Graeme Gordon, CEO, IFB
Working from home with my wife Sue (Teacher) and our youngest son, I have realised that we are very fortunate that we have access to all we need to do our jobs and continue with home schooling and to help others do theirs. Team IFB have looked after us and many others very well.
I have seen lots of posts on Linkedin alone this week, looking for laptops for children in various schools around Scotland to access home schooling, which got me thinking about how we could do it without the laptops?
Through Sue’s teaching role I know that right now it’s tough for many – pupils, teachers, parents, schools and local authorities. Having the infrastructure and resources as well as the patience and ability to work and teach is difficult.
This does not sit right with me, because as a sector, business people and innovators we are smarter and better than this –
So, here is my very simple solution hot from the back room today, I don’t think it’s unique, or not tried and tested but it may help those who don’t have access to laptops or a number of laptops within the household. You can use your consoles to access and deliver content for home schooling and maybe even home working.
To be honest your children will know how to do all this but it won’t come as a surprise that they may not have looked in to it too much!! For your console there will be a load of help videos on YouTube and they are really easy to follow but as a starter.
1. Make sure you console has the most up to date firmware on it – usually found in settings and under software updates or software versions
2. Use the consoles USB ports to connect a USB keyboard and a mouse – you can use a wireless keyboard and mouse if you want, we did this too, they connect via a dongle that comes with the keyboard which plugs in to the USB port
3. Go to the consoles internet browser to connect to the online links and sites your school and teachers provide you. Just as you would with a normal browser on your laptop
4. Rock n Roll
I’ve only tested a PS4 and Xbox ONE and accessed and used Google Classroom and Microsoft Office 365. To make it work well you will need a USB keyboard and mouse and maybe a USB hub. £25 from Amazon. They both worked – maybe a little slower than a laptop or PC as the browser is not as slick but more than good enough to let you use them as a home-schooling tool or even home working.
I hope others already doing this will offer free advice on how to make it better. It is more than good enough to get us through these next stages and more than good enough in these hard times, prevalent and affordable enough to help fill some of the social gaps and also to offer an alternative to doing things the same way.
I also believe it may help it open up a whole new way of how we look at work, home and education, and engage the children who don’t have the access like their classmates.
Any feedback once your tried it or advice on how to make it better would be amazing.