At the time of this story, I was working as a teacher at a small school of about 100 students, all of whom were given laptops. Our principal, "Sue," said the laptops "increased their educational opportunities" -- all well and good, but she failed to also recognize the importance of IT involvement.
At the beginning of the year, Sue handed out the laptops with great fanfare. But she gave no guidelines to staff or students on how to use them, aside from the basics that students should use them responsibly, pay a small insurance fee if they wanted to take them home, and that the faculty and staff would do "random checks."
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When we asked about IT involvement, she said the district's central IT staff would come out and set up the computers and that the school would get help from them as needed, but it was up to the faculty and staff to "keep an eye on things."
It was mayhem from the beginning. The security software would not work properly, and was disabled on all computers. Students then had administrator accounts on the laptops -- and no restrictions. Having someone from IT come never happened for some reason.
We found ourselves not only expected to troubleshoot computer problems such as files not saving and printer issues, but also to figure out a way to monitor students' computer use. It was a nightmare.
Even with limited access to the Internet, students could simply log on to a proxy and go anywhere they wanted. They did anything and everything with the laptops.
The students routinely had computer problems, and when we'd take the computer to figure out the problem -- or sometimes even just walked past them in class and glance at the screen -- would discover all sorts of inappropriate and illegal things.