Home Schooling - Primary School - What Device Are You Using?

Home Schooling starts for a lot of people after Easter.
Have Primary school age kid starting next week and working out what device they are going to use for this.

Have been looking at Tablets, Chromebooks and Cheaper laptops. What to buy, I still dont know and Im sure there any many in the same situation.
Seems to be very few promos at the moment with no doubt high demand.

What setup have you got for home schooling?

Be interested to hear.
Cheers and all the best for those home schooling

Comments

  • +2 votes

    Just get a cheap second hand desktop from ebay… You can get a good Dell for around $200… If you order now, you might have it by next week.

    https://www.ebay.com.au/str/australiancomputertraders/Deskto...

    •  

      The option after that, if you don't want a second hand device, is Dell Outlet https://www.dell.com/en-au/outlet . Check it once a week, sometimes there are good deals available there. I've got a Dell desktop for $500, refurbished (i.e. somebody opened the box, didn't like it and returned it). I've been using it for past 6-7 years, still good enough for basic stuff, it's cranking [email protected] at the moment.

  •  

    What does the school recommend?

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      most schools would just require internet access, the ability to run a tool like zoom and a camera/microphone.

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        Agreed, but maybe next year, junior will need to have a specific device. Might as well buy it now?

      • +1 vote

        Schools will use webex not zoom but same shit.

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          one of our kids is already using zoom from end of last term.

          • +1 vote

            @jv: I work for the DET. Webex is the way they'll go as all schools have webex (its a dept thing). Also school's may be able to loan equipment but probably dont have a system in place yet

            •  

              @imtahir7: Webex? Ours is using google meet as part of the google classroom they setup

              •  

                @JimmyF: At this point in time individual schools are doing what individual schools feel is best for their students. That will most likely change into the future.

            • +2 votes

              @imtahir7: Teacher here. We are not allowed to use Zoom because of security issues. Our IT have warned about unauthorised people such as paedophiles being able to get in. The non Coronavirus news over the last 7 days includes the FBI warnings https://www.npr.org/2020/04/03/826129520/a-must-for-millions...
              And Zoom being sued for data breaches

              One problem I can see for parents is that different schools use different platforms and when you have a family of four spread over three schools, it can be tricky to manage.

              •  

                @Emli: DISCLAIMER I am a university lecturer.

                NSW department of education has signed up for enterprise Zoom for all schools and students https://t4l.schools.nsw.gov.au/news/2020/4/zoom---now-availa...

                The difference is that you now logon via the "SSO" (single sign on) option, and use your DET credentials (the [email protected] ) - all public primary/high school students get this as well as staff.

                Note that many private schools use zoom too. The reason is you can have 300+ students in one Zoom session, and a gallery view with 48 visible at a time. And Zoom is way way way way faster than MS Teams and Google hangouts for video conferencing. Great for form meetings.

                ALL universities in Australia use Zoom for classes too (and we also use Microsoft Teams). See https://lx.uts.edu.au/resources/zoom-vs-teams/ - we've learnt the hard way that the best product so far is Zoom for interactive classes. The sound quality is much better, it's the recommended online tool for music lessons (VTMA/WAMA recommended.) Gymnastics Australia clubs are also using zoom to do remote training sessions.
                Zoom also can work from the browser without downloading an app.
                Only Microsoft office365/Teams and Zoom work in China. We don't use Google classrooms since this is banned in China (and universities have 10000's of students stuck in China)

                The privacy/security issue is because of the default setup - simply set your zoom to only authorise students via SSO, enable waiting room for guests and use a meeting password. Stops zoom bombing and unauthorised vistors!

                The side effect of being an enterprise version is the unlimited time on zoom meetings, so kids are now holding zoom parties for hours! (as well as using discord)

                •  

                  @wongcr: In WA ALL schools are not allowed to use Zoom. When the Covid siruation caused a change in the delivery of education, the upskilling needed to happen very quickly unlike many other organisations which introduce Zoom as a standard measure. I have previously worked in a university. While you might prefer Zoom, I cannot do against department advice and use it. We are using three platforms to deliver education as not all parents have enough devices for their children and another problem is some families have to hot spot their phones for their children to have internet access.

