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Re: [K12OSN] Building a new school- need input


Our school has one laptop per 6-12 student that we received through the michigan freedom to learn grant. From a tech admin standpoint, the biggest problem I have seen is that the students are far better with the technology than the teachers are. Although these are windows laptops (working on fixing that), we do have a k12ltsp server in our elementary and are in the transition phase from imacs (os 8-9) to a completely linux building (although it may take a while to root all these years of proprietary software). Some of the nice things about 1:1 is that we have drop boxes and public folders for all 6-12 students on our novell server. The teachers can then have students work on assignments electronically and drop them off in the drop box at the end of class. Some teachers can even drop the graded assignments off in the students' home drive when they are completed. Next year my plan is to implement moodle to replace the drop boxes and public folders as well as do some online quizzes and tests. Some teachers are currently using M$ class server since we got it through the grant although from my understanding it is quite cumbersome to learn. We have implemented focus-sis (open source) as a gradebook/attendance/sms solution which integrates gracefully into moodle (as far as student accounts being used for both) with no modifications. The biggest challenge we have had so far is the ridiculously slow boot time for these laptops since they have to be locked down so tight in order for me to be able to maintain all 400+ of them by myself. An LTSP solution would solve that problem. 

The con of 1:1 is that the computers are dust collectors unless the teachers learn about ways to use them. Many of them simply won't use them because they are afraid of technology. I still don't know what to do about them. All in all, teachers haven't been negative toward it as much as slow in adopting it. Give it time and it will be an investment that pays off - especially using thin clients... build it once, upgrade the server every couple of years and keep yourself busy with meaningful work instead of ghosting machines and reattaching keys on laptops. 

As far as our ltsp elementary, I am hoping to convert all the classrooms and the one lab over to linux terminals within two years. I am waiting on an ebox 2300 (http://www.wdlsystems.com/modperl/view_services.cgi?r=detail&prod_num=1EBOX23&aisle_id=799) to test out as a terminal. These little suckers run 106/ea! I have seen some good things about them on this list and am looking forward to trying one out (they are also sold rebranded as microclient jr from a site called norhtec in taiwan). The benefit of having the eboxes is that they will mount on the back of a standard lcd panel! If they can do basic browser/openoffice we will probably stick with those, otherwise we may look at buying big refurbs from disklessthinclients.com for $99 ea. 

Anyways, I hope I was of some help. Please feel free to email me personally if you would like to discuss any of this more in depth.

Joe Korzeniewski
Technology Director
Mason County Eastern Schools

>>> cockrell honeygroveisd net 2/27/2007 9:52 am >>>
Hello all,
    My district is in the process of planning a new high school, and I'm 
pitching the idea of putting 25 computers (thin clients) in each 
classroom.  We're looking at using a desk in which the monitor and 
keyboard hide away when not in use so that the student has the full 
workspace when not using the computer, but has nearly instant access to 
a terminal when necessary.  Naturally the question that I'm being asked 
repeatedly is, "Who else is doing this?"  So, I put that question to the 
group.  Do any of you have such a room, or do any of your schools have a 
1:1 desktop initiative like I'm proposing?  If so, what are the good and 
bad points?  I welcome any feedback.  Thanks in advance.

Mark Cockrell
Technology Coordinator
Honey Grove I.S.D.

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