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case-study-featured-image-Education

Case Study – How we nearly doubled Wellow School’s IT suite capacity without building work or breaking the bank

We recently completed a project for Wellow Primary School who are a Primary School based in Wellow.

They gave us the task of increasing the current suite of 17 machines to 30 which would allow each pupil to have a machine of their own. This all had to be completed within a fixed budget and a strict time scale. This needed to be ready for pupils to use in their new term beginning September 2017.

Here you can see what the It Suite looked like before the install.

For the solution we chose modern Dell Latitude All-In-One desktops. They offer the smallest desk footprint possible and due to having to fit almost double the amount of desktops into the same space, these were the best fit. They also have minimum cables and look very modern but also have the performance to handle the most demanding educational software. We also installed an oval shaped table which made best use of the available space in the IT Suite. Then the last thing we did was change the large chairs to smaller stools. In order to deliver this project in the most cost effective manner, we rebuilt the existing machines with Windows 10. This was delivered on time and within budget.

Once the project was completed, the school got an array of benefits from our solutions. Firstly, the use of the All-In-One desktops allowed for more space which enables the desks to look tidier and clear. An up-to-date and modern classroom means that the students can work seamlessly without any unnecessary distractions. By using an oval table and smaller stools we managed to maximise the empty space in the room which allowed for the extra machines to put without the room looking overcrowded. By updating the older machines, this meant that we did not need to purchase a whole suite of All-In-One desktops which therefore meant that we could keep this project as cost-effective as possible.

Here you can see the IT Suite after the install.

This is what the client had to say about our work within this project –

“Thank you so much for updating our IT suite – it’s looking fantastic!”

Beth Larcombe, Headteacher.

Tablet Computers

The Best Tablets for use in School

Tablets are becoming considerably more popular throughout schools. This is because students have been accustomed to the touch-screen smartphones for years. This is something that is familiar to them, they feel comfortable with and can use well. Tablets are a good way to capture the student’s attention, and keep them engaged whilst learning, due to interactive activities.

We have taken a look into some of the best tablets for use within a classroom.

Windows

There are quite a few Windows tablets to choose from. Windows tablets are not as widely known as the iPad or Android. Microsoft tablets are perfect for work use due to the ability of using Office. Apps for Windows tablets come from the Windows App Store, which supplies the most well-known apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Sky News etc. The last advantage of a Windows Tablet is the fact that you can now use Windows 10 in it, which is Microsoft’s new OS. Windows tablets come with pre-installed apps with Windows 10, these include; OneNote, Mail, Games and more.

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Microsoft have completely revolutionised the tablet. They have made a tablet that can actually replace your laptop. This includes a 12.4 inch PixelSense screen, which gives a real-life picture quality. The weight is 757g which enables it to be extremely portable and you can therefore work on the go. You can work up to 9 hours uninterrupted due to the long lasting battery power.

The Surface comes loaded with the latest Pro Intel Core processors which make it more powerful than the previous Surface Tablet. You have options of either; m3, i5, or i7 processor depending on your budget. In addition, it is now a lot cooler and quieter when it runs.

This tablet runs Windows 10 and Office perfectly, meaning you can operate your desktop right from your tablet. Lastly, you’re spoilt with pre-installed apps on your tablet, legacy (i.e. traditional) Windows apps and those available from the Windows Store providing an almost limitless amount of apps to be able to use for all of your teaching needs.

This is priced at approximately £749.

Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 Series Tablet

The Dell Venue is an atom-powered windows tablet. It has been called ‘The Ultimate Business Partner’. It is a laptop is disguise. It has an 11 inch full HD Display, weighs up at 712.14 g and has 10 hours of battery life. You can wirelessly stream HD videos and photos from your tablet to a larger screen. The Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 series is now powered by Intel’s Core M processors. You have the ability to attach a keyboard to the Dell Venue 11 Pro, this therefore enables you to be able to turn your tablet into a laptop.

This tablet is priced at approximately £463.

Apple

iPad’s are probably the most popular form of tablet. When people talk about a ‘tablet’ they generally think of the iPad.

The iPad is loved by both the students and the teachers. It delivers so much opportunity for a memorable learning experience. With an app store that holds over 500,000 Educational Apps, there is something for every lesson taught, all delivering at different levels to cater to the student’s needs. Take a look at our previous blogs: a complete list of Educational iPad Apps, and our favourite educational iPad apps.

The most popular type of iPad for use within in a school is a close contest between the iPad mini and the iPad Air.

iPad Air 2

The iPad Air 2 was released in mid-October 2014. The original iPad Air was 7.5mm in thickness, and now the new edition is even slimmer at 6.3mm with a weight of 469 g and a screen of 9.7in. The iPad Air 2 now has an A8X processor which is still 64-bit and has a new M8 co-processor. The newest feature is the Touch ID button, just like an iPhone. With 10 hours of battery life, this iPad will not need to be charged regularly.

The price of the iPad air 2 is approximately £399.

iPad mini 2/ iPad mini 4

The iPad mini 2 is the most common iPad mini, although there has been a 3 and 4 since then. The iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3 are almost identical. The only enhancement in the 3 is the use of Touch ID.

The iPad mini 2 has a 7.9in retina display screen with a weight of 331g. With 10 hours of battery life and an A7 chip with 64-bit architecture. The benefit of the iPad mini 2, is the price. Starting from £219, it is one of the cheapest, yet still delivers just as well as the mini 3.

