+ Post New Thread
Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 65
How do you do....it? Thread, Laptops for students in Technical; You are quite right to pick up the degree of contempt for some of the previous posts in this thread ...
  1. #46
    DrCheese's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,028
    Thank Post
    97
    Thanked 158 Times in 107 Posts
    Rep Power
    58
    You are quite right to pick up the degree of contempt for some of the previous posts in this thread where the implications are that IT support staff have the right to undermine strategic decisions.
    It's not really "Undermining" at all. Schools pay IT staff to advise on IT issues and not just to blindly support whatever flashy wiz bang idea management may come up with. You can't just ignore them because they provide negative feedback. It's exactly that way of thinking that leads to massive overspending on poorly implemented projects.

  2. #47
    Gibson335's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    930
    Thank Post
    257
    Thanked 133 Times in 106 Posts
    Rep Power
    79
    Quote Originally Posted by hyden View Post
    If there is no evidence that it improves teaching and learning, why do we have any IT in schools at all beyond the administrative tools?
    That's a little obtuse. IT is with us and here to stay, and with Internet and apps use of course you can see that as a tool it will help...the question is whether putting a laptop in the hands of all students is effective enough to justify the costs involved? Now, that may depend on whether you have already kitted your school out well with computers, whether it's a new build, etc. But many teachers who once wanted laptops here balked at the idea of managing trolleys, ensuring chrging was carried out, the inevitable time lost in starting up and shutting down (in non-IT lessons), and clearly saw it only in its glossy terms.

    A large academy (the largest at the time, perhaps still) in Peterborough not only supplies no students with laptops, but neither does it provide its staff with them. Many academies that I know of don't provide laptops for students. If the evidence for them was clear, surely it would have been done?

    Who knows? A decent debate, though.

  3. #48
    Gibson335's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    930
    Thank Post
    257
    Thanked 133 Times in 106 Posts
    Rep Power
    79
    Quote Originally Posted by hyden View Post
    I couldn't agree more. You can only hope that those decisions are truly strategic and based on outcomes rather than an half formed idea picked up from some evangelisation at a conference.
    Well at least we agree on something!

    And yes, when I know our staff are going to conferences my heart starts hammering twice as fast, because I know they'll each come back with 'the next best thing'.

  4. #49
    DrCheese's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,028
    Thank Post
    97
    Thanked 158 Times in 107 Posts
    Rep Power
    58
    A large academy (the largest at the time, perhaps still) in Peterborough
    We've only one academy in Peterborough (Thomas Deacon). I can't confirm the info about laptops but they do offer students the ability to rent a thin client and use that to connect to the network. This isn't a bad idea as it negates a lot of negatives from giving students a fully blown portable laptop with a full blown OS.
    Thomas Deacon Academy: Computers at home

  5. #50
    Gibson335's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    930
    Thank Post
    257
    Thanked 133 Times in 106 Posts
    Rep Power
    79
    Quote Originally Posted by DrCheese View Post
    We've only one academy in Peterborough (Thomas Deacon). I can't confirm the info about laptops but they do offer students the ability to rent a thin client and use that to connect to the network. This isn't a bad idea as it negates a lot of negatives from giving students a fully blown portable laptop with a full blown OS.
    Thomas Deacon Academy: Computers at home
    Yes, that's the one (though I thought Voyager was also an academy).

    The person responsible for overseeing IT at Deacons when it was going in is my old boss, and having been an avid fan of laptops when he introduced them here, he went right off them when he saw (a) how little they were used by so many teachers, (b) the damage and associated maintenance costs, and (c) that other options were available and, potentially, better. It was a notion that the main consultant didn't disagre with.

  6. #51

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Birmingham,UK
    Posts
    44
    Thank Post
    29
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyJF View Post
    ... Sounds exactly like some of the teachers where I work
    ... not to have to devote hours of valuable tech support time mopping up after the inevitable spillage...
    I have some sympathy with you. It is better to avoid problems if you can. But I have two fundamental principles:
    Firstly, as far as I am concerned, I am there to do what teachers want. Right or wrong, easy or hard (even impossible?) - I can advise, but in the end they ARE the boss.
    Secondly, the hours of tech support time are not mine, but the school,s. They can use them for whatever they want - that's why they pay me.
    I do think some of my time is wasted by poor policies and management, but teachers have a very difficult job and can't get everything right.
    When they annoy me, I try to remember that if they get stressed, they've still got to spend the day working with 30 kids: better for the kids if I get the problems and work on them quietly on my own. And moneywise it's probably better to waste an hour of my time than have a teacher spend 10 minutes of their time.

