[K12OSN] Re: Schools and the OPM Addiction

Kemp, Levi lnkemp at bolivar.k12.mo.us
Tue Dec 4 16:04:51 UTC 2007

Doesn't Smart Technologies even package their software for Linux? I
haven't installed it in my lab yet, but it was one of my big selling
points on the lab that we had support from one of our more popular

Huck, even the Smart Board itself is only $1400, the overall cost with
project, mounts for projector(if you ceiling mount), cables (RCA cables
for connection to VCR/DVD, longer video cable, USB or serial extender,
possibly even sound off the computer), and installation (we're worth
something right ;-) ) is about $3000 for us at least.

Our teachers always ask for them too, but most have had to acquire them
through grants like eMints or METS(STEM to most of you, but apparently
that's a controversial word in Missouri), and had to go to training. 

Levi Kemp
Technology Specialist
Bolivar R-1 Schools
lnkemp at bolivar.k12.mo.us

"The only secure computer is one that's unplugged, locked in a safe, and
buried 20 feet under the ground in a secret location... and I'm not even
too sure about that one"  

        --Dennis Hughes, FBI
-----Original Message-----
From: k12osn-bounces at redhat.com [mailto:k12osn-bounces at redhat.com] On
Behalf Of Huck
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2007 9:51 PM
To: Support list for open source software in schools.
Subject: Re: [K12OSN] Re: Schools and the OPM Addiction

smartboards? fairly cheap... $1400...from SmartTechnologies

awesome interactive software with the board...

this is what teachers ask for more than anything(I wish they'd ask for 
training :)


James P. Kinney III wrote:
> On Mon, 2007-12-03 at 20:46 -0500, Todd O'Bryan wrote:
>> About $3k for the SmartBoard, if I remember correctly. There are
>> brands that do similar things for less, but I think a tablet PC with
>> projector is more flexible and gives you about the same
> Or a room full of Linux thin clients with graphics tablets at
> teachertool!
>> Todd
>> On Dec 3, 2007 7:35 PM, Peter Scheie <peter at scheie.homedns.org>
>>> 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 &
>>> 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
>>>>> American education system.  More successful advocates have learned
>>>>> enable the use of OPM within the schools.  They fund this
addiction with
>>>>> enticing technology trinkets and strong-armed contractual
>>>> 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
>>>> 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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