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New kit from F-S arrives..at last!!!

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Author Topic: New kit from F-S arrives..at last!!!  (Read 6693 times)
Carl Faulkner
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« on: March 05, 2007, 07:36:29 PM »

Like Christmas...almost Grin

First post from an excited Head teacher.
 Roll Eyes
After what seems like forever out shiny new EDAs have arrived from F-S. Well done to all those who have helped develop them, as first impressions are good. They appear robust, although I have yet to try a drop test!  Shocked

Out of 36 units 35 were packed correctly. Some were charged, others not. Some began to do stuff when plugged in to charge, others didnt.

The fun will start in the morning when we start to network them, I suspect.

The best bit was seeing the look on the kids faces; a few dragged Mam/dad/carer into School to see them....hope they are still there in the morning!

Carl
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Graham
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2007, 08:00:15 PM »

Hi Carl

Welcome to the forum!

Fantastic news, you must be amongst the first with the new EDA's. Let us know how you get on.

Cheers

Graham

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Carl Faulkner
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« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2007, 07:38:45 PM »

todays update

cameras dont work...no comment!

we will get a software update in the near future, apparently

thought that the kids would be p@&&ed of by this, so we have told them the feature is disabbled till further notice

scary how easy the lies flow from my lips


we are one of three schools in the LA starting the use of handhelds this year

the ict techies didnt make it to my school as they started the install at our neighbours just up the road, hope they make it here tommorrow

the children have had a go with the machines however

they have already twigged neat handwriting equals fast input and have made more progress in 2 hours than in the last year with their presentation/handwritting skills

carl
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Carl Faulkner
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2007, 04:30:22 PM »

> >Hi all

further to the previous posts some data from the  Grangetown Project

apologies for spellig errors etc.. it been a long day!

FS replace our 40 EDAs in the Summer term

this is an update on our progress so far

on the positive side the concept of Hand held learning has motivated Staff and pupils, with formal lesson observations showing a positive impact for many pupils, in particular allowing teachers to personalise learning Grin

pupils show a high level of care towards the device, with only 1 child 'forgetting' their device on a regular basis Grin

the launch of the scheme gave parents a real buzz Grin

the back up offered by REDHALO appeared to be a good idea

HOWEVER!

 :'(30% of the new, replacement EDAs have already been sent back; i wonder if anyone has a view on whether this is acceptable?

 :'(on average 35% of EDAs fail in a lesson ( sampled over a two week period)... sometimes more, sometimes less: does this sound like a good deal for those children?

 :'(battery failures carry on, around 15% go from one extreme to another

 :-\all these failures are often sporadic eg vary from day to day

our WIFI has been checked out...its great!

resets, when performed as we were shown by Fujitsu Siemens, do not resolve issues in a reliable manner

we are in the lucky position of serving the 24th most disadvantaged children in the nation (out of 32,457 places to live)

that means we have switched on, astute children, and many sources of funding available to us. we were also therefore able to purchase 40 units, giving us 8 spares. the failure rate above however means that lessons, and learning, are often jeapordised

the benfits of REDHALO have not arrived, because of the connectivity issues

i am looking forward to going to HHL to see how other projects are doing and to relight my enthusiasm, and to meet Schools were the FS product is working in an effective manner

as my excellent Y6 teacher says.. if you get a good one, its a good one...if you dont its C^@P!

further, more blunt quotes are available from the children. but we had better not post them!

anyboby able to share any thoughts on the matters raised above?

Carl Faulkner
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Graham
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2007, 10:32:38 PM »

Sorry to hear of these problems when others appear to be running well.

It's true that RedHalo needs network connectivity (either wirelessly or via a PC) to work, so that would be an obstacle if your devices were having problems in this department.

What have Fujitsu Siemens proposed to do to help sort things out?

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Carl Faulkner
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2007, 11:12:11 AM »

Their position on Wednesday this week was that all physical issues have been resolved. My post above indicates we are not in agreement with this. They have passed on our projects concerns to a technician, and we await to hear from them. 

To be fair when the 'techies' visited last time they were first rate; they could not of tried harder to support us in using the product as it was designed/intended.

