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How do you do....it? Thread, Laptops - central store or satellite trolleys? in Technical; We are at a bit of an impasse. County have forced us to shutdown 3 IT suites and change them ...
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    Laptops - central store or satellite trolleys?

    We are at a bit of an impasse. County have forced us to shutdown 3 IT suites and change them back into normal classrooms as we need the space. In order to sweeten this pill they gave us funding to buy 3 sets of laptops and a wifi upgrade which was very useful. We are now wondering how to effectively distribute these to pupils with the least amount of disruption as possible whilst maintaining the integrity of the system. I favour a central store by our IT support office where all the laptops are kept and managed by the techs who can book out/in and put on charge etc. SLT see this as a point of disruption and want the laptops spread out across the school. I can see the advantage in terms of avoiding a bottleneck but can see a whole raft of other potential problems like; who is responsible for them, who makes sure they are on charge, who checks for damage etc. etc.

    How do you do it, and does it work?

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    Well as we are a primary school we tried trolleys but these got used and abused. Teachers and children didnt look after them. we then decided to put laptops into classrooms.

    We custom built an area/cabinet for 10 laptops to be stored and charged. These are now looked after better than the trolley was.

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    I'd second what hardtailstar said. We used to have 2 trolleys stored centrally and the laptops were never charged or stored properly and were never switched on often enough to take windows updates, so inevitably when the next user wanted to use them, they had to wait half an hour for the windows updates to configure themselves. By then half the lesson was gone, which meant that teachers were reluctant to even plan to use them - a true vicious circle. Obviously there's no actual reason why the system couldn't work - just user behaviour.

    Now we have smaller sets in each classroom and they're used much more and cause me much less grief. It seems that because they're always visible to the teacher, there's a natural individual responsibility taken. We bought cheap (~£60) small trolleys from Ikea to store them in. This means that if a teacher wants more laptops than are stored in their classroom, they can easily be shared - and quite often are. All without involving me

    When we last upgraded teacher laptops, I recovered the old ones, which were still ok for basic use, but quite tired. I built shelves in a central store cupboard and provided power, so that they can be used for loan machines for supply teachers and standbys for when machines need repair. They are never returned - I just get complaints when someone needs a machine and they're not their. They are also never plugged in to charge. I even put red A4 stickers on them so it's clear where they belong and instructions to plug them in. The only impact of that has been that it's easier for me to find them when they're missing.

    Systems which create extra work for you are not a good idea...
    Last edited by jmak; 7th June 2013 at 01:26 PM.

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