[K12OSN] Thin Client

John Baillie jbaillie at stmarys-school.org
Sun Jul 10 03:10:04 UTC 2005

On Sat, 2005-07-09 at 20:53 -0500, Omar Olivos wrote:
> Hi,
> In a recent meeting at my school we were discussing Thin Client
> technology. Some people in the meeting were under the impression that
> Thin Client technology is old and is not used anymore by ‘big’
> schools. (We have two sections with more than 600 students in each
> section). Or if it used it is not done successfully. It was very
> difficult for me to convince them other wise. I have been using
> K12LTSP in a computer lab and with a small number of children and
> talked about the benefits but evidence of ‘real’ success was
> requested. Anybody on the list could contact me with any ‘big’ school
> that is using thin client technology ‘successfully’?  So that I can
> actually ‘prove’ that K12LTSP is a very good option.
> Thanks for your help,
> Omar Olivos

Hello Omar,

Take a look at http://www.k12ltsp.org/phpwiki/index.php/SuccessStories

but this does not give the whole story. There are far more schools doing
this in varying degrees than what is represented.

Here's my take.

K12LTSP will stand on it's own merits depending on your needs.

Here's something to put forth:
The higher the computer to student ratio the more easily a teacher can
integrate computers into their classroom planning.

Set up a demo and ask the teachers and or students if they would rather
have 10 K12 terminals in their classroom or 2 or three new stand alone
traditional computers and see what they say.

You will not find a more cost efficient way of providing Web browsing,
office suite use and image editing to students than k12ltsp. Not to
mention stability and ease of maintenance.

You also have to calculate how much computer time each student actually
has each week and what is the best use of that rather limited time. I
recently attended the NECC and looked at gobs of software and as I
walked around I kept asking my self how much time do the teachers have
to rotate these offerings into their curriculum and how are the students
really going to be any better off at the end of the grading period for
having used it? Not to mention the time to train the teachers and the
time it takes for the teacher to make up lesson plans with said
software. How many software titles are sitting on shelves in schools all
over that have barely been touched. There is much more to all this than
terminals vs. standalone or K12LTSP vs. Windows or Apple. 

Teachers fresh out of college have very little training in how computers
fit into their curriculum. I can tell that the edu-software vendors are
having a rough time of it these days by the lack of swag at the
convention. It's been 3 years since I attended a convention and to tell
you the truth I didn't see where edu-software has made any great

To surmise, look at all you can teach and expose your students to with
K12 in the limited time available and weigh that against the cost of
keeping up with "The Latest and Greatest" (don't forget it will be made
to look outdated again in three years).

We are a prek - 8th school with 450 students and have been using k12ltsp
full time in the lab for 3 years and by December we will have six
terminals, one dualboot Windows 2000 and 2 new XP machines in each
classroom grades 3 - 8th.



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