We have started our planning for Sept 10 deployment , sounds rather military and in many ways it is. Hardware infrastructure and capacity, in-house or managed, wireless, image, accountability of parents / students (this includes documentation, AUPs and SLAs) the impact and teaching and the expectations of teachers. How to support hard to reach families, disadvantaged families, students in care. Direct from manufacturer or through the ‘channel.’ Do you offer loan units? Power and battery life. Where to start the programme, Yr 7 or Yr 10? Whats is your 1:1 package, the unit (what screen size), warranty, accidental damage and/or theft, case, software, servicing? (we have not had a netbook stolen…) E-Learning Foundation or not, Monitoring or not? To sync files or not, propriety OS or not, Terminal Services or not, cloud or not, admin passwords for parents or not and any combination from the above. Where is the netbook office to be situated? Staffing? Do you as a school contribute to the cost of the units? What are the benefits of such a contribution? The failing purchase of netbooks and its impact on viability (the $/£ relationship).
New for 2010: 1GB or 2GB, Hard Drive or SSD, Securus?
Lastly, but very importantly, the context of your school. The financial position of your students, the maturity of your ICT adoption and traction and your schools readiness to change. Afterall, these learning tools will bring about change in how students (and teachers) interact and learn. To paraphrase George Siemens “It’s not about tools. It’s about change.”
I wish the decision-making process was a simple list or yes no questions and answers but its not. Many of the above questions are weighted and intertwined. (I hope to work on this diagram some time over the holidays with the input of our team at work). If you think its daunting for an individual school, give a moments thought to a national deployment of and 100,00 laptops or 1300 a day OLPC Deployment in Uruguay (Miguel Brechner).
Following a request from Huntington School to share in our experiences, I felt that I would open the planning and documentation for that day to anyone wish to explore this opportunity. If you are interested please send a request and we will reply with an invite to the project planning for our school collaboration day.
Alternatively, there are more links here.