Equipping kids for a digital future: How refurbished computers can help school budgets stretch further

Dec 5, 2018 | Blog

As parents, we constantly worry about how to best equip our children for the future. Whether that is teaching them how to ride a bike, how to drive, or how to be safe online. As we lurch forward into a digital age where automation, AI, computer-aided tasks and robotic/human interface become more common, teaching our kids computing, computational thinking and coding skills are imperative. Not only that, but the government has predicted a massive skills gap between the number of jobs requiring technical skills and those studying at them.

What does an IT class look like today?

Gone are the days when IT class involved typing letters in Microsoft Word, drawing some pretty pictures in Paint and playing Snake. The IT curriculum has been given a complete overhaul – and not by politicians, but by companies like Microsoft, Google and the Royal Academy of Engineering. Now children as young as five are being taught how to code in their Information and Communications Technology classes.

“ICT used to focus purely on computer literacy – teaching pupils, over and over again, how to word-process, how to work a spreadsheet, how to use programs already creaking into obsolescence; about as much use as teaching children to send a telex or travel in a zeppelin.

Our new curriculum teaches children computer science, information technology and digital literacy: teaching them how to code, and how to create their own programs; not just how to work a computer, but how a computer works and how to make it work for you.” (Michael Gove, The Guardian)

Recently, the government pledged to treble the number of computer science teachers. Not only that, but last year £84 million was earmarked for a National Centre for Computing Education – and a virtual skills website designed to help upskill secondary school teachers.

Resources not there

While the will is there from the government and industry, however, the money is not. According to a survey conducted by the British Educational Suppliers’ Association (Besa)

“1.1 million computers in schools are simply not fit for purpose. Due to budget constraints, some schools are having to wait until their computers are on their last legs before investing. The survey showed that 35 per cent of all computers in secondary schools, and 31 per cent in primary schools, were ineffective.”
(Third of school computers ‘ineffective,’ 25th September 2018, TES).

Some teachers said they were unable to replace run-down computers that were often well past their shelf life and were struggling to manage with old computers and fault peripherals.

In the last budget, however, the chancellor pledged a £400m budget bonus, but headteachers feel this is woefully inadequate to meet school needs. And with spending cuts still set to continue, and an uncertain Brexit future, many are worried about what lies ahead for 2019.

How can schools get the latest equipment within tight budgets?

Refurbished computers can provide schools with the equipment they need at a fraction of the cost.

Why is refurbished good for schools?

  • We can tailor laptops or tablets to fit your requirements.
  • Our units are sold at a good price, that when your kit needs replacing it will only be a tiny proportion of your budget. 
  • We can also copy any software or programmes installed on one computer across a whole suite of newly refurbished computers, saving you significant time and effort.
  • We can also split drives to ensure that performance is not compromised. By putting the Operating System (OS) on a Solid State Drive (SSD) and storing your files on a Hard Drive you can ensure your computer’s performance will not slow down once you start filling it up with content.
  • Refurbished computers can also save you up to 70% of RRP allowing you to stretch your budget even further.
    You can get a top performing computer which can compare with new. Often the performance improvements in the latest models will be in areas that school applications just don’t require – sound, graphics and so on. So buying something brand new, may not necessarily be what you need.

How can we be sure that we are getting quality computers?

  • SecondLife IT brings new life to ex-leased business computers. This doesn’t mean just cleaning. This involves a 7 step, 55 point process where we completely overhaul our units with replaced components, respraying of keyboards, stress testing and a fresh Operating System.
  • Our reconditioned laptops and PCs are effectively new, and only cosmetic issues can identify it as a refurbished PC. But more and more people are realising that a couple of minor scratches or similar are a worthwhile trade-off for equivalent performance to a new PC at a fraction of the price.
  • Plus we are a Microsoft, HP and Dell Registered partner to refurbished computers.  

But even if I save money on the computer, I’ll have to spend money on new software and licenses.

Google Docs and Sheets provide the majority of your word processing and spreadsheet requirements. Plus there are a wealth of free resources for schools available online to help teachers and pupils learn languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, as well as data-driven code like SQL and Python.

How can I access the best deals in refurb IT for my school?

For more details, to discuss your requirements or simply find out more about us, give us a call on the number below.

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