    Just like anyone else I don't always enjoy my job and doing jobs I think unnecessary or a waste is one of the bad parts. But when I worked somewhere IT was run by the IT "support", I enjoyed that a lot less.


    Quote Originally Posted by TonyJF View Post
    ... It's about doing the best job for ALL users ...
    I have to agree with this, but still say, it is up to the teachers, not us,to decide what is best for all.

    As far as laptops for pupils are concerned, if they understand the issues and likely problems, they can decide whether that's the best way to spend their money. If they don't "waste" it on laptops, they may well waste it on something else: just look around your school at what they else spend money on.
    (I was looking for computers for a new computer room recently and worrying about a 20% difference in quotes, when I noticed that in the overall plan, the benches they sat on cost more than the computers and the refurbishment of the room cost 10x as much. I stopped worrying! They went way over budget, but no one worried.)

    Don.

  7. #52
    Gibson335's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    930
    Thank Post
    257
    Thanked 133 Times in 106 Posts
    Rep Power
    79
    [QUOTE=dbrown;271222]I have some sympathy with you. It is better to avoid problems if you can. But I have two fundamental principles:
    Firstly, as far as I am concerned, I am there to do what teachers want. Right or wrong, easy or hard (even impossible?) - I can advise, but in the end they ARE the boss.

    Again, I can't fully agree with that. As NM it's my job not only to advise but to ensure that others can see the sense of that advice, and regards money yes of course it's theirs but why let them waste it if they don't need to? Of course, senior management NOT teachers decide those sort of things in the end, and of course they will often go their own way, but I don't think I'd be doing my job properly if I just left it at 'well, it's their money to waste, why bother?' And especially if that waste of money also involves a waste of your time and the time of the technicians. And of course it's the school's time being wasted, but surely we'd all feel better doing something productive?

  8. #53
    ticker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Waterfoot, Rossendale
    Posts
    298
    Thank Post
    55
    Thanked 20 Times in 17 Posts
    Rep Power
    21
    Just a question on the laptop for student front, the new head here is very keen to see this system in place and I am starting to form a plan of action of how we could implement this. My question is if you are expecting X number of pupils to log on at an one time in your school have you had to either upgrade or purchase new equipment such as servers and switches to cope with all this extra demand on the network?
    Is their any one in the Preston/Lancashire area that has currently got a laptop for student scheme running in their school that would be willing for me to come and speak to you about how you have gone about this?

  9. #54
    Gibson335's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    930
    Thank Post
    257
    Thanked 133 Times in 106 Posts
    Rep Power
    79
    Quote Originally Posted by ticker View Post
    Just a question on the laptop for student front, the new head here is very keen to see this system in place and I am starting to form a plan of action of how we could implement this. My question is if you are expecting X number of pupils to log on at an one time in your school have you had to either upgrade or purchase new equipment such as servers and switches to cope with all this extra demand on the network?
    Is their any one in the Preston/Lancashire area that has currently got a laptop for student scheme running in their school that would be willing for me to come and speak to you about how you have gone about this?
    It depends on how you're set up to begin with, because if you have wireless already but then suddenly a large x number more clients attach, then of course you'll be losing bandwidth. If you have no existing provision for them, then yes you'll have to do a lot of planning to get it right.

    The one thing I always do is never assume your senior management have thought of everything. I know from experience that whilst they may figure on laptops, perhaps even recharger trolleys, they seldom consider licensing - MS, AV, even some faculty stuff if it's not site-wide - and of course this can add tremendously to the overall cost.

    Some might think it's not our job to point this out, but I'd argue it's one of the main reasons we're there.

  10. #55

    tmcd35's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Norfolk
    Posts
    5,655
    Thank Post
    849
    Thanked 890 Times in 737 Posts
    Blog Entries
    9
    Rep Power
    327
    At my last school there was (roughly) 1800 pupils with a 2:1 computer-pupil ratio. About half the computers (a little more than) where laptops. As I recall there was 4 Domain Controllers but all the students profiles and home drives where on 1 server.

    The problem was never with the network infrastructure, switches and servers. The problem was always with the Laptop:Access Point. Typically 30:1 but we tried were ever possible to get it down to 15:1. Even at 15 laptops to 1 AP logons where hopelessly slow and network connections unreliable. We never did find a satisfactory solution.

    I think the solution is probably managed access points and managed wireless switches but couldn't afford to rip out their exisiting WIFI network and start again.

