Windows 7 became available to schools in mid-August 2009, uncomfortably close to the start of the new school year. Although there was every encouragement from Microsoft for schools taking the plunge, it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that those ICT teams that grasped the nettle were displaying a fair amount of courage. The start of a school term, after all, isn’t a moveable deadline.
Whether the new operating system was installed or not, whether or not it worked, or did what was printed on the tin, the students, teachers and administrators were still going to arrive and switch on their machines expecting to do pick up where they left off before their holidays. Failure, as they say, was not an option.
These are the first two paragraphs from Gerald Haigh’s article about the experiences of the early schools using Windows 7 in the UK. After just two weeks of term time, he went out to talk to half a dozen schools for us, and record their stories. Gerald normally spends his time split between writing books for school leaders, and leadership focused articles for educational publications. But given his ability to dive straight in and ask the right questions, it made sense to ask him to talk to these early adopters.
The resulting document, which you can download from my SkyDrive, gives you a clear idea of the thoughts of those schools, and why they chose to make such an early start on Windows 7.
Take a look for yourself, and perhaps share with others in your school, to find out what happened when the following schools started term with Windows 7:
- West Hatch High School in Essex
- Lodge Park Technology College in Northamptonshire
- The Long Eaton School in Nottingham
- The Samworth Enterprise Academy in Leicester
- Twynham School in Dorset
- Broadclyst Primary School in Devon
Thanks to Gerald and the schools for their openness in doing this – what had originally seemed like it might make an interesting blog post has turned into a cracking 15 page read!