around the edge, wired in, and wireless netbooks on the desks in the middle of the classroom. Don't forget to budget for yearly battery replacements.
    Do you really think 120 thin client servers (as we have 120 classrooms) would be manageable? I supopse its a matter of economies of scale and matching the solution ot the size of school. We're hoping to enable remote access to applications as well so the servers (or at least some of them) need to be in a datacentre.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Do they have to be trollies, can you not ceiling-mount the projectors? Might it be more practical to use large LCD screens in some classrooms?
    Some rooms (library, main hall, dining hall, sports hall, foyer etc) just don't lend themselves well to fixed intallations, especially in a listed building (yeah, I have that to deal with too!) And fixed kit can go wrong. We want a quick fix (<10 minutes) and the trolley seems to fit that well. If you can't afford a CRS or visualiser per class then the trolleys can be set up so that you can book them out just for when its needed

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Video and audio conferencing strikes me as something that should be used more in the classroom. Video conferencing can look snazzy, but it's sound that's the real application. If you have a decent quality microphone, and your not using bandwidth to do video, you can link two locations together and talk between them in real time, as if the other party is just out of site around the corner somewhere.
    We used Skype really effectively, you just have to choose and place your mic carefully so it picks up the class but not the speakers
    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    For podcasting, the TTS EasiSpeak is pretty good. Microphone-shaped, easy to use, plugs in to a PC just like a USB memory stick and lets you just copy an MP3 file accross, cheap enough so you can buy whole-class sets.
    ChrisJ

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    Jamman960's Avatar
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    One thing to think of is central projector control, I've set it up in a couple of BSF/Academies.

    One school I've worked with also had a standard lectern setup with a screen attached to the top along with a VCR/DVD and a pc+amp installed. It also had a small hardware remote control that allowed full control of everything ie 1 button for turning the projector on/off and others for turning the volume on the amp up and down etc. This was all done using Procom gear. This setup also allowed control of the projector over the network.

    Procom gear is pretty good and fully customizable
    Last edited by Jamman960; 10th November 2009 at 01:42 PM.

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    We have IWBs and projectors in every room, volume controls built into the teacher station risers with "A-B" selectors to flick between PC and Video sound links, and all rooms have ceiling speakers.

    All Projectors are networked, in the "team teaching" double rooms they're linked together for optional "same on both" projection usage.

    They also patch back into SCION Composite to CAT6 converters, and then all these converge in our server room 3rd cab, that houses the multiplexer array, the 6 player DVD stack, the freeview box, sky box and the Digital Signage systems. This means staff book DVDs from our central library, we pop them in a free player and use the software to set the multiplexer to send the DVD and audio to the relevant room or rooms.

    They all have IR sensors built in so we book out the relevant remote as well, and the staff control the DVD from their room, as it all links back to cab 3. Works well.

    Also means we can patch the theatre control room/bluray player into the system for the weekly school broadcast, run by the video tech.

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    It's odd that we're all still assuming that they'll still be students and teachers in the same space and that schools will exist in the way they do now.

    Maybe instead we'll have highly specialised teachers, theaching via video conferencing. If a teacher can be shared between 25 schools they could have a class who were not only or a similar ability but also had similar learning styles. The lesson could in theory be very exectly taylored to the students.

    This could also allow specialist subjects to be taught to children in schools where classes wouldn't be large enought to be viable. Instead of there needing to be 25 students in a school wanting to take a subject there would just need to be 25 students in the entire country.

    Students from different areas, weather they be in school, at home, at hospital or in prison could work together. Know knows maybe some of them will be posted with their parents on the moon.
    Last edited by K.C.Leblanc; 10th November 2009 at 02:11 PM.

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    Some things I've seen that look amazing are:
    * Furniture from ISIS Concepts - some amazing stuff (not just tech related) and it all looks amazing
    * Interactive stuff from Interwrite - Some amazing products here... such as the tablet device that you could use to replace an IWB and monitor at the front of the room (hence no more back turning) and other complementary devices (such as voting jobbies and tablets)
    * Mobile Sun Ray clients from General Dynamics - These are brilliant... with 3G access as well as wifi and ethernet connections, you can work from anywhere via an encrypted connection (allowing you to use centralised apps)
    * Nedap Education gear - These guys make some cracking solutions based around cards and biometrics... imagine a card that you could use for registration, door access control, locker access control (with the potential for 'hot lockers'), cashless catering, vehicle entry barriers and more!

