I haven't been blogging for a while. It's mainly because I don't like blogging about negative things.
Today is a negative thing, but maybe someone out there can help.
My annual department for all software, peripherals, textbooks, photocopying, printing costs etc is around £300 - £360. This year had decided I was going to try and spend as much as I could on extra memory for my class computers.
I have 21 computers. 19 of them have only 512Mb of memory. They struggle to run a web browser. There is no way I can run video editing on them for the Digital Media Computing course from June.
The other two computers have 1Gb of RAM. These are replacement machines for a couple that have broken in the last couple of years.
My plan was to buy 1Gb RAM for half of the machines, take out the 512 Mb memory from them and put them into the other half of the machines. This would only cost about £300 to upgrade to 1Gb in the whole class.
I've been told under the existing contract that we are not allowed to open the boxes. I can kinda accept that. It's good business sense to not have your users fiddle with the insides of the machinery.
What is dissappointing is that the cost to 'officially' upgrade would be around £150 per machine and I'd have to upgrade all of them (no juggling memory about). That works out at £2850.
Now I realise that engineer time is involved, but that would surely only be one hour travelling and one hour to slot in the memory (it's not a difficult job, I'm sure all of my 1P1 class would be able to do it if I showed them once)
I also realise that if a computer fails and it is replaced with another machine that uses a different type of memory then they would need to make buy memory of the new type. However this isn't a factor as the replacement machines are coming in with 1Gb as standard.
So it looks like my choices are:
1) Try to sneak an £300 order for memory past the ICT Co-ordinator / Business Manager
2) Upgrade just two computers and see if the kids figure out which ones are faster
3) Get 1P1 to 'accidentally' damage the computers gradually so they get replaced with 1Gb machines. 1P1 would not need training or demonstrations for this!
4) Give up and carry on moaning with other teachers about the state of the computers, the speed of the network or the fact that the sole teacher of Computing doesn't have permission to install software or upgrade patches.
Any ideas? Anyone out there with a spare 10 sticks of DDR 400MHz SDRAM they want to donate to education?!