School Computers – A Scarce Resource

Once again, this time on twitter, there has been a flutter around the subject of school computers.  In most Scottish schools the overwhelming majority of computers are concentrated in three departments and while as a computing teacher I used to enjoy having 20 computers in my room, with the increase in ICT in schools, there has to be a case for computers being available when needed.  That implies all departments being housed away from computer labs and booking them as required with a senior member of staff to hold the coats when there are disputes. There is also a case for a few laptops in every lab which are available for nearby classrooms when not needed by the department booked into the computer lab.

I know that Islay High School and Ian Stuart have made a very good case for a device for every pupil I do not honestly see that coming to fruition in the foreseeable future.  My solution however unsatisfactory in some respects is at least better than the status wo.

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About robthill

I am semi-retired ICT Staff Tutor in Dundee, Scotland and an online facilitator. The views here expressed are my own somewhat quirky feelings about the world as I see it, no doubt just as prejudiced as most other bloggers.

4 thoughts on “School Computers – A Scarce Resource

  1. No solution to suit everyone will ever be found as the solution is up to individual schools. The Islay High model is very effective and clearly works for them but would not be possible in my school. We are still losing the WiFi argument (Corporate council say no) and buying 972 laptops/mobile PC’s is not possible.Every dept needs certain specialist equipment to teach their courses – in my case that equipment happens to be a computer.

  2. Alan, I think Bus Ed have the best case for computers but if you were to book them for every lesson for your department’s needs you would still leave about 20% free time. Because it is not your room other teachers would feel happier about booking it. At least some of your subjects have a practical exam but Computing for example does not so the actual use of computers is not a requirement for assessment purposes.

  3. That is true re Computing. Many teachers prefer to use my room opposed to the whole school IT rooms as my computers always work – unfortunately the whole school IT rooms are not treated with the same respect as departmental rooms. I think it is down to individual school policy who this works – we have 972 pupils, 4 whole school IT rooms (one with 30) and 6 IT dept rooms so availability for other staff not a huge problem most of the time.

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