  11. Thanks to tmcd35 from:

    ticker (9th January 2009)

  12. #56
    ticker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Waterfoot, Rossendale
    Posts
    298
    Thank Post
    55
    Thanked 20 Times in 17 Posts
    Rep Power
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyJF View Post
    It depends on how you're set up to begin with, because if you have wireless already but then suddenly a large x number more clients attach, then of course you'll be losing bandwidth. If you have no existing provision for them, then yes you'll have to do a lot of planning to get it right.

    The one thing I always do is never assume your senior management have thought of everything. I know from experience that whilst they may figure on laptops, perhaps even recharger trolleys, they seldom consider licensing - MS, AV, even some faculty stuff if it's not site-wide - and of course this can add tremendously to the overall cost.

    Some might think it's not our job to point this out, but I'd argue it's one of the main reasons we're there.
    We have currently got a wireless network that supports small numbers of wireless laptops in english, SEN and science but it wouldn't be good enough to support an extra 900 users. been looking at the ruckus system. i ask about servers and switches because we are going to update these the next financal year but knowing how much school demands change year to year i might as well build into this the extra users. so instead of getting 2 main dc servers i might have to get 4 servers, if you see my point.
    Last edited by ticker; 9th January 2009 at 08:48 AM.

  13. #57
    ticker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Waterfoot, Rossendale
    Posts
    298
    Thank Post
    55
    Thanked 20 Times in 17 Posts
    Rep Power
    21
    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    At my last school there was (roughly) 1800 pupils with a 2:1 computer-pupil ratio. About half the computers (a little more than) where laptops. As I recall there was 4 Domain Controllers but all the students profiles and home drives where on 1 server.

    The problem was never with the network infrastructure, switches and servers. The problem was always with the Laptop:Access Point. Typically 30:1 but we tried were ever possible to get it down to 15:1. Even at 15 laptops to 1 AP logons where hopelessly slow and network connections unreliable. We never did find a satisfactory solution.

    I think the solution is probably managed access points and managed wireless switches but couldn't afford to rip out their exisiting WIFI network and start again.
    We will probably get rid of the current W/L system and put in a managed solution

  14. #58
    Gibson335's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    930
    Thank Post
    257
    Thanked 133 Times in 106 Posts
    Rep Power
    79
    Quote Originally Posted by ticker View Post
    We have currently got a wireless network that supports small numbers of wireless laptops in english, SEN and science but it wouldn't be good enough to support an extra 900 users. been looking at the ruckus system. i ask about servers and switches because we are going to update these the next financal year but knowing how much school demands change year to year i might as well build into this the extra users. so instead of getting 2 main dc servers i might have to get 4 servers, if you see my point.
    To be honest, finances often dictate this anyway. I'm all for load-balancing as much as possible, and even have our user data spread over 4 separate servers. In your case, whilst providing a wireless facility for that many users is a considerable job, it does always end up back at your backbone and servers. My advice would be to spread the load as much as you can afford to. Don't forget, also, that your data is likely to increase significantly, so not only do you have to plan ahead for future growth regards storage, but also your backup procedures may need addressing.

  15. Thanks to Gibson335 from:

    ticker (9th January 2009)

  16. #59

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Birmingham
    Posts
    169
    Thank Post
    54
    Thanked 19 Times in 18 Posts
    Rep Power
    22
    OK. We've just taken a delivery of about 250 HP 2133 netbooks, under the laptops for students scheme.

    By my adding up that comes to about 400 per unit, somewhat expensive given that the only real addons are office 2007 and an RM support contract, and I'm not sure what is covered there.

    The only envolvment I've had is a somewhat confused telephone conversation before Christmas with someone from our LEA, who was under the impression that I would know something about the scheme.

    Anyway all that aside, my question to you guys is have any of your schools been given any computers under this scheme, and what's your involvement? Are the kids allowed to bring them into school and connect to the network?

    I think that to be expected to support another 250 computers and all the problems that come with them is a bit a p**s take.

    Thanks all.
    Last edited by jcs808; 13th January 2009 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Spelling mistake

  17. #60

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Bob

    I think most of the students wont want them anyway because they already have better ones.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 4 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Students own laptops
    By imiddleton25 in forum Wireless Networks
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 20th June 2008, 12:47 PM
  2. Best laptops for students to take home
    By microcosm in forum Hardware
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 9th May 2008, 09:24 AM
  3. DHCP on students laptops
    By Sean in forum Wireless Networks
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 29th June 2006, 10:32 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •