We’ve covered the benefits of running 1:1 device programmes in a previous post – but once you’ve decided it’s a route you want to go down, how do you select a partner to deliver it? There are quite a few options out there, and they can all seem quite similar.
Here are a few key features you should consider in order to design and deploy a 1:1 device programme that brings you all the benefits of personalised learning devices without the headache. Here’s how to choose a 1:1 programme for your school.
The question often posed when the topic of 1:1 programmes comes up in schools is – who’s going to manage it? Sometimes, that can be a bit of a stumbling block for the whole initiative – the wider SLT isn’t keen on the idea of all the extra admin that will be required. While some schools might want to maintain a higher level of control than others, if you’re looking for someone to deliver it for you, you should look for a provider that can provide a fully managed scheme. Ideally this provider will handle everything from marketing to parents to managing payments, meaning you get all the benefits without having to worry about extra resource.
Insurance and warranty
In the hectic daily life of a student – accidents happen. Whether it’s leaving a device on the school bus or dropping it in the corridor, you need to consider how you’re going to get the device or a replacement back with them to aide their learning as quickly as possible. Some 1:1 device programme providers wrap insurance in with their offering, providing cover for student devices on and off premises. Along with this, some providers also offer extended warranty, supported by delivering their own repair solutions. Having this all in one place and all covered by your 1:1 provider gives you the ultimate peace of mind that students will have consistent access to their learning devices.
Keeping up with payments
1:1 device programmes driven by parental payments are common – enabling your school to offer 1:1 learning without the cost. The concern often being here, what happens if a parent stops paying? If a parent’s payments come to a stop within the term, you’re still incurring the costs associated with the device. Obviously, as a school you’ll want to do everything you can to try and resolve the situation to ensure the student can still have access to the device. But following up with parents for payment and producing formal communication should that be necessary takes time, and if you have a number of parents who are falling behind on payments, this could add up. Some providers leave the task of recovering payments to you as the school – others will take this on for you, taking proven steps to resolve the issue and start payments back up again.
There’s a strong chance that whatever you’re bringing in as part of your 1:1 device programme is going to slot into an existing technology infrastructure. While you want to be able to offer students with the choice to get a device which suits them and their learning style, you want to consider the implication of bringing in Chromebooks, Windows devices or iPads into your existing infrastructure – whether Microsoft or Google based. Ultimately, that decision is with you and not your 1:1 provider, but it’s important to think about the technology that’s on offer. Does the provider work with your current technology reseller or vendor? Can they access the devices you want to offer to your students? For example, there’s little point engaging with a 1:1 provider when you are hoping to offer Chromebooks as an option to your students if they don’t have the ability to supply Chrome Management Console licenses. It’s important to consider what kind of partnerships and capabilities they have to deliver the technology that’s right for your students.
Why Freedom Tech?
Whatever your requirements or approach to 1:1 device programmes, Freedom Tech can help you design and deliver a programme that works for you and delivers the most possible value to you and your students. We’re the only provider which holds the ISO 27001 accreditation for Information Security Management, are FLA registered, and offer GAP insurance to recover any failed payments without the need for crime reference number. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch.