Thursday, 14 October 2004

Laptop in schools?

I am seeing a reverse in the trend of asking students to acquire a laptop for use in school. There are several logistic problems with a privately owned laptop in schools.

  • The need to carry the laptop to and from school is a big burden on the students.

  • The non-standard installed software on the laptop gives the IT supports a big issue.

  • and so on

Some of schools here in Melbourne have started NOT to require the students to have their own laptops. Take the case of my daughter's school as an example. The school libraries will have laptops for loan. I think they have about 20 or so for loan. These laptops are wireless-enabled so the students can use them anywhere in the campus and must return the laptop before the end of the day. All classrooms in the school have 3 to 4 desktop computers which the students can use as well. There are also a small number of desk top computers in the library (about 10 desk tops) for students use. I don't know the exact total number of computers in the school, I suspect it is about 1 per 5 students. Each student has a storage in the school's Intranet. Again, I don't know the size of the storage allocated. But her school is relatively small (only 500 students), so if every students have a 100M allocation, it still represents only 50G which is very small in today's standard. The students can access their storage online from home as well.

While my daughter has a thumbdrive which she can carry to school, I always found it laying at home. She access her work from home by logging into the school's Intranet. Download the file and work on it. Save it back to the school's storage and can continue the work at school.

I found this to be a much better arrangement than asking each student to bring her laptop to school everyday. Any comment?

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