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IT News Thread, Free Schools in Other News; I wanted to talk more about 'free schools' at the Ruckus conf last week, but information was thin on the ...
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    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Free Schools

    I wanted to talk more about 'free schools' at the Ruckus conf last week, but information was thin on the ground. Now the BBC has reported these more in depth here: BBC News - Government sets out how to establish 'free schools'

    Thye will br free of local authority control, free to opt out of the national curriculum and ba able to dictate their own wages for all staff including teachers. What I would like to ensure is that amyone settign up a free school gets the best information possible as regards to ICT setups, purchasing and staffing. My main fear is that it will be like the early days of NGfL where the vultures decended on UK schools and sold them poor networks, computers and servers that were inadequet for the task required. I'd hate to see them crippled from day one.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I bet they could have got lots of information from Becta ...

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    What I would like to ensure is that amyone settign up a free school gets the best information possible as regards to ICT setups, purchasing and staffing.
    How? As pointed out, Becta won't be around to advise, so who would a new Free School go to for sensible ICT advice? Could EduGeek publish its own guide? Will all Free Schools be basically setting up from scratch - could we all simply get together and publish some guidlines as to how to best set up a school network from scratch, in a number of different budget bands? I can see that turning in to quite a long thread...

    --
    David Hicks

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    How? As pointed out, Becta won't be around to advise, so who would a new Free School go to for sensible ICT advice? Could EduGeek publish its own guide? Will all Free Schools be basically setting up from scratch - could we all simply get together and publish some guidlines as to how to best set up a school network from scratch, in a number of different budget bands? I can see that turning in to quite a long thread...

    --
    David Hicks
    Whilst I do think that this is a great idea I do wonder how practical its is going to be. To be frank we can't agree on most tiny details so something as large and important as this kinda of guidance is a nightmare.

    However, I would love to see EG guidance this so, if this is a go-er, I would suggest some kinda of working party drawn from proven knowledgeable members from different areas of education, rather than a free for all.

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    Domino's Avatar
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    iPads for every child!

    Every classroom to be made of touchscreens!

    printers on every desk!



    Teachers to be fitted with a neural implant to allow total control.....hang on, thats actually not a bad idea

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    webman's Avatar
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    Sparkeh: I think a balanced view giving the possible options is the best way to move forward if that was to be done. Give them the choices and let them make the decisions.

    As they saying goes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. We just have to advise them of the different types of water

    @Domino Are you a consultant working for a Government quango??

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Sparkeh: I think a balanced view giving the possible options is the best way to move forward if that was to be done. Give them the choices and let them make the decisions.
    Oh I agree totally, but let me counter your saying with "Too many cooks spoil the broth"

    I would be worried that the process would be bogged down with infighting. Take managed networks as an example. We have seen recently that as soon as you mention something like CC4 the touchpaper is lit and the arguments explode.

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    webman's Avatar
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    I totally agree with you, on that and the working party idea. Every setup has pros and cons and people should be made aware of all of these to allow them to make an informed decision. Balanced and honest. Asking too much?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    iPads for every child!

    Every classroom to be made of touchscreens!

    printers on every desk!



    Teachers to be fitted with a neural implant to allow total control.....hang on, thats actually not a bad idea
    I'd vote for you...

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    What I would like to ensure is that amyone settign up a free school gets the best information possible as regards to ICT setups, purchasing and staffing. My main fear is that it will be like the early days of NGfL where the vultures decended on UK schools and sold them poor networks, computers and servers that were inadequet for the task required. I'd hate to see them crippled from day one.
    Surely that same risk is there for independent schools, too, and we generally seem to be okay. Don't forget, also, that state schools are fairly susceptible to wasting money on ill-informed purchase decisions. Hands up those people in state schools with equipment which doesn't get used but was bought because the Head had heard about them...

    So long as there is someone knowledgeable involved in the decision making process, it will be fine, regardless of whether you're a state, independent or free school. If that person isn't involed, then it will go horribly wrong, again regardless of whether you're state, independent or free.

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    Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I'd vote for you...
    AWESOME

    I'm up to one. That's enough to win nowadays right?

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    enjay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Domino View Post
    I'm up to one.
    One? Surely it is two, unless you are suggesting that you wouldn't vote for yourself (which I believe is actually the policy of the Monster Raving Loony Party!).

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    Domino's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    One? Surely it is two, unless you are suggesting that you wouldn't vote for yourself (which I believe is actually the policy of the Monster Raving Loony Party!).
    Are you mental? look at what I'm suggesting...of course I wouldn't vote for me!

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    I would suggest some kinda of working party drawn from proven knowledgeable members from different areas of education, rather than a free for all.
    A wiki, or other collaberative editing tool, that gets turned in to a printed book or pamphlet of some kind? Agree the chapter and sub-chapter headings at the start and split the work up like that, letting experts in a particular area work on what they know about?

    --
    David Hicks

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Realistically, the information for infrastructure etc will be the same for Academies as well as free schools ... the use of technology will appear from folk like NAACE and ICT Register (based on real world examples and measured by attainment / achievement) and the implementation stuff (including the various options) is likely to come from examples from EG.



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