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Mini-Lab

Breaking up the monotony of the corporate IT education lab
by

Timothy King

on 23 October 2012

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Transcript of Mini-Lab

The Mini-lab 1.0 The next step in our evolution toward decentralized, differentiated technology access in education bet it isn't this... The School COMPUTER lab centrally administrated
heavily intranet dependent
costly to maintain
bloated software image
slow to change
frequent breakage and vandalism (no on-site ownership)
high student to computer ratio (30:1 per student:computer per school)
limited access through school desktop labs
poor digital literacy in staff & students (maintenance and repair is handed to off-site specialists - teachers & students have no chance to develop familiarity or ownership, and have no control) The Mini-lab A small grouping of heterogeneous devices around a digitally literate teacher that offer access to digital information, digital creation and online collaboration. Logistics Mini-labs are attached to specific teachers The digital coach (a teacher) maintains and monitors the hardware.
A clear sense of ownership and responsibility (reduces vandalism).
Other teachers can access the digital coach (DC) for use of the mini-lab, the mini-lab is returned to the DC daily.
Teachers who abuse the lab, or allow students to, get retrained on it
Teachers who want to use the mini-lab must demonstrate sufficient basic knowledge of the hardware and software, or get retrained on it minilab examples 6 ipads ($350/seat)
6 netbooks ($200/seat) The Basic Notes:
1:2 student:computer ratio
perfect for digitally assisted group work
offers benefits of both tablet interface and traditional keyboard interface
Versatile digital literacy: offers experience in iOS, Linux and Windows, Openoffice, MS Office or any number of other software platforms
total cost: $3300
cloud access to thousands of apps and software choices, including Googledocs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc The Heavy Hitter 6 ipads ($400/seat)
8 netbooks ($200/seat)
6 Kindles ($140/seat)
4 android tablets ($300/seat) operations Digital Coaches (DCs) are teachers who demonstrate a willingness to adopt technology in the classroom.
they work with their colleagues and students to enhance digital literacy across multiple platforms
DCs train each other on new hardware and become proficient in maintaining the hardware and software in their care.
they are supported by their school admins and considered a valuable asset.
DCs PLC across departments, expanding digital literacy in staff (which then proliferates to students)
DCs have extra duties like: Mini-lab lunch and in-class digital support
DCs expand and partition off their mini-labs to meet what they perceive as on-the-ground needs of students and teachers
This is a learning centred approach to I.T. that leverages and empowers the digitally skilled teachers we currently possess Notes:
aiming for a 1:1 student to tech ratio
multiple platforms requires a teacher familiar with the role specific design of their mini-lab equipment
maximizing access to a variety of technology
total cost: $5740 The Eclectic 8 ipads ($400 each)
4 Windows netbooks ($200/seat)
4 Linux netbooks ($200/seat)
2 Macbook airs ($999/seat)
4 android tablets ($300/seat)
2 convertible tablets with keyboards ($500/seat) Notes:
aiming for a 1:1 student:computer ratio
looking to seed strong digital literacy across multiple platforms, OSes and software systems
DC is an early adopter who quickly picks up new hardware and software and boldly goes where few have gone before
Students are encouraged to incorporate new digital learning on multiple platforms
total cost: $7800 323 desktop PCs at my school

323 x $1800 approximate cost of the desktop package delivered to my school) = $581400