Which projects are running well? Maybe we are all eejits up here and have missed an obvious trick in getting things right?!?
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Graham
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2007, 01:11:21 PM »

Which projects are running well? Maybe we are all eejits up here and have missed an obvious trick in getting things right?!?


Hi Carl

I'm sure you realise that I wasn't suggesting that you were "eejits" nor was I suggesting your problems weren't real, only that my understanding was that thousands of EDA devices have been shipped and presumeably not all of them are exhibiting these problems. I believe that Learning2Go in Wolverhampton are making good use of their EDAs and there was also the review by Merlin John where EDAs were being used in a primary school in Birmingham, I've also heard some great reports from projects using WildKey.

I can't speak for Fujitsu Siemens Computers with regards to the quality or reliability of the EDA ( I don't have access to the stats ) but do hope that your current problems are resolved and that you will let us know what did the trick.

Cheers

Graham  Smiley
« Last Edit: October 05, 2007, 01:13:51 PM by Graham » Logged
Carl Faulkner
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2007, 11:09:48 PM »

no worries graham; eejits was self depreciating

can not wait to HHL!

carl
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tobiaswilson
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« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2007, 12:51:34 PM »

We are just unpacking and testing a set of 18 EDA's for a mediascape project (among other projects). I have been testing one for a while.

My first impressions are quite poor I am afraid to say, especially when we are talking about a 400+ bit of kit.

General design comments:
- The cover is pretty useless. You have to partially take it off to put it in the cradle. With it open you can't get the stylus out. Although it does protect the screen it doesn't weather protect it at all, I can't really see the point of it to be honest. I would think it should either protect the whole unit and prevent it being turned on (whilst in a bag for example), or protect the screen but allow the control/arrow buttons to be used (though not the stylus) to allow some functionally (such as the camera) with the cover on. It does none of these.
- There is no charging indicator, so you have to turn them all on to find out if these are fully charged.
- The battery claims 12hrs life however using the GPS this is reduced to less than 2 hours.
- It's a shame the only option is to charge from the cradle, unlike our other set of (much cheaper!) FS PDA's that came with both a cradle and lead charging options. Potentially this is useful for whole set charging whilst still in a case.

Some specifics points:
One of the cradles was mis-manufactured so that it was impossible to charge the EDA, and two SD cards were missing, but hopefully these will be sorted shortly.

I realise they are quite different products, but in comparison, now RM are supplying sub-200 laptops aimed directly at education, FS needs to try quite a bit harder if they expect schools to continue to invest 400 in their EDA.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2007, 01:47:55 PM by tobiaswilson » Logged
Graham Holland
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2008, 09:48:47 AM »

Runcorn CLC is facilitating an EDA project with a local primary school (one of the Year 5 classes). We've just taken back the class set of EDAs so we can do a full check, try to get them all working on SynchronEyes at the same time, and get the dodgy ones replaced.

We've found that the pupils have been taking good care of the units, with only the odd accidental damage.
I've found that the response to inputs can be sluggish at times, and can even grind to a halt if too many applications are opened.
A number of the EDAs have had operating system bugs which have caused one to become unlockable, and two to become un(screen)alignable.
Charging is a real problem. There isn't the space (or sockets) in the classroom to charge them all in school so the charging cradles have been sent home with the pupils. This creates problems when the EDAs turn up the next day uncharged, either because the pupil forgot or because it wasn't placed into the cradle securely. Someone needs to manufacture a box/tray/case charging unit run from one socket where a class set of EDAs can be stored/charged in the classroom. And as previously mentioned, some sort of indicator to show when it's charging would be very useful.

Graham
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Graham Holland
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davew
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2008, 10:48:23 AM »

Hi Graham,

There are some known issues with screen alignment on the EDA. May I suggest that you contact FS direclty on this as it is not something that you can solve.

We advise our learners not to use a password as when they forget it.... it takes a great deal of work to unlock the device.

As for the EDA running sluggishly... Do you have the processor speed set to turbo mode?

Do you get the learners to close unwanted programmes? this is standard practice with any PDA / Mobile project. Any open porgrammes will also alter charging times.

