Access On Demand Summary • Access on Demand Outline
Below is the outline for the Access on Demand proposal. The main purpose of
the initial proposal is to raise awareness of possibilities for the short term
among those on a technology committee in the middle school. The parts of the
draft will be fleshed out and modified by interested members of the committee in
late July and early August of 2002.
The benefit from having access on demand is collaboration and co-construction
of knowledge in common virtual areas on an as-needed basis. The laptops will be
incorporated into our programs so that they are working portals to information
and information processing. The reasoning for doing this is to move away from
word processing and to use the laptops as a means of communication,
collaboration, and to gain access to information at all times. Our current
system with labs requires that the lesson either be no technology or all
technology. It’s not practical to have students work together, discuss,
record, research, work together, discuss, and so forth. Lessons in the lab
realistically have to take the whole period and the labs are not conducive to
class discussion or collaboration. It’s not feasible to put students around a
machine to do joint research or for them to collaborate as a group. It also
removes the students from the environment in the classroom that the teacher and
students create as part of their community.
- Project Description
- Issue is access on-demand and laptops for teachers and
students are the current best method.
- Laptops for students.
- Student Laptops to be provided by parents but create ways
to help the self-payers.
- Informal surveys indicate that approximately 1/3 of
students have their own laptops and this percentage will increase.
- Create fund to help the self-payers
- Eliminate all but one lab and drop-in area.
- Remaining lab to be used for high-end work and technology
- It will be joined with a resource center so the Resource
Center supervisor can oversee the lab.
- Band and Foreign Language to schedule their limited usage
in a High School labs, unless the decision is made to install the software
on the laptops of those students.
- Convert other rooms to classrooms.
- Eliminate several Technology classes
- Change the way keyboarding is taught. Options are:
- Have it taught to sixth graders in their current Language
Art Social Studies class. (Drawback: infringes on existing class time)
- Don't teach it but require a certain proficiency level
by the end of each grade. (Drawback: Self-study can be difficult for students
in middle school)
- Test every student and have those who need help take
it in small parts as a short after-school class or as part of their resource
center time. (Drawback: It still requires instruction)
- Eliminate tech skills class and integrate content into
- High chance of success as most teachers are already
doing projects that fit well with the technology.
- Would need to write it into the curriculum as we start
- Implement tech-support class and club where interested
students learn how to help others
- Create 40% time position to oversee the project for first
two years and to provide assistance when needed. Funds to come from eliminated
- Success Criteria
- Reduces cost
- Acceptance by teachers and principal.
- Doesn't require additional staff
- Can remove 4 sections of tech and several of keyboarding,
which is slightly under a half-time person
- Remove one clerical position (resource supervisor)
- Embraced by several champions/evangelists.
- Parent support, student support, teacher support
- Support for it to be the right thing to do.
- Have people think about 5 years from now
- Judge not by what we know, but what the kids can do.
- How will we be communicating
- What else will we be doing
- Driven by Educational objectives
- Politics and Parameters
- Be acceptable enough to the administration for them to
take it to the parent community.
- Parents must be brought in early enough to be part of the
process so that they can help define the final proposal.
- Corporate concerns must be addressed as some companies
will pay for the laptops for their employees.
- Staffing suggestion redefines lab manager position so will
need buy-in. (Although proposal is to eliminate one of the existing resource
center positions, it is typically filled by a one year intern.)
- High School must be involves as the proposal suggest some
cross-over scheduling in one of their twelve labs.
- Principal may be leaving so may not wish to start a major
- Concept of On-demand Access will be a hard sell
- Several schools we contacted are focused on access in
the lab and at home by trying to give students access to their accounts from
- Current administration technology skills are still at
the email and web surfing stage.
- Issues of carrying a laptop that need to be addressed:
- Weight of the laptop with all of their other backpack?
- Some view that sixth graders are not responsible enough
to use laptops
- How to address issue of students accessing inappropriate
- Address issues of software pirated by students or teachers
installed on laptops.
- Address issue of student-installed software that makes
their laptop unstable.
- Funding and Costs
- Must not require adding staff.
- Tuition cannot increase
- It must show economic value
- Must address issue of equity between self-payers and
- Operating costs
- Recharging batteries
- Plan for batteries that fail or can't hold a charge.
- Damaged laptop replacement
- Maybe laptop insurance?
- Maybe parent-funded insurance? (additional 10,000¥)
- Initial costs
- Installing wireless (will be doing anyway)
- Training teachers
- Spare parts
- Extra software? (Currently have site license for MS
OS, Office, and Other products)
- Extra outlets for electricity?
- Reconfiguring dismantled labs
- Travel to see other schools.
- Software and Courseware
- Cost of additional software beyond the current license
will have an impact.
- Teachers may find it difficult to use their favorite
- Need to develop a method to select course specific software
that is equitable and assure that the software is used.
- Networking Issues
- Installing, testing, and adjusting wireless access points
- Programming the MACs for the cards
- Testing and adjusting Wireless access points because they
- Time to set up numerous laptops to connect
- Windows XP makes this simple.
- Requiring a Novell Client on every machine complicates
the issue tremendously.
- Novell client tends to make heavily-used machines
- Upgrading to version 6 will eliminate that problem,
but a major server software upgrade is labor intensive.
- Creating backup methodologies for laptops.
- Tech support
- Installation and obsolescence
- Number of years a laptop will be expected to be used.
- Training of tech support students.
- First year problems with installation and getting up to
- Staff Development
- Provide training in staff development at the beginning.
- Create discussion opportunities for people to discuss
- Have existing teachers volunteer to be a resource a topic
- Hands on training for working with laptops.
- In class support and handholding.
Access On Demand Summary • Access on Demand Outline