Why was it ever thought necessary to spend $1800 on a computer when all students need, is a basic, functional laptop for content creation or a tablet to access digital research? A student's view of the money: Replacing our 1980s inspired desktop labs with mobile technology would get us much closer to a 1:1 student:computer ratio... http://cwfalcontech.wikispaces.com/Alternate+computer+solutions Think this is all ridiculously expensive and unrealistic? If Each of the 12 departments in my school had a heavy hitter or eclectic and two basic (beginner) Digital Coaches on hand (with equipment), it would cost: $192,000, or 1/3 our current school budget on desktops alone! If we then gave each teacher an ipad or ultrabook to do basic email and attendance, we would replace all teacher desktops with something more mobile and useful for (100 staff x $500 for a 2nd gen ipad or laptop) = $50,000 (assuming no discount for education or bulk purchase) We could create a near 1:1 computer:student ratio and 1:1 staff:digital access for less than half what we pay now to support antiquated, poorly maintained desktop labs and teacher desktops in every classroom. This doesn't factor into account power savings (mobile electronics don't draw nearly as much power and can work through peak power times on battery) This doesn't factor into account the difficulties found in maintaining remote, board provided PCs mobile electronics are inherently tougher, and onsite teacher ownership would dramatically lower vandalism and theft This doesn't factor into account the benefits of student access to technology on a near continuous basis Students would be able to effectively make use of social networking and other perceived impediments (which are really only seen as impediments due to poor student to technology access and an inability of the educational system to teach students how to integrate technology effectively) This doesn't factor into account the tens of thousands of dollars spent on photocopying, nor the environmental damage caused by it Ready digital access would negate the need to produce reckless amounts of pulp and paper, reduce waste, reduce generation costs, reduce handouts... We MUST decentralize I.T. and technology access if we are to make the education system relevant to the digital revolution going on around it! The Jobsian 14 2nd gen ipads ($500/seat)
bluetooth keyboards and mice for the ipads
10 Macbook Airs ($999/seat) Notes:
Mac focused on OSes and software
Good in a media arts/arts environment
Media production lab
Total cost: $17,000 (because Apples are expensive) Written by a grade 12 computer technology student in the spring of 2011... All this takes is a complete and total rethink of how we apply technology in education. The world has moved on without us, and we are producing students who are as relevent to their futures as as medieval serfs were to industrialized society Even counting in replacement costs, we'd be miles ahead of what the current, centralized Education IT costs us timothy.king@ugdsb.on.ca @tk1ng www.atking.ca see also: Dancing in the datasphere for a philosophical look at the digital revolution we are in: http://prezi.com/mlmks5pq65dz/dancing-in-the-datasphere/ A recent estimate put student handouts alone at over 17,000 copies in a typical student's K-12 school career. That's over 170 lbs of handouts per student (just in handouts, not course specific packages and other high-copying costs), tons of paper per board, most of which is discarded almost immediately (then recopied). Wishing for a dream MINI-LAB? Add your dream MINI-LAB to our ongoing Google Doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HQtrISsG6wgSLPsp7frgqXN5PHUXDu8j5dHLDcOZrPg/edit?hl=en_US Imagine a cloud of technology that orbits a digital coach (a teacher who knows the equipment and is exploring and pushing back the boundaries of digital pedagogy). Now imagine empowering that teacher to support their less digitally literate colleagues... The Kindle Fire Here's a shocker! the new Amazon Kindle Fire
a fully featured colour tablet for $200???
want a class set? 24 tablets cost you less than $5000 1:1 student/computer ratio
etext reader, with a mini-usb keyboard you have a fully functional reading and writing tool
This is a game changer and it's happening right now Centralized, remotely board controlled, error prone, limited access desktops What is your tech cloud? Acer netbook Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Monster Haf932 desktop
multiboot (linux/Win7x64), quadcore, massive video card, 8 gigs of ram, 24" monitor HP touch laptop What do you wish your teaching tech-cloud would look like? Any digitally literate person has a tech cloud around them... The Kobo Vox The Chapters/Canadian version of the Kindle Fire, available in Canada now. Mobile Storage Options http://www.specialtycases.com/skb-netbook-cases.htm military grade storage
easily set up to charge while stored
$329 each
Wheeled & Handled A Changing Digital Ecosystem The minilab is quick to adapt to new technologies. In addition to tablet options, a mini-lab could contain bluetooth keyboards and other perpherals that enable students to make use of their ever-more powerful smartphones in more data intensive ways. This isn't just about tablets... http://temkblog.blogspot.ca/2012/05/paper-teachers.html ...not to mention bad desktop habits: http://temkblog.blogspot.ca/2012/01/media-arts-lab-20.html mini-lab 2.0 now in production for ECOO this is so last year $200 multicore tablet that does everything (and more) that a laptop from 2 years ago did http://prezi.com/u26blkzyzodh/byod-minilab-school-it/ ECOO2012 presentation on BYOD, the mini-lab & developing digital mastery
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