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              @imtahir7: Which state are you in?
              In DoE NSW it's mostly Zoom that schools are using with students.
              Teachers are also using G Hangouts Meet.

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            @jv: Yeh mine too.. maths zoom

        •  

          Schools will use webex not zoom but same shit.

          Schools are most likely going to be using what they already have on offer that is free, which is google meets as part of the google app suite most schools use.

          Mine has done a test video call already with meets and will be trying one with zoom. As its the 'cool' thing to do.

          Zoom is overrated. Once they realise they have to pay for it, they'll continue to use google meets all day long for free, rather than zoom in 40 mins blocks.

        •  

          Might depend on the state or region.
          Primary school for my kid is using teams.

          •  

            @SBOB: Teams is effectively office365. I think that's the way most schools if not all will go.

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              @imtahir7: So its a mess then?

              As a few posts up you said schools would be all using webex, now you're saying it will be MS teams.

              I kinda feel you're making this up as you go as its all changing minute by minute.

              Our kids school has said they are using Google classroom as all the kids have google apps accounts and so do the teachers. Its setup, its turned on, they are using it before school ended.

              So it most likely will come down to each state/school arrangement. As I said earlier, they'll be using whatever is free for them to use.

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                @JimmyF: Yeah of course it is. The prime minister and the states aren't on the same page. DET preferred video conference method is webex. That's a fact. Schools have office365 for free thats another option with teams and gives the kids email addresses and other features. Google classroom is what some schools are or in the process pf implementing. I think Google classroom is the option that may get cut into the future. And you are right schools will go with what they have and thats webex and teams for free as it is state wide and country wide for schools. Plus different teachers will use the tools differently but there will have to be some consistency across the board

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                  @imtahir7: Consistency across the board would be nice, but each school is its own silo as far as the kids are concerned. Kids don't really bounce between schools, so whatever each school is happy to use would be fine in my books.

                  Webex might be the DET preferred video solution, but do they have enough licences for every kid to be using it at once?

                  Google classrooms is free as part of the educational suite/account, so not sure why that would be cut, its free just like teams is.

                  I use teams at work and from what I've seen, google classroom is a much better product for what the kids need and what the teacher can do with etc compared to teams.

                  •  

                    @JimmyF: Webex is free and PD is being run on how to use it.

                    In terms of everything else, It will be what is available, what is free and the big one is what have the parents given the schools permission and signed or agreed to.

                    What happens if parents haven't agreed to use G suite? They dont get an education? Can imagine the dept wanting to avoid lawsuits especially in these times where you may get some opportunists.

                    Right now schools are doing their own thing. Who knows they may be allowed to continue to do that but there may come a time where everyone is using the same thing or you schools are given specific options. I don't know.

                    I think they'll want consistency.

                    •  

                      @imtahir7:

                      if parents haven't agreed to use G suite? They dont get an education?

                      yep, that pretty much happens already in schools…

                      no consent, the kid misses out….

                •  

                  @imtahir7: @imtahir7 @JimmyF DET paid for Zoom now. My children's schools are using Zoom now. https://t4l.schools.nsw.gov.au/news/2020/4/zoom---now-availa...
                  It really depends on the teacher's preference, some use Microsoft Teams or Google Classrooms. My straw poll of fellow teachers, friends and relatives don't use WebEx for teaching (it's a corporate thing for intranet meetings)

                  •  

                    @wongcr: This is correct.
                    Zoom is most popular followed by G Hangouts Meet and MS Teams.
                    In NSW WebEx is not being used by any public schools that I'm aware of.

        • +1 vote

          Heard the same thing in W.A. It will be Webx apparently.

  • +1 vote

    What setup have you got for home schooling?

    Using a spare computer with a webcam etc, good setup.

    ipads are overrated for real work, you need a keyboard etc, so if you're going down that path just use a computer or a chromebook.

    Ask your child what they use. Ours uses chromebooks at school, so if I didn't have a computer spare I would have went this way.

    If your school is anything like ours, it'll be using google classrooms, with google meet, so its all web based.

    Zoom is so over rated.

    •  

      thanks, i tried a old tablet with a keyboard,wasnt sure it would work well for the kid. may have to do, will see.

      •  

        Use what you have onhand first. If it fails to do the job, then maybe try a chromebook or a 2nd hand computer.