    Also, when it comes to thinking about client access via thin devices, think in terms of people (not devices). You might have 120 classrooms of 30 desks and decide to attach a thin client to every desk in a flip-up style desk (sopmething I think would be amazing btw). So you now have 3,600 terminals but you may only have 1,500 pupils attending the school so the maximum concurrent clients si 1,500. At a conservative 20 clients per server you will be down to 75 servers and that is probably being generous!

    If you then create small clusters of 'media production' computers so that classes can book them out when they need to do video/music production, you should have a balanced network.

    I would also factor in power saving technologies at this point too. Jamman960 describes a system allowing all projectors to be powered down when the school is shut - amazing! Citrix allow you to specify schedules and workloads to powere servers on and off as they are required.

    What about lighting? The Nedap registration system can be connected to a lighting controller (and door lock) so that the teacher can swipe their card over (proximity card) it to unlock the classroom door, turn the lights (and possibly other equipment) on and begin registration of the class. At the end of the lesson, a quick swipe could shut all the equipment down and lock the door again.

    That's just some examples off the top of my head!

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjohnsonuk View Post
    Only downside is you can't easily write and that keyboard and mouse is two things to carry round.
    True, handwriting with a mouse is pretty much impossible, but highlighting blocks of text generally works just fine. 1024 X 768 resolution is kind of chunky for recognizable handwriting anyway, and most projectors still can't do much more than that.

    How do you mean, "carry round"? If you mean teachers carrying equipment from classroom to classroom then I'd say simply buy what you can afford one-per-classroom of - Gyration kit is nice, but if it's a choice of a cheaper 30 keyboard and mouse in every classroom or Gyration keyboards and mice in a third of classrooms I'd go for the first option (10 wireless keyboards and mice probably aren't going to have any real kind of range on them, don't bother).

    This would have to be included in the rules for teaching practices that assessments using the system were carried out every N weeks.
    I'd guess that forcing teaching staff to use technology - having the support staff dictate teaching style - is just going to annoy them.

    They'd tend to go missing, flat batteries, no live preview etc
    I've got to admit I haven't seen a battery-powered visuliser, they look like the kind of thing that can be tehered or screwed into place and live preview is their entire function.

    Tried this about 5 years ago with no other wireless clients on an HP tablet on wireless G and the control was not fluid to the point of not being usable.
    Good point. What we need is a web-based client that just sends scribble updates, not the whole screen, and that can be used on all browsers...

    That also means 2 PCs per classroom!
    It would give the teacher their own machine to use without having to use the one hooked up to the projector the whole time.

    Do you really think 120 thin client servers (as we have 120 classrooms) would be manageable?
    Goodness, yes. Thin client server aren't "servers", they are client machines, and should be managed pretty much the same way you manage any other client machine. Any thin client servers in classrooms are just there to power local workstations, forget about accessing them from anywhere else.

    If you can't afford a CRS or visualiser per class then the trolleys can be set up so that you can book them out just for when its needed
    I get your reasoning behind having equipment on trollies, although most hardware is reliable enough these days to not have to make concessions in how you use it - most schools seem to do fine with projectors bolted to ceilings, with a low failure rate. Even if you have stuff on trollies I'd recommend having one-per-classroom - I thought that was kind of the point of something like BSF, it would give you enough cash to get stuff sorted once and for all, so more messing around spending half your time shifting equipment around?

    We used Skype really effectively, you just have to choose and place your mic carefully so it picks up the class but not the speakers
    A proper shutgun / directional mic might be the thing - any microphone built in to a standard webcam is going to be cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    Some things I've seen that look amazing are:

    Also, when it comes to thinking about client access via thin devices, think in terms of people (not devices). You might have 120 classrooms of 30 desks and decide to attach a thin client to every desk in a flip-up style desk (sopmething I think would be amazing btw). So you now have 3,600 terminals but you may only have 1,500 pupils attending the school so the maximum concurrent clients si 1,500.
    Flip top desks in every classroom? We've used these for the teachers and they've smashed over 20 screens. They put the mouse on top of the keyboard, shut the screen and then when they feel resistance (ie the mouse on the screen) they just press harder. No-one has yet reported this, it takes the next teacher to use the computer to report it. So for us, there will be no more flip top desks. Also bear in mind that your work surface tips up when you open the desk.

    We would not have a full suite in every classroom, that's serious overkill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    At a conservative 20 clients per server you will be down to 75 servers and that is probably being generous!
    We used a really low spec 4GB server and got over 30 clients on it using an old version of citrix and the performance for desktop apps was better than all but the top spec desktop PCs. Most of the stats I've seen suggest at least 50-60 clients per server in a shared environment or approx 30 full virtual workstations per server. Obviously that all depends on the server spec but typically 4/8 core and 16GB ram which isn't over the top. Combine Citrix with Appsense to give a consistent controlled desktop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    If you then create small clusters of 'media production' computers so that classes can book them out when they need to do video/music production, you should have a balanced network.
    My proposal is to use iMacs in specialist IT suites to allow teachers the choice of OS. Windows apps can either be run using a citrix client or installing windows locally on the macs, either with boot camp or virtual box/parallels/fusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    I would also factor in power saving technologies at this point too. Jamman960 describes a system allowing all projectors to be powered down when the school is shut - amazing!
    Our latest sanyo xe33s have a network socket allowing you to control the power that way.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    Citrix allow you to specify schedules and workloads to powere servers on and off as they are required.
    This looks great. I saw this about 6 months ago at a citrix tech preview but there were NDAs at the time.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post

    How do you mean, "carry round"? If you mean teachers carrying equipment from classroom to classroom then I'd say simply buy what you can afford one-per-classroom of - Gyration kit is nice, but if it's a choice of a cheaper 30 keyboard and mouse in every classroom or Gyration keyboards and mice in a third of classrooms I'd go for the first option (10 wireless keyboards and mice probably aren't going to have any real kind of range on them, don't bother).
    When teachers walk round their lesson, to sit or work with different groups of students, if they've got to carry a mouse and keyboard with them to retain control of the PC at the front its more kit to carry. I struggled remembering to take the IWB pen back to the front of the class with me when I was training but Ihad been used to using a smart board

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I'd guess that forcing teaching staff to use technology - having the support staff dictate teaching style - is just going to annoy them.
    We already force them to use IWBs which they didn't do 10 years ago, and the internet which we didn't do 10 years ago and sims which we didn't do 10 years ago. ANY change is going to annoy some staff. We can't pander to the few "annoyeds" if it prevents the rest moving forward.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post

    I've got to admit I haven't seen a battery-powered visuliser, they look like the kind of thing that can be tehered or screwed into place and live preview is their entire function.
    The "battery powered" comment related to the proposal of using digital cameras instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post

    Good point. What we need is a web-based client that just sends scribble updates, not the whole screen, and that can be used on all browsers...
    VNC and most other remote control apps like this already just send the updates not the whole screen.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    It would give the teacher their own machine to use without having to use the one hooked up to the projector the whole time.
    That's still doubling up, costing in both capital outlay and tech time required to support them. Teachers having their own machines also starts moving back towards data on removable devices, something which has been highlighted in the press recently due to the huge amounts of data lost in this way.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post

    Goodness, yes. Thin client server aren't "servers", they are client machines, and should be managed pretty much the same way you manage any other client machine. Any thin client servers in classrooms are just there to power local workstations, forget about accessing them from anywhere else.
    120 servers still takes a lot of supporting. If we assume each of these supports a maximum of 20 clients compared to 50-60 for a full server then when it comes to installing a new application there are a lot fewer servers to install on, to patch etc in a "proper" thin client server environment and with the technology coming now they can power down when the demands are low saving power and thin client sessions can hot swap to a new server when one is taken down for upgrade/repair. In your scenario even if only 1 student thin client was being used in each classroom that's 120x 20w (thin client) + 120x 150w (classroom servers) being used vs 120x 20w (thin clients) + 2x 500W (server room thin client servers). You can see the sorts of power savings. Personally I wouldn't trust some of our staff to be in control of a power button that was connected to a machine running the thin client sessions for the rest of their class. "Whoops! I was just rebooting as the last person left their session logged in and the screen locked, it was the only way I could get to log in...". We're still at the stage in or IT capability development where classroom PCs are reported as not working when they haven't been switched on. Strangely pressing the power button seems to resolve this issue! Aaargh!

    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I get your reasoning behind having equipment on trollies, although most hardware is reliable enough these days to not have to make concessions in how you use it - most schools seem to do fine with projectors bolted to ceilings, with a low failure rate. Even if you have stuff on trollies I'd recommend having one-per-classroom - I thought that was kind of the point of something like BSF, it would give you enough cash to get stuff sorted once and for all, so more messing around spending half your time shifting equipment around?
    This was more for areas where IT isn't required all the time (DT workshops where there may be a lot of dust, drama studios where they are moving props round a lot, meeting rooms etc). BSF is still limited. And schools will have to continue to use the kit after BSF so making a wise choice now will impact on available spending in the future. Why have 15k of kit in 5 classrooms where its only used 10% of the time when you can have a mobile solution and save 12k. Do this for 15 classrooms and with a 3 year replacement cycle you've got yourself an extra member of staff out of the savings...

