We look at this option occasionally, but don't see it working very well
on our campus. Hurdles for us:
1. Where is the cart kept? Who handles the check out? Is the area
used for storing the cart secure?
2. Who keeps the software working on the laptops? (We actually solved
this with DeepFreeze). We never found a good solution for keeping
the OS patched.
3. How many laptops should we buy initially? Some of our classes
are large. How many spare laptops should we have?
4. Will the charge hold for our longest class?
5. How will access to the net be handled? Wireless is an option,
but there are the usual security and performance issues.
While all of our classrooms have wired net access, re-wiring for
a large number of laptops is expensive.
6. Most of our classrooms have desks. Where will the students put
the laptops? Handicapped access was also a concern.
7. If the laptops are used for exams, how do you prevent cheating
(looking up answer on Internet, using IM to contact a friend, etc.)?
8. Who handles tech support when things go wrong?
9. Who will buy the software initially, and the upgrades later? Is there
a plan to replace the computers in a timely fashion?
10. How do you make students pay attention to the instructor and not play
on the Internet, check email, use instant messaging, etc.? (one of
our professors asked this question).
Good luck and please let us know other issues you discover.
Mike Honeycutt UNC Asheville University Computing [log in to unmask]
From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Ouska, Julie
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2003 9:30 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CIO] Laptops for classroom use
Does anyone have any experience using the clustered laptops for classroom
labs? These laptops are stored in a separate unit and then passed out to
students for the duration of the class. The units may even recharge the
laptops when not in use. I know these are used in K-12 environments and
they keep being suggested as possible solutions for periodic or temporary PC
needs in the classroom. I do have concerns about the maintenance and the
effort required to check out and check in these devices.
Anyone with any experience or insight?
CIO/VP of Information Technology
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
(914) 674-7679 fax (914) 674-7514
[log in to unmask]
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