Mobile loan

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Models of ICT provision | Desktop provision | Mobile loan | 1:1 | BYOD | BYOT

Mobile loan refers to the school having sets of internet enabled mobile devices, which are lent to pupils/classes for (relatively short) periods of time. The devices are shared between users even if each pupil has their own device at any one point in time. This means that a pupil will not feel that they have ‘personal ownership’ of the device over time.


Ofsted (2011) reports that schools have moved away from dedicated ICT suites to the more flexible deployment of laptops and specialist ICT equipment. Most schools were aware that those pupils and parents without access to a computer and connectivity at home would be disadvantaged in exploiting the full potential of the virtual learning environment. These schools explored a range of ways to assist these pupils such as through the Home Access scheme or loaning laptops.

An urge for social and digital equity is a key driver of mobile loan schemes. Schools have made use of loan devices to disadvantaged students where BYOD or BYOT programmes have been implemented {Quillen (2010), Schaffhauser (2011)}. However, these programmes could have the potential to increase the digital divide that earlier one-to-one initiatives were designed to narrow. Therefore it is seen as important that the availability of loan equipment and school-owned devices to lower-income students is not stigmatised Digital equity issues are not limited to the devices students have access to, but also touch on ways of making Internet access and adequate bandwidth available to all students – at school and at home. Some commentators note that failure to address this will create a critical fault line in the learning opportunities available to students and, potentially leave some groups of students ill prepared to join the 21st-century workforce {CoSN (2012)}.

Ofsted (2011) also noted that commissioning and procuring the right equipment, infrastructure and software were becoming more challenging for the schools visited as their vision for ICT developed. Schools were engaging pupils, staff, governors and parents in helping to specify needs, but only a few had evaluated the effectiveness of previous investment or developed costed plans for rolling future investment. In times of financial difficulty, or to be able to “try before you buy”, some schools have borrowed devices from other schools {Twining et al (2005), Waxman (2012)}.

Related 'articles'[edit]

CoSN (2012) Making Progress: Rethinking State and School District Policies Concerning Mobile Technologies and Social Media. Policy Paper. Consortium for School Networking Initiative (CoSN)

Ofsted (2011) ICT in schools 2008–11.

Quillen (2010) Schools Open Doors to Students' Mobile Devices. Education Week.

Schaffhauser (2011) ABCs of BYOL. THE Journal.

Twining et al (2005) Tablet PCs in schools: Case study report. Coventry: Becta.

Waxman (2012) Texting 1, 2, 3: Schools Test ‘Bring Your Own Technology’ Programs. Time.

Case Studies[edit]

Random notes[edit]

Some schools offering loan of laptops, though unclear about limits (numbers, duration of loan, whether can be taken off-site). The school Library or Learning Resource Centre handles the borrowing process in these cases:

Thomas Hardye School Dorset (accessed 23-08-2012)

Swanshurst school Birmingham (accessed 23-08-2012)

Kingdown School Wiltshire (accessed 23-08-2012) also offers Kindles, but is also unclear about limits.

Caldew School (accessed 23-08-2012) offers laptop loan only to Sixth Form