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Hardware Thread, If every student had a laptop...... in Technical; In the brave new world post- BSF , when every student has a laptop, has anyone got any idea how ...
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    broc's Avatar
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    If every student had a laptop......

    In the brave new world post-BSF, when every student has a laptop, has anyone got any idea how schools will manage to keep the batteries charged/recharged during the day?

    I only ask because I have seen several BSF related documents which refer to schools having aspirational goals of every student having their own laptop, but nobody mentions how these will remain useable for a full school day. I know that today we can buy laptops which have dual battery/extended battery capabilities and at my school as long as staff remember to plug the charging trolleys in overnight they will last a full day, but what are the chances of having 1000 students in a school all remembering to fully charge their laptops overnight at home so they can use them all day at school?

    How, when & where will students be able to top up their batteries I wonder?

    Will every classroom need 30+ power sockets?

    What happens when the batteries give up the ghost through being 'abused'? Who pays for the replacements outside of warranty?

    How many spare laptops will be needed to keep 1000 fully operational?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: If every student had a laptop......

    Laptops will be stored securely in bays with the facilites to charge them ... this is expected to be done during break / lunch time and PE lessons. We do it by giving students individual access to a charging shelf ... with their own key!

    At the moment there is only one supplier that meets this need ... Lapsafe.

    Also remember that they *will not* be using their laptop for every single lesson or for the full lesson. In 4 hours of lessons you can expect it to be seriously used for 1 1/2 hours ...

    We have the issue now of actually getting the students to use them. The technology is the smallest part of the problem ... when exactly are teachers going to re-write every single scheme of work so that everything can be delivered electronically? WHo is going to pay them to do it? WHo retains copyright to the materials and if you buy something in how do you get everyone to use the same resources, but still differentiate?

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: If every student had a laptop......

    Spare laptops ... we have 1 for every 20 ... and spare for most of them too ... and we still struggle. When you have to put an insurance claim in then a spare laptop goes to the student, taking one out of action ... and the spares are usually used so that if we have a hardware fault we swap the hard drive into the spare ... the student goes to lessons ... we fix it ... they collect it again.

    The only time they get something different is if there is a software issue (what do you mean, you though Limewire was ok? And now nothing works?).

    Laptops are time consuming ... we have 200+ student laptops ... it takes up 75% of the team's time. Give a student a laptop and expect that out of a class of 30 you will only have 120 in and working ... 6 will be at home, 2 will be 'with the technicians', 1 will be on an insurance claim because they used it as a goal post and one will refuse to bring it to school because they can't see the point in it.

    Whe you get it working right .... wow ... it is good. We have an English teacher that sends the work to students electronically and those with laptops access it the lesson (a split group ... some with and some without) ... and work on it and email it back ... she annotates / marks the work electronically and send it back. It has made a difference to those students and their predicted KS3 grades ...

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    Re: If every student had a laptop......

    arrh but a least I'll be able to pick one up on e-bay.... :twisted:

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Re: If every student had a laptop......

    Laptops for every student is a costly waste of time.

    We have approx 250 around school. If we had PCs instead I could half my technical staff and reduce my maintenance budget by 75%. These are the ones that are not carried everywhere by some snotty kid who doesn't care about the cost because it can be repaired 'for nothing'.

    If you are going to give kids 24/7 access to the basic office products and email then PDA's are probably the way to go with PCs to carry out the high end graphical stuff. They are cheaper, easier to carry around and therefore less likely to be thrown about.

    Laptops for all kids has been tried in a school and was scrapped due to the climbing costs of maintenence, and that was a project where the parents paid for them over a couple of years. The school paid for them initially and carried out any works not covered by warranties.

    Until manufacturers produce hardware the size of a PDA which can run the same type of programs as a PC it will cost thousands to give each kid a laptop.

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    mark's Avatar
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    Re: If every student had a laptop......

