[LINK] Computers for schools more than hardware

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Fri Feb 22 13:29:34 EST 2008


Bernard (and Tom, Rachel, Roger, etc) comment:

> Most of the cost is in addition to the initial hardware costs
> of the individual machines .. I would suggest you start with a
> minimum total system cost of five to ten times the cost of the
> initial user hardware.

Yes, from long experience teaching ICT etc, more school and student
computers will certainly be a 'good thing', but much thought will be
needed as to implementation. For example, the following email from a
teacher was sent Wednesday, and will be in the archives for that list.
 
> From: yr7-10it at edulists.com.au On Behalf Of Andrew Barry
> Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2008 5:03 PM
> To: Year 7 - 10 Information Technology Teachers' Mailing List

Is the government idea to give schools the grant for laptops misguided?
The government grant does not cater for extra resource costs involved in
the computer set up eg extra power points and energy bill etc. My school
needed an extra $100,000+ to make this happen and of course declined the 
offer.

> There is also the issue of optimising whole of system costs against
> minimising desktop/laptop costs. A desktop/laptop machine that is at the
> top of the range might end up in the whole system being cheaper in the
> long run. False economies and bad assumptions abound in the IT world.

Yes, schools certainly don't need crippled toys, with bits of el-cheapo 
software.

If we are going to do it, then do it properly. Don't scrimp on education,
health and justice, and the returns will pay us back tenfold.  Of course,
exactly how we might best do that in terms of computers in education needs 
lots of thought and informed input. So far the Rudd gov seems good at that.

Cheers brd/all
Stephen Loosley
Victoria Australia


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