Log in

COWs vs Suites (or other)

  • Public
Started by Rob Rush 25 May 2011 8:39am () Replies (5)

Hi folks, here is an age old debate, but one worth opening again, especially given that many of us have been upgrading and/or increasing our hardware throughout our schools.  I am interested to hear what works best for you:

COW (Classroom on Wheels) - teachers bring computers to classes

Computer Suite - teachers bring classes to the computers


Other - classes have own computers (desktops or laptops)

So what do you prefer, what works best for you and why?




  • Haydeninkster (View all users posts) 25 May 2011 2:44pm ()

    Interesting topic Robin. We currently run two COW's and we have a timetable in place so that there is each classroom assigned a certain time during the week. This seems to work well with the timetabling and teachers are flexible if it isn't in use by one class and have the possibility to use it.

    The one problem with this system is that sometimes the COW doesnt get put back on charge and the next class then has a bunch of laptops to use that all need charged.

    We have recently just purchased 10 new laptops and are in two minds whether to add these to the COW or 3/4 laptops shared between 2 classes.

    I guess whatever system you have or use it all depends on the management of the hardware.

  • Mark Creba (View all users posts) 25 May 2011 8:54pm ()

    I guess the other question to ponder is, how long will it be before we have students fully equiped with their own laptops, netbooks, ipads (or whatever the equivalent will be with advancing technology)? The COWS vs Suites debate may be answered within a few years with students equiped with their own personal portable devices. It is happening. Wellington East is one school I am aware of and I am sure there are state primary schools that have netbooks on their 'stationery lists'.

    What will our roles be in making sure our kids have equitable access as this becomes common practice for NZ schools and how do we make it equitable within our school once we have children bringing their own ICT into the school?

  • Barb Curran (View all users posts) 26 May 2011 8:20pm ()

    The ideal would/will be each student having their own portable device. In answer to the original question, I guess I lean slightly to having computers/laptops etc in the classroom, so that I can have them used more naturally and throughout the day - not just when I'm scheduled or when they are free.

    Having said that, our pods of netbooks/laptops are well used and the booking system works well. We do occasionally have the not charged not returned issue which can be frustrating for the ICT savvy and very off putting for teachers who are already outside their comfort zone just booking them!

  • Mel (View all users posts) 28 May 2011 8:09pm ()

    Hi Robin

    I prefer having more classroom computers/laptops in each room.  Since I've had 7 computers my kids have been able to use them whenever they need to and in any curriculum area.  It is far easier to use ICT as a tool when the computers are always there.


Join this group to contribute to discussions.