Handheld learning project


Proposal:
Get a mobile phone / PDA for every pupil and teacher/member of staff in school.

Facilities required on the phones
Subject ideas for using the phones

Sponsorship:
If we use Windows Mobile 5.0 based phones, can we get sponsorship from Microsoft?
Sponsorship and assistance from Operators - Orange, T-Mobile, O2 (BT), Vodaphone, Virgin, Three
Sponsorship from other organisations? - Carphone Warehouse, The Link (going out of business), Dell, BT
Sponsorship from Manufacturers - Nokia, Motorola, LG, BenQ Siemens, Sony Ericcson, Samsung, Palm

Huge publicity benefits to companies:
  • Able to say providing every single pupil in a city High school with a mobile.
  • Combat negative image of kids with mobiles
  • Useful when other schools are objecting to masts near schools
>

Infrastructure:
Wifi - adapter in every classroom
Bluetooth - 10m range
SMS - costs
3G - costs. Limited availability on pay as you go tariffs
USB

Requirements:
350 mobile phones / mobile digital assistants (one per pupil and one per teacher)
Pay as you go, or contract for SMS & data (internet access) only.
No voice calls required, although would be good for pupils to be able to 'top up'
Must be able to use without access to a computer at home
Must be able to send and recieve files without 'activesync' connection to a dedicated computer

Other costs:
USB connection cables / charging cables - several per classroom / department
Wifi adapters in each class (plus reception, dining room, etc)
Cost of adding wifi adapters and 'devices' (mobile phones) to the BT network?
Storage cards for every phone (1Gb mini SD card is approx £20) to store data, music, videos

Technical Questions:
Can we work with the operator to increase coverage in the area
Can we get all 350 phones on 3G at once?
Can we send bluetooth messages (including calendar items) to all 350 phones at once?
SMS / Bluetooth server program?
Can we manage email contacts with all the phones?
Is it possible to sync the phones with Microsoft Exchange with mobile extensions? Will this work with BT / GLOW?
Can we have sensors in school to do automatic registration and attendance using bluetooth?
Can we connect the phones with the interactive whiteboard computers and use them as polling devices (eg "press 3 if you think the answer is....") using bluetooth?
Can we connect this project up with GLOW? Download content (videos etc) directly off GLOW, send emails, etc?
Printing over wifi to any printer in the school?
Bluetooth / USB keyboards in certain subjects like English?
Presentations direct to projectors (or computer connected to the projector) so that both teacher and pupils can do presentations and show off work?

Policy Questions:
Insurance for phones?
Acceptable loss / damage rate?
Do the kids keep the phones when they leave school (eg at end of 4th/5th/6th year)?
Do the pupils own the phones?
Expected lifespan of the phones? - will they last six years?
Funding for phones - do we expect any contribution from parents? (eg nominal cost after the first year of the project)

Alternatives:
Should we investigate other options?
UMPC (Ultra mobile PCs) - No camera / video recording facilities - Samsung
Laptops - Same cost? Heavy. Limited video / camera / audio recording facilities
iPod / USB Flash drive - Audio only, poor quality of cheap non-iPods, high failure rate of iPods
Digital Cameras - video / still only, possibly audio recording.
PDAs - such as Fujitsu Siemens EDA

Safety Issues:
Increased safety to pupils - access to local police / childline etc.
Putting pupils at risk - being mugged for phone?
Possible increase in "happy slapping" - out of fashion?
Possible use for coordinating gangs avoiding police - part of culture in Edinburgh, or just Glasgow?
Health issues - not conclusive, just suggesting limit time using phone. Phones not being used for voice calls.
Use mobiles to locate pupils in emergencies eg if missing from class - ChildLocate