Free PCs for Schools

FROM: Mike Hart

What NEED does this meet?
ICT costs in schools are cut by companies and other organisations donating their old PC's to schools.

What is the APPROACH?
A web site which would allow schools and businesses in the same locale to contact each other. This would be to enable bussinesses to donate to a local school still usable computers, which they were going to throw away. It would also allow schools to either download, or buy, for the cost of manufacture and shipping, CD's of OSS, such as Linux and OpenOffice.org. The provision of OSS software would be to help prevent licence issues.

The web site would also allow organisations who are willing to help schools set up open source system and LTSP systems and/or help train staff in their use and maintainace to find and be found by schools.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
It will help cut the cost of IT faccilities in schools, there by making those facilities availible to a wider audience. It will also mean that schools can stretch their IT budget further, allowing them to purchase products and services they might otherwise be unable to afford.

What is the COMPETITION?
I do not know of any competing ideas. My idea must win because ICT is one of the most important subjects taught in schools today and the biggest restriction it faces is the cost of faccilities.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
I'm not totally sure of the cost, as I'd only just started lookking at the options and possabilities when I heard about your site.

November 1, 2003 in Education, Giving stuff away, Matching System | Permalink | Comments (20)

TeacherNotes

FROM: Mark Beaumont

What NEED does this meet?
Teachers are constantly writing material for their classes. From tests to mock exams, demonstrations, even handouts consisting of several pages, they are a valuable part of the learning process.

I taught A-Levels for 5 years and during that time it occurred to me that much of the work that I was doing must be being repeated by thousands of other teachers all across the country. This is ludicrous. I propose a system whereby teachers can catalogue and then swap their handouts with colleagues from other schools reducing the duplication of work that takes place right across the country.


What is the APPROACH?
Many teachers become authors and write books in their subject. However, where a teacher does not have sufficient material for a complete book, their is no easy way to publish. I am certain that a Website enabling teachers to publish small documents that they have written themselves would be massively popular.

The general premise will be similar to the peer-to-peer model employed by services such as Napster. There will be a download to upload ratio so that teachers have to offer material before they can pull documents from other teachers. And finally, there will be a subscription fee that centres will be asked to pay.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
I had this idea when I was writing a Computing mock A-Level exam. It occurred to me that around 1000 centres offer Computing A-Level and each of their teachers must be writing an exam similar to mine. This seems like a massive duplication of workload. Surely if the advent of the Web has taught us anything, it is that information can be shared very easily. The current system of hundreds of teachers all writing and preparing similar material should have become outdated years ago. I am seeking to put this right.

What is the COMPETITION?
None and believe me I have looked. The nearest competition is from teachers' guides that accompany course text books, but this is not really the same thing.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
The project needs three things to be successful. 1) Management. Me. I have a PhD in Computing and am capable of designing and planning the system at a conceptual level. I am also a freelance writer and can use my jounalistic skills to generate publicity. 2) A Website that allows sellers to logically "meet" buyers. This will be quite complex as Websites go and although I am a developer, I do not have the required skills myself. I will need to buy outside help. Such sites are standard and can be bought off the shelf. Ball park figures for such a site £7k. 3) Publicity. the success of such a scheme will depend on a critical mass of users. I will need a budget as large as possible to promote, by direct marketing, my site to teachers. Est: Up to £5k

October 31, 2003 in Education, Matching System, Perhaps Government Remit?, User Created Content | Permalink | Comments (6)

Teachers Shared Notes

FROM: Benedict Walmisley

What NEED does this meet?
This proposal will help teachers - our teachers in the UK are terminally overworked and each one has to prepare their own set of notes on a particular topic. The goverment doesn't encourage teachers to work together and the teaching unions directly oppose any form of cooperation.

This tends to penalise poor teachers as they may lack the skills/time to do the research to produce adequate notes.

What is the APPROACH?
What I have in mind is a basic peer reviewed website. At its most basic this could easily be a wiki website. Each course segment would have its own page.

Any teacher would be free to add or change content, any teacher would be able to download, printout data etc for free.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
This will save significant amounts of time and let teachers pool their resources.

All this needs is for ONE teacher to prepare proper notes for a course segment and ALL the other teachers can benefit.

Plus this would automatically introduce a element of peer review. If someone has Caesars invasion of Britain in 1066 then someone else will be able see this and fix this with a minimum of fuss.

What is the COMPETITION?
There is no competition specifically for teachers - there is the wikipedia but no uk teachers have established a foothold their yet.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Very low cost if using the wiki - the major cost would be raising teacher awareness. It would just need a reasonable web server.

October 31, 2003 in Connecting People, Education, Matching System, Perhaps Government Remit? | Permalink | Comments (14)