As far as charging is concerned... we in Learning2Go have always taken the people route to solving the problem by setting up a Mobile learning awards scheme to change the habits of learners and reward them for having the device in school and charged.... In my opinion this is getting the learners ready for their e-life!

If you must charge the devices for them then try a device called power monkey.

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tobiaswilson
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2008, 12:41:04 PM »

And as previously mentioned, some sort of indicator to show when it's charging would be very useful.

Further to my previous criticism of lack of charging LED, I have discovered it is built in, however they neglected to make a hole in the case so you can see it! If you look carefully in the SD slot you can see it flashing when charging. We considered attempting to drill a hole in the case however it appears to be glued closed. Anyone else tried to open one?

I'm not surprised they have been discontinued.
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jont
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« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2008, 04:46:59 PM »

I dont think F-S ever gave the device long enough to iron out the problems. The fact such a device even made it to market is a credit to somebody. After  all other manufacturers had shunned the education market in the UK.

The machine it was based on was a good PDA, that seemed to work well. The built in GPS could have been used to enhance so many applications.

The aspect of such a project that always worried me was the aging of the device. Within 12 months or so the device would seem "old hat" to students and you can be certain that any device that followed it would not fit into the rugged-ised case :-). Sealing the case was a bad idea, I wonder how much of the screen alignment problem is due to the case putting pressure on to the digitiser.

Your observations on battery life reflect my comments about PDA designs in general on one of the other forum threads today.
 
But these are pioneer times to an extent, dont be put off by bad experiences with one family of device.



 
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tobiaswilson
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« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2008, 05:05:35 PM »

If you must charge the devices for them then try a device called power monkey.
I think this would only work if the connector was a standard connector, but the round four pin connector on the EDA is completely unique as far as I can find out. Maplin have nothing like it. if you use a star drive to take off the black plastic cover you can use normal FS connectors (we have spare adaptors from a set of Pocket Loox 720s.) which would allow third party chargers/solar chargers/charging in a case etc. But this requires having the connector uncovered, and getting some FS adaptors.
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Graham
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« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2008, 05:53:41 PM »

I dont think F-S ever gave the device long enough to iron out the problems. The fact such a device even made it to market is a credit to somebody. After  all other manufacturers had shunned the education market in the UK.


Nicely put Jon Wink

Without question the EDA was a flawed device yet it was one of the first of a kind and where a manufacturer listened to the demands and requirements of the education sector, to deliver a product that it was expressly developed for, within the realms of what was commercially viable at the time. In English it means that when the product was being conceived, with people who had experience of running successful mobile learning projects, there were no orders in hand that would cover development costs. The consequence was that an existing PDA, the fairly respected FSC Pocket Loox N560 that had already been customised for rugged and out-doors requirement by a 3rd party in Germany for use in applications from mountaineering to motorcycle couriers was further customised to include a camera.

The issues over buried charging lights etc were a by product of the fact that the ruggedised nature of the device where it was intended to be waterproof to the point where you could just about jet wash it without water entering the system. The device was slightly downgraded in this regard for the EDA version to allow for sound to exit the system which in prototype versions was inaudible due to the waterproofing.

Clearly there was a manufacturing issue when these devices went into large volume production perhaps caused by the method of ensuring the seal on the covering which in some cases distorted the screen alignment. There were also reports in some cases of wireless failure.

But as Jon eloquently puts it, these are pioneering days and these were some of the first steps. I'm not an apologist for FSC but I do think they deserve some credit for being a pioneering supporter of mobile learning in the UK, I understand that they went to some lengths to remedy as many problems as were brought to their attention despite a period when it was simply fashionable to slate them.

In spite of all of this there are many projects in this country using EDA's successfully which I think proves that, given time, FSC would have ironed out the glitches but the plug was pulled when the PDA market collapsed and their German HQ exited the PDA market and therefore left the EDA without it's insides.

A lot of development happened in a short space of time with EDA not just at FSC but the supply network, practitioners, software developers and learners. I would say that it hasn't all been wasted.

« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 05:55:28 PM by Graham » Logged
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