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32 computers in every classroom in our new school - Disaster or opportunity?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by September, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. September

    September New commenter

    Our school BSF is going ahead and in the new school there are going to be 32 computers in every classroom (not laptops). Is this a disaster waiting to happen or a great opportunity. I am concerned as the money is there to buy the computers but what about when they need replacing. I asked for three suites of computers for my Faculty but was told that I had to have the computers in every classroom.
     
  2. September

    September New commenter

    Our school BSF is going ahead and in the new school there are going to be 32 computers in every classroom (not laptops). Is this a disaster waiting to happen or a great opportunity. I am concerned as the money is there to buy the computers but what about when they need replacing. I asked for three suites of computers for my Faculty but was told that I had to have the computers in every classroom.
     
  3. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    Hi September,
    32 computers in every classroom !! Blimey,
    If that was going to happen where I am here are a few questions I would be asking
    1. How many technicians will be needed to service these when things go pear-shaped (and believe me, they will)?
    2. How much will the techincal support cost & will the cost of replacing computers be separate to this in the budget?
    3. Can a code be written to disable the function key? (so no little tw-rp fiddles with it and causes mayhem with the keyboard letters becoming numbers) This will stop the non-technical teachers stressing you out with multitudes of complaints.
    4. Software costs and licences- how much?
    5. To Wi-fi or not to Wi-Fi (what happens when it fails)?
    Other than that- Computers in every class sounds marvellous!!
    BPG
     
  4. slingshotsally

    slingshotsally Star commenter

    I forgot to add- Where is this school? I would love to work there. Seriously- do you need anyone to teach the year 7's?
    BPG
     
  5. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    Rolling replacement is going to be interesting. Who thought that 32 PCs per classroom was a good idea in the first instance?
    How many PCs is that in total? How big is the school? Wouldn't OLPC have been a better approach?

     
  6. Buying 32 PCs per room and linking them together as a network is easy peasy. The very difficult bit comes afterwards. How many are there in total? Who will maintain them? (allow about 1 technician for 40 or 50 PCs). When something stops working after getting everyone to rely on them, who will sort it out quickly? Is payment for future equipment / replacements guaranteed? How much time is given to staff training? Given the death of ICT as subject is only a year or two away, who will train teachers / pupils, or will they be used just for surfing, PowerPoint and Word? Who will be responsible for damage and monitoring what pupils (and staff) use them for? Who will lead the development of ICT in the future? How will staff's needs be conveyed to those in charge? What software will there be, who decides, and costs of licences and updates needs to be factored in. etc
    Children are called children because they are children. They need to be taught things, like how to use IT for greatest effect, responsibly etc.
     
  7. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    I'd LOVE your technician budget. We'd have 4x the number of technicians we currently have. Not sure what they'd do most of the time though.
    Do you really have 1:40 or 1:50 at your school?
     
  8. Per pupil PC, yes, about that....
     
  9. Wow, our two technicians will love to know that they do the job of 8+ people!
     
  10. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    ROFL
     
  11. Trendy Art

    Trendy Art Occasional commenter

    I work in a BSF school. There are 2/3 technicians. What happens is that you have to contact a company by email. The call gets logged. If it can be dealt with by 'first line' (i.e. a call centre somewhere) then the call gets closed. If not, goes to second line (technicians). If still unresolved goes to third line (company managers who operate in the locality).
    We have a managed service. The on-floor technicians work very hard, but you have to put things on to a call queue á la business. You can understand that it can take more time to get a call dealt with, as it's simply not a case of nabbing the technician when you want them.
    At a price - a managed service is run for profit, after all. That's where the rub is.
    Some during and after the service commencement day, more likely through goodwill on colleagues' part to share practice.
    School will need to pay managed service to fix problem - part of contract for the company to run the system.
    Muggins.
    Talk to management and in meetings with LA/managed service representatives.
    Had to design a base image with requests from staff in the old school prior to BSF. Balanced with overall costs.







     
  12. djphillips1408

    djphillips1408 New commenter

    ditto, we have around 350 machines and 2 technicians.... I wonder where the 1:40 ratio guidelines came from?
     
  13. Becta specs apparently reckoned 1 tech per 120 machines in a single platform environment and 1 per 80 in mult-platform.
     
  14. 32 PCs in every room is madness! How old fashioned and inflexible are all these learning spaces gong to be? Total costs will be huge to keep these going, and the bill in 3-5 years time will be a sight for sore eyes for replacements!

    However if the moneyis there now and in the future then surely buying one laptop per child and allowing them to be taken home would have a far higher impact on the learning and lives of your pupils than PCs on desks?
     
  15. Oh and my 2 technicians and 400 machines would weep at the ratio in posts above!!!
     
  16. September

    September New commenter

    My boss is not even happy having all these computers in ours school. It is our ICT manager who is against the idea of laptops. He keeps telling me how much they cost and that people forget to charge them up. When I asked the ICT manager who use to be SL of ICT if he had ever taught classes using laptops his response was no. I have made my concerns very clear at school and await what happens in 5 years time when the money runs out. When asked about money for software I have been told we will have microsoft office only. Pointless!!
     
  17. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    We had four ICT suites with 30 each, no problem. Those plus a generous provisoin of others dotted around the school kept two full time technicians on their toes but with no major disasters.
    Just make sure you have them around the edge of the room facing outwards and not arranged in those bloody stupid circular islands that you often see in recently-built schools. They'll drive you crackers.
     

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