Hardware Thread, Laptops for Staff - Still a requirement? in Technical; Sorry everyone, I'm sure this has already been covered but I couldn't find anything by searching.
Are we still (as ...
19th October 2011, 01:54 PM #1
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Laptops for Staff - Still a requirement?
Sorry everyone, I'm sure this has already been covered but I couldn't find anything by searching.
Are we still (as schools) obliged to provide staff with a laptop? I understand it was a Becta thing but since they no longer exist, is there any change in this? I've heard rumours that it's no longer necessary but I don't know where to look. Ideally I need some sort of hard evidence as I want to start phasing the staff laptops out.
IDG Tech News
19th October 2011, 02:00 PM #2
Schools were never 'obliged' to provide a laptop for staff.
We used to provide staff laptops, but switched to desktops (much easter to support, longer lifetime etc etc)
We encourage staff to BYOD now.
19th October 2011, 02:02 PM #3
Agreed they were never mandated allthough there have been schemes such as laptops for teachers.
I would like to provide desktops for each IWB and then have a bank of laptops available to staff for short periods when they actually need one, trianing, meetings, home use whilst their home pc/laptop is being repaired.
19th October 2011, 02:07 PM #4
There was never a mandate, but there was a pot of cash which has long since expired.
I don't think you'll find many on here arguing that teachers need laptops. Desktops in every room is fine, with network logons. You can't leave a desktop power cable at home; you can't drop it and break the screen; you can't get it so completely fouled up from your children installing free toolbars with every dodgy freeware game they download that you're unable to do any work.
Teachers will fight you tooth and claw for it because they see it as a benefit of their job, but desktops make more sense in every way.
19th October 2011, 02:08 PM #5
Slowly but surely we are moving away from laptops. It is much better to have fixed PCs for driving whiteboards and staff have full home school access. The vast majority that used to complain that they needed one to take home were those on higher salaries (Department Heads, etc) who would then complain about the age of the laptop despite knowing that we had no money!
19th October 2011, 02:11 PM #6
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Thank you everyone. I completely agree with all of those points. Every classroom already has a well-spec'ed PC connected to the IWB. My proposal is to take the laptops from the staff and re-hash them as exam/loan laptops so that can be used for SEN kids during exams and also by staff during meeting/parents evenings etc. Probably using a dual-boot linux/windows combo, but that's a different conversation.
I'm sure most of them give them to their kids to play games, I just so no point supporting them, especially as we have Remote Desktop for external access. Just need some hard facts to base my argument on when they all start fighting me about it.
19th October 2011, 02:30 PM #7
I would look at the individual teachers involved and check if there is a case for having a laptop. In my book this would be that they spend a lot of time travelling away from home and work (especially overnight stops in hotels, etc). Or they work in a physical location where it is prohibitive to have a desktop machine (perhaps a temporary classroom?). Do any of your teachers meet these use cases?
19th October 2011, 02:33 PM #8
Just for info - when we recalled the staff laptops out of 100 teachers - 80 decided they were a 'special case'
We ended up recalling all 100 machines and re-issuing about 20 for various reasons around rooming, job type etc
19th October 2011, 02:34 PM #9
I want to phase them out but havent yet managed to put pcs in place for each whiteboard. This means teachers have to have laptops so I buy them cheap, robust T60s from ICT Direct. Nothing fancy but perfectly adequate for their needs.
19th October 2011, 02:34 PM #10
Be careful here - look a the individual JOB ROLE, not the individual teacher. Individual teachers will always come up with reasons why they are special.
Originally Posted by Geoff
19th October 2011, 02:40 PM #11
Indeed @CyberNerd. Good catch.
19th October 2011, 02:43 PM #12
I got rid of 95% of all laptops in the school. LOTS of problems cleared!
Every teacher that had a laptop much prefered to have a new desktop instead. There are only a hand full of laptops left in the school and I'm working on them lol
19th October 2011, 03:08 PM #13
After much deliberation here we opted for desktops connected to IWBs and thankfully it was the best move the school made.
