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Bannerman Road go-ahead

Richard and I had a good meeting with Adam Cattle the Education IT support officer with responsibility for Bannerman Road School on Friday (16/1) facilitated by Dick Turpin, the school’s community development worker, and one of the governors (or he might have left the governors to take up this post, I didn’t get clear that up)

In principle it has been agreed that Bristol Wireless will supply about 45 refurbished wirelessly enabled computers to the homes of the incoming reception year for the 2004/2005 academic year. The IT team at the school have expressed great interest in getting this off the ground, and are being very supportive. We will have their full involvement and input throughout.

There is a lot to think about and plan – we’ve estimated that just in kit and network rollout and installation we’re looking at around £4,000 even if all the labour and administration is done voluntarily. We’ve got to source the machines and find somewhere to work on them, and we have to co-ordinate between the school, education IT and the reception households to develop realistic targets and get all parties to agree on what they want and what is expected of them.

We need to develop a robust platform for all of this to sit on, Ben is leading the charge on the software side, and Matt and others have done a lot of work around the wireless hardware issues.

In addition we have to work out something useful for the network to do, if initially there is only limited internet access, we will have to continue to negotiate what we can offer either through proxying or caching our own signal, the schools, or other sources. A server at the school hosting content looks likely (anyone want to develop a CMS for reception class teachers?) We will have to set up maintenance systems, training and a host of other associated tasks that we can start to document on the wiki and maybe some sort of online project management tool (anyone know
of a good one for something like this?)

Rich and I are going to see BACEN tomorrow regarding the development planning and fundraising and will report back on the BBS with the results.