  •  

    My sons school conducts most lessons via ICQ, with the exception of one teacher who is a bit old fashioned and uses an IRC chat.

    So long as you have windows 98 and a 14k modem you should be fine..

  •  

    My son’s regional SA public primary (year 4) has started loaning out their stock of Infinity:One laptops.

    Amusingly the sales website describes a Win 10 system based on an Intel Atom and 2GB of RAM as “ A powerful, 2-in-1 PC…”

    It just about runs MS Teams and Chrome at the same time without stalling, but it will be interesting to see how it will go with video streaming lessons too.

    https://www.one-education.org/products/infinity-one-windows

    • +1 vote

      Video streaming is probably the only thing it's actually decent at, since there's dedicated hardware for video decoding/encoding and it doesn't have to use the terrible CPU.

  • +1 vote

    NSW Public School teacher here. My school currently offers families to borrow a loan device with a small deposit of $100. Parents will receive this deposit back once they return the device. I understand that every school might not be able to provide this but it wouldn't hurt to ask?

  •  

    My older primary child is using their laptop that we purchased for school - a Lenovo Yoga 330. Their specs were pretty low, but it does everything she needs it to so far. It also has a web camera and microphone, which I expect will be getting used shortly.

    My younger will do any face-to-face contact on the base model Samsung tablet we just bought. It's been great so far for all of her little Zoom dance and music classes. I expect to print out most of her work and for her to complete it by hand. The teacher has already sent through a pack of about 80 worksheets. Any time on online educational programs will be limited and done on our main PC.

  • +2 votes

    Teacher here. Contact your school. Each school will be different depending on advice from their governing body (state department of education) decisions made at a local school level. Not ideal but that’s where we are at.

  •  

    School Tech here - I'd also suggest talking to your school. The school could have devices it will be loaning out to those who don't have anything they can use at home already. Some emails going around also that it is basically up to the school to provide deices to those who need - even if they have to use funding to buy some if they don't have spare.Each school is different but I'd start there first.

    If you want to buy one because you want something to have to use for longer - go ahead but you could have problem finding stock also as all schools are buying up stock and in general everyone is buying up to work from home. There was stock shortage at the start of the year when all this had just started.

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      it is basically up to the school to provide deices to those who need - even if they have to use funding to buy some if they don't have spare.Each school is different but I'd start there first.

      actually, under the new rules, kids without devices are allowed to go to school, same as the kids of parents who need to work… Same curriculum as the kids at home.

      •  

        Yes that's true. There is so much out there though and we are getting lots of different emails too where some contradict what government says. Different states too depends. Like they can't just have every kid turn up at school becuase they don't have a device - still meant to keep the 1.5 distance and 1:8 etc per room.

        It's just all so different and different peope saying different things and all unknown and changing all the time.

  •  

    My kids use Surface Pros but that's overkill; any laptop with a cam and headset should do the job (or a desktop for that matter).

  •  

    If you kid is going into high school next year, have a look at the high school book list and see what they recommend. My high school age kids get Office 365, Adobe Creative Suite and OfficeMax ebooks all through their school so a Chromebook might not be the best idea if the schools ebooks subscription doesn't work on it for example. My sons in Yr 7 & he uses a Surface Book 2 and my oldest daughter who's in year 9 is using a Macbook Air. Both of those devices were on the school book list, public school. For my son it was Surfcae Pro or Surface Book. I got him the book because the keyboard is better. I wanted to buy a PC for my oldest daughter but it becomes an issue with the school who'll only support the device on the book list and at that time it was only Macbooks. The school is changing over all their Mac's for PC's now as there some software packages that they use in a number of technology classes that don't work on Mac.

    For my primary school age daughter she just requires a iPad for all the stuff she needs to do. She does use a old Macbook Pro for when she needs to type up some thing long as it's just easier with a real keyboard.

  •  

    I've put many hundreds of the 100e into schools. At $349 they're reasonably priced and more than sufficient for school use.
    Slightly cheaper here.

    Plenty of other Chromebooks are just as good if not better.

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    Real mix of what people are using. Good to see there are plenty of options for people out there.

  • +1 vote

    Starts tomorrow for most in VIC. Good luck to everyone

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