Wireless Networks Thread, Teacher Laptops v Teacher Desk Computer in Technical; Right - I am wondering what is the general consensus among other schools about staff laptops. I'm guessing most schools ...
3rd April 2009, 09:16 AM #1
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Teacher Laptops v Teacher Desk Computer
Right - I am wondering what is the general consensus among other schools about staff laptops. I'm guessing most schools use electronic registration now so will need some form of computer to register.
How many schools have ditched laptops for having a desktop on each teacher desk? ( PE etc would be the exception ). Are any schools planning on doing it? Anyone done it and gone back to laptops? Any schools think staff laptops are the thing and here to stay forever?
The question is - would having a desktop on each teachers desk with SIMS and permanent network, projector connections be better in the long run over staff having a laptop each and connecting up to projector / network (if no wireless)?
3rd April 2009, 09:39 AM #2
We have a computer in every classroom but never had Laptops to start with. We are fairly against Laptops for many reasons & the classroom PCs have been a great step for so many good reasons
3rd April 2009, 09:44 AM #3
We have a Desktop pc for each teacher use in class which is connected to the interactive boards. They also have a laptop to use to, the benefits are we hardly ever get problems with projector and whiteboard connections and you donít have the problem with staff forgetting or to lazy to bring in their laptop, however we also hardly ever see the laptops until a problem occurs or they have bust it.
3rd April 2009, 09:50 AM #4
We used to have a teachers PC in every room, but 4 years ago, all staff were issued with a laptop and told in no uncertain terms that not having it with them was not going to happen.
We're now slowly taking the PCs away and if a teacher is without a laptop for even one lesson, they tend to behave liike the world has ended. One teacher even goes so far as to refuse to teach if she doesn't have a laptop
3rd April 2009, 09:51 AM #5
We used to have computers in each classroom to drive projectors. We found they were prone to misuse, vandalism, and outright theft since classrooms are unsupervised and usually unlocked during breaks and free periods. Most of our staff already had a laptop issued to them so we competed that rollout and replaced all the classroom computers with laptop port replicators. The replicator is permanently connected to the whiteboard, amplifiers, and a wired network connection as well as having a dedicated power supply.
Staff have been extremely happy with the change - many even went out of their way to tell me how much of an improvement they thought it was, which usually never happens. The key benefit for them is that they can use 'their' machine in any classroom they go to with minimum setup time (they can be logged on and have their materials open before they even enter the classroom) and without having to cart their PSU around (and subsequently lose it).
3rd April 2009, 09:54 AM #6
We currently provide each member of staff with a laptop which they move from classroom to classroom in order to deliver lessons and also use the E-reg. BIggest problem is the number of laptops we get through, in the last three months alone we've had to buy 10 new laptops due to staff dropping them, generally mis-using them and even just general wear and tear (the number of laptops that have broken simply due to over-use is quite frightening).
Our aim over this summer is to replace them with a desktop PC on every desktop for similar reasons as in Ozzy's post. As mentioned, this should reduce connectivity issues with the whiteboard and the projector. Having said that, in my previous school we did have a problem with staff leaving PC's logged on when they left a room and the PC locking. The next member of staff would come in and wouldn't be able to get access without restarting the PC, this would often lead to the original teacher losing unsaved work
Having been in both situations, I would say that the desktop PC is the better alterntative, however you must ensure that you have spares that can be swapped straight in when one falls over.
3rd April 2009, 10:10 AM #7
I have been in both situations. My previous school used desktop pc in every class room. They worked really well if they have an external link to their documents from home and are able to upload content for the next day. They hardly ever went wrong, and most useful for teachers who stay in the same room all the time.
Downside they seem to harbour junk !!!
The school Iím currently in have laptops for all members of staff with a network account and a local account. Itís very easy for members of staff to carry their documents with them. They do take up a lot of tech time due to breakages, but as long you keep them under warrantee there not too bad.
The setting up of them takes the time. We get a few call outs a day with projector problems and Network Problems as staff donít plug bits in correctly.
If you have a small limited amount of technicians I would go the desktop route if you have time on your hands the laptop is probably the better solution for the teacher.
3rd April 2009, 10:19 AM #8
Every single member of teaching staff here has a laptop issued to them and it's loaded with the software and configuration for our promethean boards.
However we get the issue of staff leaving them plugged in when they the room because it's too much like work to unplug them.
We have various different makes and models so a laptop specific dockign port would be no good however I'm wondering if the all in one usb2 ones would work? that way they only have to unplug 1 cable.
3rd April 2009, 10:19 AM #9
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I just had that very debate, this week ! There is a culture in education that a laptop is a "perk" and as such you would have to prize a laptop from the staffs cold dead hands .
I wanted to go with the PC in every room, with roaming profiles. This was rejected..
So I have come up with a cunning plan..
USB Port replicators Hard wired to the Projectors, IWBs and the Lan,
Staff have just to present 1 USB cable to laptop, all other trailing wires.. Gone.
The new Tosh Smart Dock looks like it can do the job I would be very interested in other that have tried a "docking solution".
So we are Laptops all the way here !
3rd April 2009, 10:23 AM #10
PC's in every classroom.
If I were to give a laptop to teachers I am certain it would cause issues with broken this, this isn't working etc etc.
The other issue is if you have Port replicators (I assume this is the laptop docking station) that you have to have the same laptops throughout the school.
(PC's are easier to maintain)
3rd April 2009, 10:28 AM #11
Most of the staff here have laptops, some staff have no problems. We have roaming profiles set here and on the staff who request it, we set up offline files, so that they can access there work at home, and it will sync when there back in.
I personally hate offline files as it seems to set every share offline and in the end fills the hard drive.
I would much prefer them to have a laptop and a pc in the classroom.
The amount of times i get people coming in saying, Teacher1 is on a course and has took his laptop home, i need one to teach and i left mine at home.
But our budget is only 15k and most of that is spent on laptops for students and ink.
3rd April 2009, 10:35 AM #12
Dedicated machine for smarboard/projector as staff go sick/ppa/courses so needed so board can still be used.
Laptop for teacher for planning.
We used to save money by using teacher laptops as class teaching tool but not any more (except where the head hasn't come round to my way of thinking )
3rd April 2009, 10:42 AM #13
We use electronic registration and have an IWB in each room. Like most here, we decided to use desktops for this. No messing with cables, consistent software packages, always on, and there is always one guaranteed to be there.
3rd April 2009, 10:47 AM #14
All teachers here have a laptop provided. They are the only laptops I agree with using in school. Still don't think the technologies right for general class use.
Teachers have full local admin control over the laptop, so can install/do what they like with them. If they £@%^$% it up then I'll simple re-image the machine with the school defaults.
Software is installed via GPO's so (as long as we have licenses) they get all the software needed for their department. For example science teachers get 'Multimedia Science' installed.
I've just put in place a 4-year replacement cycle. The second of which have now been issued out. I'm slowly removing legacy bit's of kit attached to IWB's and forcing staff into using their laptops.
3rd April 2009, 10:50 AM #15
We moved from laptops to desktops a while ago and it was a good decision here.
*Cut out the connection problems (and bent pins on video cables)
*Much easier to keep things consistent across school (no more updating of Smart software at home, using a notebook then saving as a later version making it unusable for everyone else)
*No problems if supply is in and there is no laptop
The decision was also due to ongoing virus problems after laptops were used at home.
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