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Pupils using own tech

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by newICTeacher, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. We are thinking of allowing our pupils to bring in their own laptops/netbooks and I was wondering if any of you had this scheme in place at your schools.
    Also was wondering if any of you were in the West Midlands area and wouldn't mind me visiting to see how it works

    Thanks in anticipation
  2. madcat

    madcat Occasional commenter

    Before we get on to the tech stuff.
    Just step back and think about the more mundane bits and pieces.
    • Where are the students going to store their laptops at break/lunch etc.
    • Can they use the school's power to recharge their devices ? have you got enough power sockets; have students got easy access; can the school stand the hit on the 'leccy bill - not a problem for a few 10s of devices what happens if say 500 devices appear or a thousand
    • When the device is being transported to school whose insurance covers loss, theft damage etc ?
    • When the device is in school whose insurance covers loss theft etc ?
    • What about those students who cannot afford these devices
    • Will you stick with PCs variants or will you embrace the dark side (linux); the green side (android) or the pink fluffy side (apple)
    • etc
    those'll do for a start
    Then you can start on all of those easy questions about Wifi security ; Wifi stability; virus checking; filtering; network access; 3G etc etc.

  3. madcat
    I have been thinking of this for the past 6 months so I have done lots of research and have the answers to most of the questions. The reason for my post was to answer the last couple of questions I have and these relate to things like insurance and what other schools have allowed pupils to use.
  4. Nice idea, but I think it would be totally unworkable and far too much hard work, sadly. My argument with the students is that if they want to learn how to use ICT well they need to be bale to use both their own systems AND other peoples'.
  5. Thanks for the posts but is there anyone who has actually tried/doing this in their school?
  6. gavcradd

    gavcradd New commenter

    I think the lack of responses says it all.
    I'll add my opinion to those above - I too think it's pie in the sky thinking and unworkable.
  7. Many international schools have a one-to-one laptop programme. Maybe someone in the Teaching Overseas forum can help you more...?
  8. Interesting issues above: Do any of your staff use personal equipment/have you not needed to deal with any of these points already?

  9. Pupil 1 brings in Mac with Office 2008
    Pupil 2 brings in laptop with Wordpad
    Pupil 3 brings in notebook with Works
    Pupil 4 brings in linux laptop with OpenOffice.

    Job as teacher -> get pupils to create a mail merged letter. Good luck with the resources and differentiation....(!)

    I can only imagine this working with a class full of 30 if they were all prepared to load VirtualBox onto their devices and you provided a standard school image that they could boot into while on site.....
  10. DEmsley

    DEmsley New commenter

    @jweb2k Many years ago I taught in a classroom with PCs, Archimedes, and Apples and it was not easy but not impossible to teach in that environment.

    ...I'd not want to do it again. [​IMG]
  11. I agree with this issues above, although your suggestion is unlikely in practice and avoidable with failover to school provided tech for those with tech that can't fulfill the objectives. Critical choices and combining tech solutions are NC focused.

    Here is a question though, in a couple of years time when pupils are using their iOS devices to make music, android to geolocate their images, a macbook, linux ow winXP desktops everywhere except in your school, are you really going to enjoy saying, logon kids have I got some office 2003 for you today?

    This issue of cheap personalised tech being used by staff and students everyday isn't going away and "it's too hard" is not likely to be the approach of business and universities (it already isn't). Multiplatform free software, web apps and cloud storage may help a bit here...

    By the way iOS5 is pushing the cloud (sept 2011), win8 is touch first (Q2 or 3 2012) and last year ARM devices sold = 6 billion, one microsoft way (or Apple for that matter) is likely to be over in the next few year IMHO.
  12. To be honest, when it gets to that date all you'll need to do is allow each device to connect through RDP to your Terminal Services and again you're back to the VirtualBox-style idea.
  13. Sorry - I should have made my post a little clearer. The first paragraph was a direct response to your earlier post. The stuff after that was more of a general venting of a number of thoughts around the issues of students bringing their own equipment into schools.

    I fear it did get a bit ranty, but I'm much better now :)
  14. If a teacher who shares as many resources, ideas and thoughts as you, wants a rant or two, I'll probably join you. :)

    Also I don't like the idea that people see this as an issue of one thing or another, right or wrong etc. IMHO this type of issue is likely to puzzle every large business, school, uni and individual involved for sometime. There are implications for ignoring or embracing personal and/or mobile tech and cloud soultions. All I'd say is even if the whole issues around them are "too hard" today and we do nothing, how do we deal with a fairly obvious tomorrow?
  15. Yes.. have systems in place to merge the technologies to run common software or software styles and you're onto a winner.
  16. We have an "agreement" with students at our college that they can bring their own laptops/netbooks/etc in on the understanding that:

    a) for most normal lessons they will use college equipment

    b) if they have the appropriate software they can, if they want to, use their own equipment for some lessons

    c) laptops must have at least anti-virus software installed (even Mac and Linux machines which can still pass on viruses and the like) and security/system updates are their responsibility

    d) they cannot plug their equipment in to charge it up

    e) insurance of their equipment is their responsibility as is the upkeep and maintenance!

    We have a separate "student" WiFi network which they can connect to (they have to supply their device's WiFi card MAC address) which, to a certain degree, is relatively unrestricted (though I believe the usual suspect material is still blocked). Obviously, this might not be appropriate in schools but a good firewall/proxy server with suitable filtering could and should be set up to provide this. As the student WiFi network is completely separate, anything the students do does not affect the main college network. The worst they can do is b***er it up for themselves and other students. They can, of course, continue to use college machines should this happen (which it hasn't) ...

    What many students do is bring their kit in to do homework or assignment work on. Sometimes the uses are less academic and more in the realms of Runescape ... However, this is balanced by the fact that the students appreciate being able to bring in and use their own familiar equipment at college.

    Diamond Dave

    "An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips" - Proverbs 24:26
  17. Thanks for all the replies, especially Diamond Dave as this is the way we were thinking of going.

    Some of you seem to have got the wrong idea as the pupils own tech will be used for other subjects not ICT lessons which will continue to be taught in our ICT labs.

    I know that there are going to be problems which is why I put the post on the forum in the first place. Our school came up with the idea due to falling budgets and more and more subjects wanting to use ICT resources.

    Any other ideas/case studies would be appreciated.

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