Compact, mobile and easily accessible for young children, laptops have always appealed to schools looking to use ICT beyond the constraints of a computer suite. Although portability is one of the main attractions of using laptops in the classroom, the fact that pupils can easily pick up and move devices can risk considerable wear and tear over time.
Laptop computers can be costly to repair and replace, especially when they are out of warranty, so I thought I would run through a few tips to help you keep your laptops safe and at less risk of damage:
Due to my exceptional mathematical prowess during the very early years at school, I was occasionally given the exalted and coveted pleasure of being allowed to play a maths game on the schools one and only computer! It was a brown BBC, more affectionately known as the “BEEB”. It sat in the library, and received longing looks by every pupil that happened to walk past. Anyone who remembers these BEEBS will now be thinking about the advancements in ICT, and how far we have come technologically in the last 20 years.
Unless future proofing is considered when purchasing ICT, a school may as well cash out the annual ICT budget, and throw it into the boys’ urinal on the first corridor. The constantly changing nature of ICT is very nearly its downfall. This simple fact must be embraced before any purchase order is signed relating to ICT.
Packed with valuable technology and often open-plan, schools can be prime targets for both organised and opportunistic theft. Netbooks, laptops and tablets are small and light, so they can be easily concealed and removed from a building if the effective security measures are not in place.
ICT theft does not just cause inconvenience for students, who may be left without computer equipment. Having laptops stolen can result in increased insurance premiums if your school has to claim for its loss, and you could even be fined up to £500,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if the theft results in a breach of the Data Protection Act. More worryingly, pupil safety could be severely compromised if information about vulnerable children falls into the wrong hands.