Currently, the recommended mobile device for Edinburgh establishments is the iPad. Your project team should consider which model of iPad you think will best suit your staff and pupils. The options currently available are the iPad mini, the iPad mini with Retina Display or the iPad Air, purchased through the National Tablet Framework Agreement from XMA. You may want to reflect on issues such as cost, weight, portability, screen size etc, involving pupils in this discussion.
Calculate project costs and consider longer term budgetary implications. Remember to consider protective cases, insurance, apps and security marking. Device insurance can be purchased through the XMA. You will need to reflect on your own local circumstances when considering whether to purchase insurance for devices. Insurance will give you complete peace of mind, as it covers any ongoing repairs due to accidental damage but can be costly in relation to the cost of the device. An alternative option is to maintain a break/fix fund in school which may prove to be cheaper if you envisage a small number of breakages. Although there will be a considerable ongoing financial outlay for 1:1, also consider the long term potential future savings. Savings can be accrued by moving to a paperless, digital workflow, in terms of reduced printing, photocopying, and supply of jotters and textbooks.
School ICT needs strategic, curricular, technical and administrative support. Determine who will carry out these support roles and how much time will they be allocated to do so. Do not underestimate the importance of ICT support in general and the additional time required to support your 1:1 project on a day to day basis.
Long term, your aim will be a device for all pupils. However, it makes sense to phase your implementation on a class by class or year by year basis. This allows you to develop good practice, consider a rolling programme for replacement of devices and reflect on your project regularly.
In secondary schools the 1:1 model is fairly straightforward. A year group should be identified and iPads deployed to every pupil in that year group in a ‘personal ownership’ model. In primary schools, a ‘virtual 1:1’ model may be more appropriate. In this model a device is shared between a small group of users and stays in the class with those users.
A ‘class in a box’ model is not recommended. This does not promote an integrated and innovative use of technology and creates an unnecessary workload as the management, charging and security of the devices is often the responsibility of a single staff member.