Caution

April 2, 2009 § Leave a comment

We were investigating a two year roll out for netbooks to students in September, targeting Years 7 and 10. We are now proceeding with caution as we are not confident that the reliability / technology ratio is robust enough, that battery life is long enough and that solid state drives are not to far off in the future. The dual core processes in the NB100s seem to handle almost all our school students and staff have asked for, including Sims. The second consideration is a possible leap to Windows 7 and the opportunities this new OS may offer. Importantly, this is not a launch we can do successfully twice? Yet we don’t wish to wait 12 months either.

Our initial thoughts were to offer a 3 year payment plan for a netbook for Years 7 students moving through Years 7, 8 and 9 (upgrading in Year 10 and 11) and a 2 year plan for students moving into year 10. Today we decided to scale back our plans to just Year 10 and here our thinking;

Improvements in the OS, battery life and product range will accelerate over the next 12 months. We want to get it right, it must therefore be manageable. We are expecting bumps in the road; ordering, installations, technical support which includes where this technical support will happen as well as warranty claims. Also how best to support teachers and vle integration. Working with one year group is again more realistic. Our client base mean we must be inclusive and our financial planning must be appropriate but also reflect our whole school curriculum plans. Science in particular need more IT access for students moving to the applied Science course and this will offset the need for an additional suite at £15,000.

So, we move towards our final phase of the project. The first summer half term will see the students report back about their experience with the Toshiba NB100s, and Skoogle training delivered by/with Digital Leaders. We will then reissue these to a Learning Support for a second curriculum test before we move into the procurement phase.

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