[K12OSN] Re: Schools and the OPM Addiction

Todd O'Bryan toddobryan at gmail.com
Tue Dec 4 01:46:30 UTC 2007

About $3k for the SmartBoard, if I remember correctly. There are other
brands that do similar things for less, but I think a tablet PC with a
projector is more flexible and gives you about the same functionality.


On Dec 3, 2007 7:35 PM, Peter Scheie <peter at scheie.homedns.org> wrote:
> BTW, what do Smart Boards cost?  I've heard that a few will be going into my
> son's elementary school, while the district is looking at a $1 million shortfall
> next year.  I'd rather the money used for SBs went to teachers & assistants,
> especially since I've heard of people largely replicating SBs by using K12LTSP
> and TeacherTool.
> Peter
> Jim Kronebusch wrote:
> > On Sat, 01 Dec 2007 12:07:19 -1000, R. Scott Belford wrote
> >> I fear that far too often good-willed and well-intending education
> >> advocates fail to fully understand the extent of OPM addiction in the
> >> American education system.  More successful advocates have learned to
> >> enable the use of OPM within the schools.  They fund this addiction with
> >> enticing technology trinkets and strong-armed contractual agreements.
> >
> > Funny, but sadly true.  I find that like with any addiction, the problem starts with the
> > dealers.  They make this stuff sound too fun to not try.  A quick example of how this
> > hurts schools.
> >
> > We just had 3M give the school a grant to buy some technology.  The teachers involved
> > went to a seminar about cool new products in schools.  The teachers decided the best way
> > the money could be spent is with EBeam projection systems.  They thought this could be
> > as useful as SMART Boards but for a third of the cost.  They ordered them.  The teachers
> > use OSX as their operating system this year.  As part of my schools second wave of Linux
> > integration we were going to move all teachers to Linux next year.  EBeam is OSX/Windows
> > only.  So now thanks to this grant (OPM), and the flashy presentation by the dealers, we
> > now have a huge obstacle to overcome with making these EBeam systems useful while still
> > trying to switch to Linux.  So our $5,000 grant (OPM) is putting our $60,000 savings and
> > all the other benefits of switching to Linux in jeopardy.
> >
> > Other cases are where the dealers of the OPM provide the stuff the first time for free,
> > but in doing so give us new addictions that we cannot afford.  Sure we get new
> > projectors, but can't afford to replace the bulbs or the system when it fails.  We get
> > software, but can't afford the upgrade cycle.  This list could go on.
> >
> > Used wisely, there is no problem with OPM.  However I believe the dealers are the first
> > in the chain who need to wise up, then the users will follow.
> >
> > Jim
> >
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