As for laptops, all teachers were part of the Laptops for Teachers scheme and received a new device, we have never replaced them and as they have died we have instructed the teachers where to purchase a new one from. I have to hand it to the SLT they have backed me 100% on this and as part of their job role the teachers who require a laptop have to justify in writing to the SLT why they feel they have the need of a laptop especially when they have remote access to their desktop and all the services they require to enable them to plan and mark and just get things sorted including the Sims and FMS (Securely).
Not one teacher has written up their case for a laptop and that does not surprise me as will the case for IPads, IPods, Tablets etc when they have to provide a case for them to have access to these devices by way of lesson planning and usage by the students and not just a case for them to have a nice new shiny toy to brag about to all who will listen.
I am a taxpayer and so are the members of the SLT and without doubt one of the largest ways in which schools waste money is in buying large quantities of equipment without a proper strategy behind it, the logistics of moving and charging and keeping safe, the connections and the safeguarding practises etc etc. Also the cost factors after say 6 months usage and the replacement parts one has to purchase and fit plus the extra expense of liability insurance etc etc.
We all know this can hamper the development of these ides but if thought out and managed correctly with the proper strategy in place can mean the difference between something that is beneficial and something that is a complete white elephant, all this money can and is wasted by some schools just on the whim of one teacher.
We are here to stop that happening hopefully and this is part of our remit "To give good quality advice to SLT and Governors on all IT matters pertaining to the school for the benefit of the students" or so it states in my job description.
Thanks for that feel so much better for it. (Bit of a strong last 5 weeks building up) thanks all for listening.
Thanks to bossman from:
Sylv3r (21st October 2011)
19th October 2011, 03:27 PM #14
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Again, thank you, all really helpfuly points.
The fact is that they all have a desktop computer in their classrooms that is connected to the IWB with appropriate SmartBoard Tools etc so they don't really have a case that way round. Ideally I'd like to phase out the laptop trolleys (of which we have 4) as well but that's a different argument as far as I'm concerned really.
The staff laptops though, the case in writing sounds like an excellent way to do it. As far as I'm concerned, with the desktop PCs and remote access, they don't really have an excuse to have a laptop these days. Just need some good ammo to throw in their faces when they argue it. Fact is, they've been given way too much freedom as it is and I'm going to be seen as the big bad wolf for making their life harder but actually they shouldn't have had it in the first place, in the same way that they shouldn't have local admin access to their laptops but that's a carryover from my predecessor!
ps. Sorry Geoff, didn't really answer your question. No, not really, we only have people out on trips now and then and they don't take their laptops. We also have no temporary classrooms so not much argument there either.
Last edited by Shuriken1; 19th October 2011 at 03:32 PM.
19th October 2011, 03:31 PM #15
At my school it is seen as a requirement of the job for staff to have laptops, there was talk at one stage of giving all the TAs (well the TA3 +) a laptop too for when they were acting up in lessons so they could plan those sections.
My ideal would be similar to bossman's setup, in that the laptops we have now are the last lot to be purchased and we phase things out, the only exceptions being those who make a request in writing that is accepted by SLT, but I know that won't likely happen.
Like many others, I find the whole "well my son/daughter was using it last night and .." scenario a nightmare, made marginally easier through the use of images and a AUP that says "whilst we make every effort to have remote backup systems in place, it is your responsibility to ensure your data is backed up on your laptop in the case that we need to rebuild the laptop" etc ..
I actually had one person say "oh, they've taken it to university as their laptop had broken" to which I politely said "get it back within the week and bring it to me otherwise I will have to take this to the SLT" they didn't like it but hey, it got the laptop back.
It's not so much the support of them that worries me, yes there is a cost, it's the whole "it's our right to have this" and how they treat it as their own and not as a school machine. The number of staff who now complain that I no longer let them borrow a laptop in school when they have one assigned to them at home is unreal!
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