Last year we investigated and decided to invest in around 220 HP streams for use around our school. These have been running for 2 terms now and have been very successful – so much so I can’t imagine just having 15 in my room ready to go.
Battery life – is exceptional. I have never had one go flat yet – even when I forgot to turn the power back on after having the gas on in the lab so they didn’t charge overnight. So they will go a full 5 hour day no worries, and you can snake more if you need to.
Robustness – they are pretty hardy little machines. We are still trying to be careful with them, but they live in plastic tubs in the lab and (lets be honest) if they can survive yr 10 boys they are doing pretty well
Connectivity – the streams are currently running windows 8.1. So it is about 10 seconds from opening the lid to students being able to get online and do what they need to do. By running a map drive script (our IT admin set this up – I am learning fast but still don’t know the coding behind it) the students are able to still log into the server and access their ‘s’ drive but more and more they are using their onedrives and word etc online.
Camera – is pretty decent for a ‘entry level’ device. Lots of selfies on the camera roll…. but also some good quality images of practicals, demo’s and the board if they didn’t want to copy stuff down.
OneNote – Some staff went great guns with OneNotes, and had their ‘word’ workbooks saved in them for students to access. With the onenote online app, you can’t insert word documents, so students couldn’t always save their changes – but the files were a bit big to sync to the full version on OneNote. This caused a few headaches till we arranged for the word documents to be stored in a sharepoint site file. I also think that windows 10 will prevent this problem as the OneNote app is interchangable with the full desktop version.
Printing – accessing printers for the first time was a little problematic, especially around installing drivers. But once it was installed, it was good to go. So I just used a class and whipped round to install them, took an hour and was done.
So all is all these streams have been a really good purchase for us. They work well, have been reliable, have withstood being bashed around a little. Staff and students have adjusted to using windows 8, which means the update to windows 10 for the cow will go well to (hopefully). Students enjoy using them, they are light weight enough to hold to film something with them for a wee while and small enough you can still see the students behind them. Office software runs really well (apart from the OneNote issue) and they really have made a positive impact on our use of technology to support learning