Vicki Cole is an Innovate My School expert and writes regular articles on laptop security and charging solutions for charging mobile ICT en masse.
Vicki works at mobile ICT security, charging and storage expert LapSafe® Products, the company behind the UK’s first ever laptop trolley. LapSafe® Products has been a trusted brand within the education sector for more than a decade, providing superior solutions to track, manage, store and charge laptops, netbooks and tablets since 2000. LapSafe® Products pioneered the industry it now leads and manufactures the most comprehensive range of charging products on the market. Recent products include: the UnoCart™ sync and charge for iPads, the ClassBuddy™ quality low-cost laptop trolley and the RFID Diplomat™ laptop locker.
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For today’s schools, sustainability should entail far more than being green.
As well as being environmentally aware when selecting ICT, schools need to ensure that their equipment is built to last in order to save on their finances as well as electronic waste.
In the face of budget squeezes and a lack of investment, choosing sustainable ICT is essential to ensure that schools are ICT ready for the long run and that pupils do not miss out.
So, how can schools ensure that their ICT is sustainable?
Earlier last month, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, marked the launch of the new iPad by declaring that we live in a ‘post-PC world’. Regardless of whether you agree with Cook’s statement, it would be difficult to deny that ICT in schools has moved far beyond desktop computers.
Tablet PCs, MP3 players and even handheld gaming devices are being used increasingly in UK schools to deliver learning in engaging, inspiring and flexible ways. Although using mobile devices in the classroom can benefit both pupils and teachers, just like traditional teaching methods, mobile learning needs to be properly planned and managed.
Here are my five tips for managing mobile learning in the post-PC world:
Whether to allow pupils to bring their own technology into the classroom is a subject that divides opinion. Will BYOD, short for bring your own device, help schools to save money by reducing spending on school owned ICT? Or, is permitting pupils to use their own laptops or tablets in lessons a security nightmare waiting to happen?
Although many are yet to be convinced of the benefits of using student owned IT in the classroom, one thing is for certain; managing a BYOD scheme in schools requires careful planning. With this in mind, here are some things to think about when managing BYOD in your school:
Laptops are fantastic learning tools, but it is no secret that mobile devices can pose issues for schools when it comes to managing and deploying equipment. Although laptop trolleys were created to resolve these problems, it is still important to have an action plan in place to get the most from your mobile ICT.
To make organising your school’s ICT equipment that little bit easier, I’ve put together some short tips on how to manage laptop trolleys and laptops in the classroom.
The best practice of a leading Essex independent school was showcased on Friday at the world’s largest educational technology exhibition, the BETT Show.
Assistant Headteacher at Felsted School, near Great Dunmow, Dr Nick Dennis, gave a talk about how his school use iPads with pupils to boost learning, social and pastoral practices. His speech took place on the stand of Essex based LapSafe® Products, an education specialist in managing mobile ICT, and gave teachers and education professionals the chance to find out how the popular Apple tablet can be utilised across a range of academic subjects.
Felsted School, an independent boarding and day school for children aged four to 18 years of age, is an Apple Regional Training Centre, and offers free advice and workshops to any school using Apple tools to support teaching and learning. Visitors attending the iPad talk discovered how Dr Dennis and his pupils use tablet computers both inside and outside of the classroom, taking them on school trips to use GPS and create video blogs of their experiences. Dr Dennis explained how the iPads provide students with a range of academic staples, such as electronic dictionaries and calculators, and assume an important pastoral role by placing student information, such as commendations and medical details, at staff’s fingertips.
The education sector’s expert in mobile ICT charging, security and storage will be showcasing its, increasingly popular, self-service laptop loan lockers for school libraries at the BETT Show 2012.
Trusted brand LapSafe® Products will return to the world’s leading exhibition for educational technology to demonstrate the Diplomat™ - the UK’s first self-issuing laptop and tablet charging locker designed for libraries using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). The Diplomat™ provides students and teachers with individual access to secured and charged laptops or tablets using pin codes or smartcard access systems. The multi-bay locker can be configured for use with the popular MIFARE system, enabling schools to track and monitor equipment use.
Media savvy primary school pupils are inviting visitors at the BETT Show to come along to stand H39 to discover how games-based learning can be used to inspire, challenge and enhance learning.
Youngsters from St Peter and St Paul CE Primary School in Burgh-le-Marsh will be holding an interactive workshop on the LapSafe® Products stand to demonstrate the application of the Nintendo DSi for teaching and learning in maths and beyond. Visitors to the show will be able to learn about how affordable and easy-to-use mobile technology can be utilised by both pupils and staff at 1.30pm Wednesday 11 January 2012.
Best known for its sleek and easy to use consumer technology, Apple has made significant inroads into the field of educational ICT over the last two years.
Boasting an online store with hundreds of educational apps and Apple Regional Training Centres ready to deliver workshops on creative ways technology in the classroom, Apple has become a firm favourite with schools around the UK.
Although Macs, iPads and other Apple devices can be fantastic resources for pupils, their aesthetic design and high specification can also make them particularly attractive to thieves. Apple products have a high resale value on the open market and can easily be removed from buildings if the correct security measures are not in place over the school holidays.
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:
ICT has changed a lot during the last decade. From laptops to netbooks, MP3 players to games consoles and mobile phones, educational technology is constantly evolving. Although each development has brought considerable advantages to schools, surely none has been as heavily debated as the iPad. Small, light and interactive, the iPad has been hailed by many as a perfect tool for education.
Using iPads in the classroom can be both fun and educational, but these extra resources can pose problems for teachers in terms of resource management. With this in mind, I thought I’d run through a few ways that could help you ensure that your new tablets are ready to be used when they are needed.