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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) in Technical; Hi All, We are thinking about saving money on buying new PC's this year and implementing a BOYC policy, I ...
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    Grimley's Avatar
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    Cool Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC)

    Hi All,

    We are thinking about saving money on buying new PC's this year and implementing a BOYC policy, I was just wondering if anyone has done something similar and if so what issue did they have and or advice would you give?

    These PC's would have a Citrix Client installed on them so they would be able to access applications and virtual desktops from there own machine using them as a terminal.

    Any related advice would be most appreciated.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    They have done this at my daughter's school. I can't comment on the technical side, but the implementation has not been popular with parents or staff.

    Bring your own computer sounds great, but the kids can't charge them during the day so few last to period 5. Then there are the problems of theft, losing them on the bus and dropping them.

    Teachers hate them because home laptops have webcams and games that are a huge distraction and the cameras are also a safeguarding risk. Kids also use their own wifi dongles to bypass the school web filtering.

    It's not as simple as your SLT would like to think...
    Last edited by elsiegee40; 30th March 2011 at 08:35 AM.

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    We're in the very early stages of looking at this but we're a university where almost every student already does bring their own computer - providing a farm of VDI machines for them to connect to would mean we could probably give students access to all the licensed software without them installing it (with all the licensing nightmares that brings)

    The benefits are that we save on all the costs of the desktop PCs; we've already got power and data sockets where students could plug in their laptops.

    I could imagine doing something similar for staff - again, there's a cost saving on hardware (and if you go the way some corporates do and expect people to look after their own machine then you save even more money!)

    In a school, however, this could be a nightmare for all the reasons @elsieegee40 raises.

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    If you're going to be running a Citrix client, why not just keep the computers you have? Or buy a job lot of older computers that have the bare minimum spec required.

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    AngryTechnician's Avatar
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    Do you have figures on how many of your students have computers suitable for this, and do you plan to set aside funding to provide for those pupils that do not?

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Apply everything in this thread http://www.edugeek.net/forums/behind...they-mean.html to you as NM with students having their own computers and work out how much valium you'll need!

    Other thoughts as I came to school were in line with AT... what will you do for those students won't/can't afford to buy a laptop for school use?

    Own laptops are not mandatory at my daughter's school though, from the emails we get, the school's SLT would clearly like them to be so. My daughter doesn't take her laptop to school and uses the school's computers. This is her decision, not mine. She's in Year 12 and able to make her own mind up.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    What happens when their computer is broken during school time? Whose responsibility would that be?

    What about child protection issues - when the child is walking home carrying their $1000 laptop, they're basically a walking mugging victim.

    What about when children start playing games during lessons? As they're not your computers, you can't stop them installing anything.

    Or how about pornography? They would easily be able to pass it around school on their laptops etc...

    So many issues with this as a concept.

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    I'm wondering how much money this would actually save. You would need to invest in a pretty hefty server farm, licencing for Citrix etc, increased security on the network, loan equipment for when a student has forgotten or broken their laptop, secure storage for the pupils laptops at lunchtime or when they're not using them. Also, I can see needing a bigger IT support team to sort out all the random laptop problems.

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    As someone who worked on a uni laptop help clinic for six months before coming to my senses and bailing (was studying there, the money was good, don't judge me ).......

    1) Enforce a minimum spec (even for Citrix endpoints, you'll need to spec battery life, screen size, decent keyboard, weight (they're kids)).
    2) Discover parents can't understand it
    3) Realise you'll have to give examples
    4) Realise parents will take those examples as the One True Laptops
    5) Watch as they blame you for all problems with the One True Laptops
    6) ?????
    7) Profit?

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    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    I'm wondering how much money this would actually save. You would need to invest in a pretty hefty server farm, licencing for Citrix etc, increased security on the network, loan equipment for when a student has forgotten or broken their laptop, secure storage for the pupils laptops at lunchtime or when they're not using them. Also, I can see needing a bigger IT support team to sort out all the random laptop problems.
    I would think that to make it cost effective - you would have to wash your hands of all problems relating to the actual laptops - or it would be unmanageable.

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    teejay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    I would think that to make it cost effective - you would have to wash your hands of all problems relating to the actual laptops - or it would be unmanageable.
    Agreed, just can't see that happening though. You can just see it, 'Johnny can't access the school network and he needs to finish his coursework that's 6 months late and YOUR network isn't working, get it fixed!'

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    Pete10141748's Avatar
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    Sounds like a nightmare to me.

    Hundreds of different makes and models + who's supporting it,
    warranty restricts what you can do to fix it (if anything),
    what about chargers & they'll have to be PAT tested,
    lost/broken/stolen laptops - covered under warranty or insurance?,
    school responsible for replacement?,
    who's accountable for the safety of equipment,
    what happens when X pupil starts showing off their "Games for Windows" collection and playing Bioshock at lunchtime (or in class!),
    no restrictions on installations,
    bypassing of filtering with 3G dongles,
    who is installing anti-virus and checking it is up to date,
    what if the laptop has a "home" version of an OS and can't connect to your network properly,
    teacher teaching something in PowerPoint and pupil laptop only has Lotus Notes or 'MS Works' on it,
    what if a laptop 'bricks', who's re-installing the OS, will work be lost, backing up of work etc

    There's more but that'll make my point I think. If SLT here said they wanted to do this, I'd be brow-beating them until they agreed to either not do it, or let me write a policy that was so airtight I would never need to touch any of the computers that are not owned by the school, no matter what the implication, even if Little Johnny has lost his coursework I'd make damn sure it was nothing to do with me to sort it out.
    Last edited by Pete10141748; 30th March 2011 at 11:19 AM.

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    I am so glad so many here have sensibly seen the issues with BYOT, I have thought along the lines of most of you but have heard from those that are advocates of this approach who wont listen to reason.
    You have restored my faith in common sense

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    I'm sorely tempted to email the link to this thread to the SLT and Chair of Governors at daughter's school! But I guess the sight of their own NM gibbering in a corner has already indicate that wasn't such a great idea.

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    I could see it working as an added benefit but not as an alternative to your own computers.

    Some of the fixes to the issues off the top of my head:
    Hundreds of different makes and models + who's supporting it, - Set a minimum level of help you can provide. If it doesn't boot you can advise but won't touch, if it can't connect to the network you'll troubleshoot and fix up to a hardware issue, school software not working you'll fix.
    Hardware issues/bricking/replacements - Not your problem their tech
    what happens when X pupil starts showing off their "Games for Windows" collection and playing Bioshock at lunchtime (or in class!), - It's lunch, why worry. During a lesson it is a classroom management issue same as if they brought in a magazine and was reading it under the desk.
    teacher teaching something in PowerPoint and pupil laptop only has Lotus Notes or 'MS Works' on it, - VDI solution shoudl solve that as they will use the apps provided by the school.
    bypassing of filtering with 3G dongles, - slightly trickier but still classroom management. Same as if a child was using their phone to browse the internet.
    no restrictions on installations, - this would be the biggest issue I can see and the solution is you'd have to have your s**t together. Network would need to be as bulletproof as you can make it, wireless solution well configured and everything well secured.
    Porn - sames as the old mag found in a hedge (who was putting them there!!). Your net connection supplied will be filtered anything being passed around should be dealt with as if it were hard copy.
    (Not picking on you pete, your list was the most concise)

    Just to make clear, as a complete alternative to having your own computers I think it is too fraught with issues. As a complementary solution I think it has benefits.

  16. 2 Thanks to TechMonkey:

    GrumbleDook (30th March 2011), Soulfish (30th March 2011)

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