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How do you do....it? Thread, Notebooks for Students in Technical; I've been asked to find out more info on the Notebook for Students scheme. All I've been given is that ...
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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Notebooks for Students

    I've been asked to find out more info on the Notebook for Students scheme.

    All I've been given is that it is a
    leasing scheme for notebook computers for pupils. The cost was £13 per month over 3 years after which time the notebook was theirs to keep. All students were offered one and notebooks were provided by the school in cases of hardship based on Free school meals. Any pupil who simply opted out was left without one.

    Who runs the scheme?

    Has anyone here been running it and if so what are the pitfalls, if any?

    As I understand it, the notebooks are for home use only. If this is the case, can I presume the supplier takes on the responsibility of maintenance? Does the scheme also include the installation of software such as MS Office?

    Any info or contacts would be appreciated.

    Thanks


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    User3204's Avatar
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  3. Thanks to User3204 from:

    alan-d (30th June 2009)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    A selection of our kids and other schools in Rochdale got them free nearly 2 years ago now. All i can say what a utter waste of money. We get many back broken due to abuse. We have had one where the kid got a knife and prised the case open. Forced the lid right back and much more.

    The SLT agree we would support these things. In return some students got the laptops and a lump some of money.

    The machines are supposed to be given back after the students leave but hardly had any back. Nobody will chase them up.

    The Laptops are used at home and never come into school.

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    alan-d (30th June 2009)

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @alan-d:

    We used Syscap in conjunction with Stone computers for desktops which students parents could sign up for.
    It went very well as I had very little to do with the servicing as this was all done by Stone and very well too.
    I believe that Syscap do notebook schemes as well and will run the project for you all you have to do as a school is hold a parents evening and tell them what your plans are and how much it is going to cost them.
    Syscap have 2 insurance policies which is part of the agreement, one is for accidental damage which replaces the notebook within a certain time frame (24 hours) and two for the non payment and unemployment for the parent factor.

    Hope this has been of help.

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    alan-d (30th June 2009)

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Thanks, I've already spoken to Stone Computers and they are digging out some info for me. Syscap seems to be the most popular choice but the website is lacking any real detail, so I need to speak to them.

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    Have you tried the e-learning foundation?

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    alan-d (2nd July 2009)

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Not yet - my remit was just to find out a little more on the subject.

    Here is an extract of my findings I sent to the SMT asking the question - it may be of use to others. I'm now just waiting to see if SMT want to progress any further.

    The Notebooks for studentsí schemes are varied in all aspects, from funding, maintenance, availability and uptake from parents/students.
    From my investigations there seems to be the general consensus that the scheme as a whole is poorly managed at the higher levels and is pretty much left to the school, supplier and any charitable intermediary to make it work. This is probably why there is so much variation between schemes.

    Initial Funding

    Funding can be arranged for the school to buy the laptops and lease them to the students. Parents are either contracted to pay a monthly fee or are asked to make voluntary contributions. Some computer companies will assist with the funding but on the whole it seems that the school will need to provide at least some funding.

    Maintenance

    Maintenance issues also vary. Most schools seem to opt for the supplier to carry out all the maintenance issues directly once the school has allocated the notebook to a student. This obviously means there is no impact, beyond the initial setup, on school staff.

    Some schools have opted to allow the notebooks to be used within the school as well as at home and taken on the responsibility of the maintenance up to the point of hardware failure, in which case the notebook is returned to the supplier/manufacturer for repair. The reality of this seems to be that the students do not bring the notebooks into school until it is broken either physically or contains a virus or other software malfunction. Some have told me that despite security restrictions being put in place some have been 'hacked' by
    family members to remove or bypass the restrictions.

    Uptake

    It seems that even though a large number of parents show an interest initially, once the notebooks have been ordered a large proportion of parents opt out, leaving the school with a surplus of notebooks which are not being paid for or contributed towards.

    Finding a provider and more Information

    During my little investigation various companies were mentioned with mixed opinions on how well they performed by the way of contractual obligation and assistance. None of them were held in high esteem. The one organisation that did seem to come out on top was the E-Learning Foundation. Although not a supplier they do a great deal to explain the processes available and guide the school through the minefield of options.

    http://www.e-learningfoundation.com/Cms.aspx?link=8ec23b22-070c-4ab7-b62f-772c322a2b02

    Contacts for the E-Learning Foundation can be found here

    http://www.e-learningfoundation.com/StaffContact.aspx?link=ad9aeef4-3d38-4de9-862d-f70aaf202237

    {School Name} used the E-Learning Foundation and found them to be very helpful. The School do not maintain any of the notebooks or administer any of the funding. The Parents deal with the supplier directly.

    {School Name} had so many notebooks left over they interpreted the rules liberally and used the notebooks within the school (They were still for use by pupils!).

    {School Name}decided to carry out everything in-house with over 200 notebooks and the Network manager tells me that it has been a 'nightmare' to administer and that some parents have not made any contributions which leaves the college to pick up the bill.




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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    We have leased HP and Toshiba laptops on two separate occasions from Misco and parents have paid monthly via Syscap. I will probably be repeating the scheme again this year. I find if the students / parents are paying for the laptops they tend to look after them a lot more than if they were giving them through school.

  13. Thanks to Sylv3r from:

    alan-d (3rd July 2009)

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    Just had an email from the Head saying "Forget it"

    Thanks to all those who contributed, both on and off the forums

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    I just wondered if anyone can recommend some good, but cheap rugged laptops for primary students use (apart from the RM laptops I already know about).

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