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjohnsonuk View Post
    When teachers walk round their lesson, to sit or work with different groups of students, if they've got to carry a mouse and keyboard with them to retain control of the PC at the front its more kit to carry.
    They haven't got to, but they can if they want. If they're using an IWB then they have to walk back to the front of the classroom to do anything on the computer.

    We already force them to use IWBs which they didn't do 10 years ago, and the internet which we didn't do 10 years ago and sims which we didn't do 10 years ago.
    I think, as providers of technical facilities, we should certainly provide what facilities we think best, after consultation with teaching staff - letting teachers have absolute final say in what equipment gets bought and installed is going to result in an incoherent mess of conflicting applications and hardware. However, the equipment so provided should be so obvious as to its benefits that teaching staff will actively want to use it, otherwise why would we have purchased that equipment? We have to assume teachers can do their job of teaching and that they can judge the best way to teach their classes - written rules that they have to use a particular bit of hardware a given amount strikes me as the wrong way around, the technology should be flexible enough to serve the teaching needs and style of individual teachers. Handheld response sets might well suite some subjects and teaching style particularly well, but I don't think buying one for each classroom is a viable option, and I don't think a shared set between a department or area is going to work, either - too much changing equipment around and setting up, too much to go wrong. Maybe have an option for an individual teacher to request to have a response set in their classroom?

    The "battery powered" comment related to the proposal of using digital cameras instead.
    Problem solved, I have found the perfect solution:

    Hue HD Webcam - Official website

    VNC and most other remote control apps like this already just send the updates not the whole screen.
    But, as you've observed, response from a VNC-over-wireless connection isn't great (I know, I've just tried). A better approach is whiteboard software that draws scribbles locally then updates a central, mirroring server which can update other clients.

    That's still doubling up, costing in both capital outlay and tech time required to support them. Teachers having their own machines also starts moving back towards data on removable devices
    Workstations should be configured to be self-maintaining, data should be able to be shared between machines without resorting to removable media. I'd spend money on getting that right first, then move on to equipment in classrooms.

    In your scenario even if only 1 student thin client was being used in each classroom that's 120x 20w (thin client) + 120x 150w (classroom servers) being used vs 120x 20w (thin clients) + 2x 500W (server room thin client servers).
    The server is also the teacher's front-of-class machine, which I'd assume is on all day anyway. Software installs and patches really should be simple to do, it shouldn't matter how many machines you are updating. You should have a few machines spare to replace failed ones.

    "Whoops! I was just rebooting as the last person left their session logged in and the screen locked, it was the only way I could get to log in...".
    But such a reboot would be at the start of a class, when there would be no pupil's work to be lost.

    Why have 15k of kit in 5 classrooms where its only used 10% of the time when you can have a mobile solution and save 12k.
    Because, from experience, mobile equipment isn't used. If it takes time and trouble for a teacher to set up IT equipment then they simply won't plan to use it. DT rooms make a perfect example - expensive equipment in there isn't portable, but it is still worth having that equipment in a fixed location. If you can't afford the same equipment for all classrooms then either revise what you're buying or just choose some classrooms to have equipment installed, catching the rest up when you can.

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    David Hicks

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    Some good points there! We've got senior teachers recommending that each department has a degree of variation in the services in their classrooms so that they can evaluate the effectiveness of each technology and benefit from the good points of both systems by swapping rooms internally within the department to allow use of different technology in different lessons. Then when we have the "staged" refresh money during the following years we can invest in those solutions that have produced the best results to replace the legacy kit we carry in at the start.

    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjohnsonuk View Post
    We've got senior teachers recommending that each department has a degree of variation in the services in their classrooms so that they can evaluate the effectiveness of each technology and benefit from the good points of both systems by swapping rooms internally within the department to allow use of different technology in different lessons.
    Sounds like a good plan - teachers get to have a go with different equipment, see which performs best under classroom conditions. From the point of view of teachers producing and sharing resources, I've seen in the past that consistency inside a department works well - if staff can share resources they've prepared amongst their most immediate colleagues then use of technology actually takes off. Something to bear in mind if you're buying IWBs - have staff prepare resources that will work on any IWB, not just the one brand.

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