Becta – so near to linking up Britain?

Is this the saviour of schools broadband?

hallaton village2

Are you interested in the sustainability of internet connectivity in your school? What could the opportunities be?

I recently saw a tweet by Jon Hunt – whose website shows him to be an Education Broadband Specilaist. Jon had done some research through Becta’s website and highlighted 3 recent papers. if you’d like much more thorough analysis of these items, then Jon’s site is worth a look.

Response to Digital Britain is a fairly short document and contains some great ideas, especially in relation to rural schools – a significant minority of remote rural schools remain simply too expensive to connect to NGA. Ironically, their very remoteness means they are the schools with potentially the most to gain from next generation broadband access.  The paper shows technical ways in which a school could provide links to the community. Is there a simpler way for schools to share the burden of the cost of broadband AND help the local community – like renting out space? Why can’t a village primary school provide a desk, internet and work space for a fee? Safeguarding is clearly an issue, but if there was ever a time for school leaders to think outside the box – surely it’s now. What do you think?

Next Generation Access is – by it’s nature a weighty document. This document shows – amongst other things ideas where schools broadband could be opened up to local users in rural communities. I’ve been discussing this idea with headteachers for a few years – ‘just thinking out loud’. No headteacher has dismissed it yet as ridiculous.

Looking Ahead was published after the announcement of Becta’s closure and is (not surprisingly) somewhat briefer!  This short document picks up on some powerful points education broadband is the only available broadband in some areas … A heavy reliance on significant (and ongoing) contribution from schools – is this sustainable? … Fragmentation risk – schools/authorities opting out of RBC-/authority-led provision ..

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Becta going – so who does it cost?

And why should it?

I’ve just been reading a very interesting web posting on EducationInvestor. You can see the whole article here

The article starts by recapping an entry in the Times Education Supplement recently where Roger Larson – the man behind the Fronter Learning Platform voices his concern that UK schools may not continue to develop at the same rate. He also mentions that the use of learning platforms isn’t what it could be.

Read what you want in to Mr Larson’s comments. It’s the last sentence in the article in the EducationInvestor that should make the alarm bells go off.

But sources in the technology sector have told EducationInvestor that the cuts could require them to sell direct to school, and force them to raise their prices. “

So – are the sources saying ‘Dear Investors, we’re a good bet. When Becta goes we’re going to raise our prices and blame Becta for keeping the prices artificially low?’

Should suppliers raise their game rather than raise their prices? What do you think?

Next Steps for Becta

Dignified Exit? (From Becta today)

The priority for Becta is a well managed closure, which:

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