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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Help needed for a report to my boss in Technical; Hi guys, Wonder if some of you could help me produce a report to my bosses regarding mobile devices in ...
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    Help needed for a report to my boss

    Hi guys,

    Wonder if some of you could help me produce a report to my bosses regarding mobile devices in school. We have a new enthusiatic teacher who is very very very very very keen on iPads but I need some evidence for and against them in schools. Probably going to be KS2 as we can't see them being useful in KS3 at the moment.

    Really appreciate any feedback people can give me, be nice to get some positive and negative comments.

    Along the line of.

    What mobile devices you are using and are they any good. (apple and android would be nice)
    Individual devices or class based.
    What KS are using them
    Do the school own them or part own them
    Any experience of taking them through from KS2 to KS3 and beyond
    A technicians view... how many breakages, reliability.
    Importance of reliable wireless, I knows its very important in MS to boot up properly but do drops in signal matter as much?(we have netgear devices here which i am not enamoured with, recently got some new 360s which I hope are better)
    Did you make the right choice?
    VLE vs Mobile devices, what would you spend on.

    Thanks muchly

    (you can PM me if you want to remain anon)

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    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Just wondering if there is anyone like @Millgate or the likes who could let you have an iPad and maybe a couple of android devices on trial to compare them and see what they are both like for educational purposes

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Why stuff against them? Why not balance and also put the good points down?

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    Bearing in mind we're only using them for staff here and so my concerns are a) data protection b) security c) them being useful for the role

    Quote Originally Posted by Simcfc73 View Post
    What mobile devices you are using and are they any good. (apple and android would be nice)
    iPad3 & iPad 2, Wifi model, some personal devices are 3G too. Various personally-owned Android Tablets.
    Individual devices or class based.
    Individual - one device, one person (all staff currently)
    Do the school own them or part own them
    Mix of school and personally-owned.
    A technicians view... how many breakages, reliability.
    Since it's one person, one device, not a lot of issues. I produced an initial setup guide for our network. Any device that Activesyncs gets locked down. Any device connecting to the wireless needs to support pin lock at a minimum. If it gets nicked, you let me know after the police so I can disable your account and/or wipe the device. It must support WPA2-Enterprise. Support for personal devices is best-effort.

    On a "how useful are they?", my boss answers her email faster, so that's a plus and things can be rooted out of inboxes in meetings faster. Sorting out diaries is easier (Login, launch Outlook / OWA vs unlock phone / fondleslab and hit calendar). So they've been unexpectedly successful here (in ways that make my life easier) for the "running the business" side of things.

    From a T&L side, I'm still seeing them being used in classrooms in conjunction with projectors and for unobtrusive note-taking while assessing an ongoing student presentation. Most people have bought their own, so I suspect there's a "I'm going to get my money's worth out of it" incentive. People are buying them out of their own cash because they want to use them.

    VLE vs Mobile devices, what would you spend on
    If you don't currently provide a means for students to access their work outside of school already, I'd say VLE. I'd probably still say "well-maintained and used VLE" simply because the cash scales better - greatest benefit to the greatest number.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simcfc73 View Post
    What mobile devices you are using and are they any good. (apple and android would be nice)
    IOS, Android, Windows, OSX and Linux

    Quote Originally Posted by Simcfc73 View Post
    What KS are using them
    KS3,KS4,KS5

    Quote Originally Posted by Simcfc73 View Post
    Do the school own them or part own them
    Both, some are school owned and some are user owned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simcfc73 View Post
    Any experience of taking them through from KS2 to KS3 and beyond
    not at KS2

    Quote Originally Posted by Simcfc73 View Post
    A technicians view... how many breakages, reliability.
    Some screen breakages (rare). If students own the devices, or feel that they own them then they tend to look after them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simcfc73 View Post
    Importance of reliable wireless, I knows its very important in MS to boot up properly but do drops in signal matter as much?(we have netgear devices here which i am not enamoured with, recently got some new 360s which I hope are better)
    A good wired and wireless system is absolutely critical for any mobile device. It needs to be robust and reliable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simcfc73 View Post
    Did you make the right choice?
    I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Simcfc73 View Post
    VLE vs Mobile devices, what would you spend on.
    pretty much all our software is VLE based. We buy windows only software as an absolute last resort - then run it over citrix for mobile users.

    A failsafe guide pretty much goes like this.
    1) get SLT to agree some policies, AUPS etc (with you)
    2) Get a decent wired and wireless infrastructure that can cope with the demand
    3) Get a decent broadband connection (we needed to go out of LA support) and simple proxy setup.
    4) Ditch MSOffice - it won't run on most wireless devices, so make it clear to staff that Office files are not acceptable to use with students. Google apps meets all the demands you will need in a school except for A level ICT which requires some type of database app. Terminal services won't cut it unless you have a lot of cash to buy licenses for all the students.
    5) Get a terminal services environment for all those 'difficult' apps including flash based things for IOS.
    6) load up the VLE with content - most educational apps are vle based anyway now.
    7) inform parents and wait for inevitable dislikes
    8) ???
    9) profit.

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