Saturday, September 12, 2009

Purchasing/maintenance Questions for 1:1 programmes

Having been through a year of 1 to 1 laptop use in our school I am preparing for a workshop at ulearn09 looking at what schools need to prepare for 1 to 1 learning. Many people will be seeing this as a simple transition to a greater density of devices on their networks. The best way for us to decide and think about this is probably to consider the implications of future events. The following are discussion starters for some important questions in this process.

  • We have got 50 devices and over half of them are having a problem with not starting up properly what should we do?

  • We can get a high power laptop for the same price as a netbook that should be better?

  • What are the hidden costs of this programme? are there any?

  • Should the parents/students be able to bring any laptop of their choice?

  • The device choice is not too important most devices today are of a good quality let’s just get on with it?

  • A parent is able to secure a good deal on a netbook for us should we take it?
  • And the answers are…
    Well ok No answers but there is no doubt these are important questions. We have had to increase our network support in-house to accommodate this. We purchased a very robust looking computer the classmatepc. We have 130 of these being used by year 7 students who take them home and we have had dealt with one issue that effected over 50% of these. So the two Big Answers To Purchasing and maintenance…


    • a warranty for three years
    • proven track recording the student space
    • nothing that can be pulled off
    • has protective bag
    • no point of stress eg tablet with only one central hinge
    • battery guides so pins cant get bent
    • a sturdy mechanism for where the power cable from adapter will go



    • understand the supply chain
    • ask for an open book submission which shows cost from manufacturer
    • look at what added value they can provide
    • will they attend information evenings
    • how will they prepare the units for you
    • manufacturer has an online knowledge base with forums, usergroups etc

    Possible scenarios that might make sense

    If you do not have on site tech support provide a service where the device can be dropped off at the schools reception desk and picked up by supplier from there.

    If you need tech support to be managed by parents the information evenings and

    Here is an example of an RFP (request for proposals) that may help you if you want to use one.

    Rfp Netbook Template

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