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Laptops for each student in a classroom, for all subjects. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by webbygeek91, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. Laptops for each student in a classroom, for all subjects. Thoughts?
    My old sixthform did this, and it was very successful. Does your school do this, or would you like to get involved, or do you think its just a fad?
    Does it help more lesson productivity? Make students more motivated?
    If so, what stages do you have this at (e.g. whole school or just sixthform)
    If you do, do you have any rules regarding their use?
    Have SEN students got involved? Did it make a difference to quality or eagerness to work?
    What would put you off? What would persaude you to get involved?
    (Assuming money wasn't an issue!)

     
  2. Laptops for each student in a classroom, for all subjects. Thoughts?
    My old sixthform did this, and it was very successful. Does your school do this, or would you like to get involved, or do you think its just a fad?
    Does it help more lesson productivity? Make students more motivated?
    If so, what stages do you have this at (e.g. whole school or just sixthform)
    If you do, do you have any rules regarding their use?
    Have SEN students got involved? Did it make a difference to quality or eagerness to work?
    What would put you off? What would persaude you to get involved?
    (Assuming money wasn't an issue!)

     
  3. Wifi problems. Lots of other technical problems. Upgrade costs. Security issues (both network and thieving). Distraction issues. Gimmickry.
    SEN students, depends on the SEN. Inability to use the equipment, or need to protect the equipment.
     
  4. Thanks for your input :)
     
  5. Trendy Art

    Trendy Art Star commenter

    Laptops run out of power and the battery life decreases over time. It's very disruptive when a student needs a power pack.
    The classroom management is tough if you don't have a 1:1 ratio where pupils loan the device for the year and have individual accountability. Wastes a lot of time if they are being taken out of trolleys and later returned.
    You will get two types of teache - those who check the devices carefully back into trolleys to charge but lose learning time. Or those who maximise the learning time, but the devices go back in a haphazard fashion.

     
  6. Jessy1234

    Jessy1234 New commenter

    I think that it is worth investing in laptops to use in a classroom that is booked by teachers; who need the students to use ICT for an assesment, coursework. The idea to add laptops to every classroom will distract the students which leads to more stress on the teacher.
     
  7. Background: excellent school (relatively) and good behaviour.
    We have a number of classrooms so equipped.
    Laptops are trashed by students after about 2 years.
    Batteries die at 24 months (ish).
    Chargers die quite frequently.
    Teachers and students cannot be bothered to put them back charging and tidily.
    Batteries run out at 2 hours(ish).
    Wifi is slow and expensive to really secure (kids are really good at hacking, go figure).
    Need I go on?
    Don't do it. For your own sanity.
     
  8. Do-able, but you'll have to spend money to get it right. First, you'll need a proper managed wireless system with enough capacity to handle all of your laptops being used at the same time - a system for a small school might start at £10,000 - £15,000, expect to pay something upwards of that.
    Don't be tempted to try and share laptops between classrooms, the logistics of lugging laptops backwards and forwards simply never works out. Forget about charging trollies, I've never seen those work well either, instead get a multi-battery charger and spare sets of batteries for each classroom (this will ad a fair bit to the initial cost of your laptops, of course). Expect batteries to wear down after a while, but hopefully you should be able to make it to lunch time before you have to swap batteries. Check the review and specifications carefully of whichever laptop you buy, and for a guide as to battery life check the battery garuntee details - they often have separate garuntees from the rest of the laptop, so check carefully exactly what you are getting.
    Assuming a halfway decent managed wireless system, you should be able to manage a remote desktop connection to each of your laptops. That way, you don't need to install much by way of software on your laptops, just a web browser and an RDP client. Aim to have as much as you can happen inside a web browser and use Remote Desktop Services for everything else.
     

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