    PDAs and Mobiles run wordprocessors, spreadsheets and the web (my old SE K750i mobile does). The screen is too small for most stuff - but you also have inbuilt voice recording. You can easily transfer work to and from school.

    A5 pads running that i-paper mono but very bright on no power once an image is fixed seems to be the future to me. The One Laptop Per Child project laptop looks very similar to this.

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    Re: If every student had a laptop......

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    We have an English teacher that sends the work to students electronically and those with laptops access it the lesson (a split group ... some with and some without) ... and work on it and email it back ... she annotates / marks the work electronically and send it back. It has made a difference to those students and their predicted KS3 grades ...
    Sorry to ask an educational question on a tech forum but how has it made a difference to their KS3 grades? By the sounds of it she's just using a laptop in place of a piece of paper - OK the laptop is motivational (but that will wear off) and will help with editing and spelling (but they can't use one in the test) - but apart from that what's the difference?
    Don't get me wrong, I think that laptops have huge potential - given the right software - but there really isn't that much really good quality software out there.

    I read somewhere: "ICT should give allow us to do new things not old things better."

    Would it be better to take the money spent on buying and maintaining laptops and do something crazy, like... oh, I don't know ... teach them to read?

    rant.end(0)

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Re: If every student had a laptop......

    As you say most of it is motivational at the moment but the reality is that the age of pen & paper is rapidly dissappearing.

    Not being a teacher I can only presume that grades are improved because the student can see the spelling errors and (some) gramatical errors as they produce the work. I'm assuming that this gives the impression that quality of work being produced is of a higher standard.

    You are right in saying that good quality software is rare, unfortunately we are seeing more and more teachers being conned by the flashy lights and pretty colours without actually thinking about the educational value of such products. At the current rate of progress in schools there will no longer be a need for teachers as we see them now, all that would be needed would be a tutor to guide the students to teach themselves using new technologies.

    We are already seeing electronic examinations being piloted.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: If every student had a laptop......

    Quote Originally Posted by eean
    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
    We have an English teacher that sends the work to students electronically and those with laptops access it the lesson (a split group ... some with and some without) ... and work on it and email it back ... she annotates / marks the work electronically and send it back. It has made a difference to those students and their predicted KS3 grades ...
    Sorry to ask an educational question on a tech forum but how has it made a difference to their KS3 grades? By the sounds of it she's just using a laptop in place of a piece of paper - OK the laptop is motivational (but that will wear off) and will help with editing and spelling (but they can't use one in the test) - but apart from that what's the difference?
    Don't get me wrong, I think that laptops have huge potential - given the right software - but there really isn't that much really good quality software out there.

    I read somewhere: "ICT should give allow us to do new things not old things better."

    Would it be better to take the money spent on buying and maintaining laptops and do something crazy, like... oh, I don't know ... teach them to read?

    rant.end(0)
    And an educationalist answer ... good and effect use of ICT can promote and encourage independant learning. The students doing the work on their laptops were able to follow a series of instructions with less teacher intervention and still work at a higher rate. The idea that teachers prepare materials and students work at their own rate is not a new idea ... and has been done through a number of different methods before the latest bunch of initiatives to do with ICT, one of the key factors is that by using ICT you can give feedback to students a lot quicker.

    There are a heck of a lot more, but they are based around resources on Learning Platforms that are part of well written courses ... but I thought the example of just a single resource that was used in different formats (eletcronic vs paper) to teach both students with and without access to technology.

    Don't get me wrong ... I don't think it is the answer to everything ... and to make sure it has an impact it takes a heck of a lot of time, preparation and resources ... and my school has not even got anywhere close to where we should be ... but just looking at sites like e-subjects.co.uk can give you an ida of the difference they can make.

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    Re: If every student had a laptop......