The iPad mini 4 took quite a change. It is considerably lighter at a weight of 299g with the same sized screen. It has an upgraded A8 processor, colour-rich retina display, better cameras and it supports split-screen apps. The use of the Touch ID and the full laminated display has the upper hand upon the mini 2.

This iPad mini 4 is priced at approximately £319.

Android

There are more Android tablets around now, due to Google’s Android OS making it inviting for many manufacturers to make an Android tablet. Android tablets have really been enhanced and improved. Android is popular due to its price and you have over 1.3 million apps in the Google play App store. Google’s Android has ‘Google’ voice integrated in, so you can speak to your tablet, and receive help.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 has an 8 inch screen, is only 5.6mm thick and weighs 265g. Just like the iPad, it has a Touch ID. With the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 you have to capability to insert a microSD card slot on the frame and this can boost the 32GB to 64GB.

As a bonus with this tablet, you get “Microsoft Office and 100GB of OneDrive free for two years.”

The price for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is approximately £319.

Google Nexus 9

The Google Nexus 9 is an Android tablet designed by HTC. It has an 8.9in screen, weighs 425g and is protected with gorilla glass. There are front-facing “BoomSound” speakers which enables the music and audio to be richer. Due to the 64-bit processor, it is easy to watch videos, check email and tweak documents.

The Nexus 9 has Android 5.0 Lollipop, which is a version of Android OS developed by Google. The Benefit of Android Lollipop is that a refreshed notification system has been introduced, and battery consumption has been improved.

The price for this is approximately £189.99.

Wireless System

Something to think about before ordering 30 tablets to be used in a single classroom would be your current Wireless System. When was it installed? What is the speed like when browsing the internet or streaming a YouTube video? If you think the speed is slow when you’re the only one using the wireless, how do think your 30 pupils all trying to access online content at the same time are going to find it? Chances are, if your wireless system was installed more than 3 years ago, it’s going to struggle with the demands of a modern day classroom.

Luckily, this is where Coretek can come in to save the day. We can carry out a survey of your current wireless system, which will provide an in depth report evaluating your system as it stands and showcase our recommendations for a new Dell SonicWALL system.

The approximate price of a Dell SonicWALL 802.11AC Wireless System with 10 Access Points is £6000.

So these are a few of our chosen tablets that we feel are best for use within Education. They all supply a wide range of apps that will cater for any lesson, but each tablet is completely different to the next. There are the Windows tablets that are great for the use of attaching a keyboard to the screen, therefore transforming it into a laptop alternative. Apple tablets have the most extensive app store, having something for your every single need, and they are very lightweight. Then lastly, the Android tablets are very reasonably priced and there are a whole variety of Android tablets.

If you need any advice or help, please contact us at enquiries@coretek.co.uk.

Black Friday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday – Our Top 10 Security Tips

Black Friday is originally an American tradition that takes place on the day after Thanksgiving. It was introduced into the UK through ASDA and Amazon. Many other retailers have since rapidly jumped on board with the major sales. Black Friday is referred to as “One of the most important shopping days of the year”.

Retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss for the majority of the year, whilst the holiday season was when they gained their profit. This began the day after Thanksgiving. These profits would be recorded in the financial records. Where the accountants used red ink meant a loss of money, but on this day the red ink would then change to black ink to show profit. Therefore, hence the name ‘Black Friday’, and this day is the day that retailers would no longer have losses for the duration of the holiday season.

The Black Friday deals have not been restricted to just one day, you had Orange Thursday yesterday and deals can still be found up until Cyber Monday (Monday 30th November).

You can find deals throughout all high-street stores and all over the internet, but be careful as everyone wants the same deals as you do. It is known that with the deals that Black Friday brings, comes violence and crime. So we have provided you with our top ten tips on how to keep safe on Black Friday.

Shopping online:

  1. When shopping online, ensure the web pages begin with https not http, as the ‘s’ indicates the page is secure. Also, look for the icon of a lock that usually sits at the bottom of the browser or https URL address.
  2. When purchasing items, make sure that you use payment verifications systems such as ‘Verified by Visa’.
  3. Beware of any scam links that could be in your emails.
  4. Ensure that you have the latest version of your Web Browser. This is because the updates include security patches and improvements that can correct anything in the browser that could be subject to vulnerability.
  5. Use a credit card rather than a debit card, as your debit card links directly with your bank account. A credit card is money borrowed temporarily from your bank and purchases made using the credit card are subject to laws that protect the buyer.

Shopping in-store:

  1. Keep all your shopping in the boot of your car, this way you do not attract any unwanted attention to your car.
  2. Keep your personal belongings on you at all times, to avoid any pickpocketing.
  3. Do not carry too much, as you probably won’t realise if you drop something. If your hands are completely full, you also will not be able to defend yourself against any threats.
  4. Go shopping with a friend or family member for extra back-up.
  5. Ensure to shield your pin, anywhere and everywhere you are using it.

But don’t let these drawbacks stop you from shopping! Take into account our safety tips and enjoy all the deals that Black Friday has to offer.

Whilst you are browsing through all the Black Friday offers, why don’t you look for something new for your business? Coretek, as a Dell Preferred Partner, are pleased to announce the latest user PC available from Dell. Dell’s new OptiPlex 3040 is an essential business desktop with ‘best-in-class security and manageability in a new, space-saving design.’ You are going to get the essential performance for the lowest entry price for a commercial desktop. This OptiPlex is available in Mini Tower (MT), Small Form Factor (SFF) and Micro From Factor (MFF) and has a robust ecosystem which includes multiple mounting options for MFF.