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Wireless Networks Thread, Teacher Laptops v Teacher Desk Computer in Technical; Originally Posted by Flakes we currently have laptops for every teacher however certain rooms do have desktops in as well. ...
  1. #46
    p858snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flakes View Post
    we currently have laptops for every teacher however certain rooms do have desktops in as well. due to the declining budget and the cost of keeping laptops in circulation we considered moving to desktops only, however we couldn't afford the initial costs, and trying to get the teachers to give up there laptops is a bit like pulling out your own teeth with your hands tied behind your back while drowning.

    in the long run laptops are so much more expensive and cause so many problems, from spillage, to dropping them, bending vga lead pins, faulty vga ports because vga lead pins become weak and get jammed inside. We do have some desktops around the school and the teachers in those classrooms use there desktops for presentations, however when a teacher who doesnt normally use that room comes allong they end up unplugging everything to use there laptop and the teacher who has the room cant work out were everything goes... there just a nightmare tbh.

    a few questions for those who went from laptops to desktops:

    1. how did you cope with the increased use of network drives? we currently give each teacher 2GB of space and find that most store everything on there desktop no matter how many times we tell them to use there H drive(normally get the reply "not enough space"), we cant afford more.

    2. Did you install each desktop and work out the best placement in each room, or did you hire someone else?

    3. What steps did you take to convince the staff to go this way, how did they adapt? < i see this as the biggest stumbling block tbh.
    As for stuff pulling cables out for their laptops and the likes, put a VGA switch box ([ame=http://www.amazon.com/2-1-VGA-Switchbox-DB15/dp/B000BSN1NE]Example @ Amazon[/ame]) and then have a lead that runs up to the desk that they can use and all they need to do is flick a switch without touching the desktop.

    Just don't run the desktop straight into it, duplicate the desktop output so that it goes to the monitor and the box leaving it usable whilst a laptop is active. Some people run the desktop and laptop into the switchbox then the duplicator off the output and have the dup. running to the monitor and the projector which makes the desktop unusable since it has no monitor.

    This way you can also have a desktop in each room and then staff decide what they want to use, This also helps if a laptop breaks or a replacement teacher is in or the likes.

    A small(ish) diagram of what i mean:
    Last edited by p858snake; 5th February 2010 at 12:57 AM. Reason: added diagram

  2. #47

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    A couple of my schools have recently moved away from laptops in the classrooms on the IWB's because a) as a result the staff either tend to leave them there and not use them for PPA/home work or;
    b) they do unplug them and take them home and VGA cables aren't designed to do this too often, resulting in unreliable cables and the occasional broken VGA port on laptop with ham-fistedness.

    On 2 sites we bought in a load of RM machines with a dedicated graphics card so we can drive a monitor (one batch is RMOnes) and projector simultaneously without the need of switchboxes/splitters, + having the ability to use them as separate screens if need be - teacher can still work on computer whilst the kids are watching whatever on the IWB.

    This has been rather popular; they're only primary schools so it wasn't difficult to implement but all staff have been more than happy to have a usable laptop as well as a decently specified computer for the IWB.

    Plus, as a direct result the IWB machines are now on the relevant CC3/CC4 system so software allocation to just those machines is useful

  3. #48

    localzuk's Avatar
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    We appear to be moving towards a dual solution - namely desktops, and laptops. The desktops will be set up as the IWB driving machines, and the laptops are for staff to whizz around with and do work on, say, at home.

    Due to the fact that keeping a fleet of 35 laptops and 35 desktops running would cost us a small fortune, we're making their working lives longer. So, instead of the 3 years desktops, they will hit 4 or 5 years and the same with the laptops (although, I have already started to implement this anyway, as there is nothing wrong with most of our 3 year old laptops we currently have, so why replace them?).

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    We ditched the desktop PC in each classroom when we brought in the laptops for teachers scheme just over 3 years ago. Having been involved with the whole project, I'm glad we did. To replace a ridiculous amount of old desktops in classrooms was going to be a nightmare.

    There are still a few odd connection issues (on wireless or IWB) with the less able teachers, but it enables the member of staff to work from home with remote e-mail/serco; and with the huge amount of classroom changes that take place, there's no excuse for a laptop not working (as it's their own responsibility) and not being able to get on with the lesson. The vast training we've done has helped immensely! They can't blame a fixed desktop PC not working because someone else hasn't reported it. There are far more positive points going with the laptop than fixed computer I think in today's world.

    Much better wireless technology, better hardware is now cheaper, and choosing the right laptop (size/weight/portability/features) is also key (which I think some organisations don't look at enough!).

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