    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d
    ... unfortunately we are seeing more and more teachers being conned by the flashy lights and pretty colours without actually thinking about the educational value of such products. At the current rate of progress in schools there will no longer be a need for teachers as we see them now, all that would be needed would be a tutor to guide the students to teach themselves using new technologies.
    And that's a bad thing? I can see the unions putting up a fight though

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Re: If every student had a laptop......

    lol - point taken

    Unions won't get much of a say if it's proven to work

    I would imagine it would be one of those things that is phased in over a period of years and we'll see schools closing as there would be no need for them as students work from home using optical or fingerprint verification at registration etc etc etc

    (Come the revolution!!!!)


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    Re: If every student had a laptop......

    Laptops for students......................Yeah right. which fool thought that little gem up?

    I wonder what colour the sky is in their world.

    Apart from the the things mentioned here - I've never heard of a student getting mugged for their school books - But a laptop is a definate probability.
    I wonder if 100% of students bring their books into lessons 100% of the time? - And what makes people think laptops are going to be any different? - At least books bounce when dropped and can be used after drying out.
    This is 2006 and dont get me wrong - what do I keep hearing about the state of disipline in schools? (respect for kit, etc, etc)

    I wonder just how many will end up being 'Lost' (sold for a pretty penny) or just abused.


    Schools give access to over 4 billion pages at the touch of a button - some blocked, disabled, etc - yet I still hear people wanting access to social networking sites like bebo etc, and others like YouTube.

    I look around TES etc and find teachers encoraging students to use MP3 players in class - hell, if I let them, my school would have a £30000 networked client / server MP3 player.

    <Interruption_Phone>
    Staff - "How do I draw a angled line accross a page in MsWord?"
    </Interruption_Phone>

    My one question is :- Does all this stuff really make the difference?

    Nah I dont think so.

    Bl***y blind leading the blind.

    Go find a teaching forum and read their rants on the curriculum.

    Soon our students will go to RM educational center - and all of us are just RM classroom technologists
    :cry:

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Re: If every student had a laptop......

    It used to be that for major websites it could be done by one person who could code and knew pretty colours ... or someone who could be an artist and managed to handle something like GoLive ...

    Now, you have a designer or design team, that come up with th elook and feel ... and the coder or coding team that translate the backend technology to fit into the design ... with plenty of communication between them both.

    Future methods of learning include ... each student having a device, or access to a device, to be able to access their own learning space ... and electronic site where they can pull up information and resources about any course they take. Some of those resources may be completed online, some may just be places to look for information (go to the library and get out $book and read sections x, y & z), other may be notes from lessons where a teacher has been present or info about the next lesson where a teacher is present ...

    Yes, there will be a reduction of time spent with a teacher ... and by getting students to have the skills to learn independantly then you need less classroom based teachers ...

    Where do they got then? You still need facilitators ... the buzzword used to describe someone who helps students learn but not necessarily 'imparts their wisdom' on to them ... you need a tutor / mentor ... to deal with the issues like ensuring students are managing their time on their courses and so on ... and then you have the subject specialists ... the people that create the materials that the students follow.

    Now, there is nothing wrong with a single person doing all those jobs together ... they do at the moment (usually) but in future they will be able to pick and choose the bits they are good at (and schools will be able to stop them doing the bits they are bad at!)

    Yes, teachers that have worked this out are split into two camps ... those that are not happy (because they know they will have to change and adapt ... and they don't like that) and those that are already looking for the right place for themselves in the new scheme of things ...

    Strangely enough, the latter group tend to be the ones interesting in things like Moodle, emerging technologies, personalised learning tools ...

    hmmm ... I wonder which group I would rather work with?

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    hawc's Avatar
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    Our Science rooms have power sockets built in to the floor, only thing is that the teacher is not allowed to move the tables (that really annoys them when they see what other teachers do with the tables almost daily!)

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    Every student in Year 9, 10 and 11 has a netbook at our school. They are stored in my office and charged every night, and collected in the morning. We have been doing this since 2009 and it works well. Takes 20 minutes to place all 300 on charge at the end of the day, and students collect them in a morning in a 30 minute window or break/lunch.

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