[K12OSN] OT: Apple Imac lab

David Hopkins dahopkins429 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 2 15:41:29 UTC 2009

>> Now, the teacher has already added that she'll want all the packages
>> on the thin clients on the Macs but ... she doesn't want OpenOffice
>> on the Macs because 'it doesn't work right'.  Instead she wants a
>> different package. And we need to order the Type-to-Learn package for
>> the Macs as well.  So, the 'usage creep' has already started and the
>> lab isn't even ordered. *SIGH ...
> She needs to look at OOo 3.0.1, it works fine. If she wants something more
> "Maccy", look at NeoOffice.
> Whoa, I thought this was a multimedia lab. What's Type-to-learn doing in
> there? Are you running this on the thin-clients?

It is a multimedia lab but the same instructor covers both. Grades 5/6
get TTL plus other stuff, Grades 7/8 get video/audio plus other stuff.
 There will not be a lab 100% dedicated to video/audio that has any
non-use time.

> The most resistance I've had is the English dept. at the HS. They're
> complaining about the lack of a grammar checker, and the Language Tools
> plugin for OOo doesn't cut it.
>> They also acknowledge the ease of use and ability to sit anywhere and
>> work is also fantastic.
> Who runs a district where you can't do this?

If you're referring to roaming profiles, I have not seen them
implemented with the 'sit anywhere and have every single capability
you have anywhere else' ever done.  Even at my job where we have a
$50M+ IT budget I can't just decide I want to do high-end modeling
work on any system I find myself at.  Basic word processing, sure.
Roaming profiles also put a huge strain on the network and with
wireless it becomes a nightmare.  If you are referring to network
shares and mapped drives, then yes, that is a given. Except in many
schools where the letter "C" still means a particular harddisk.  Most
people aren't really exposed to the concept of network shares/mapped
drives/mount points.  They click 'save' and the document is
'somewhere'.  With LTSP that 'somewhere' is normally on the file
server.  We are still 'educating' new teachers that when they need to
print a document or something, they don't have to go back up to 'their
computer' to locate it.  They  are amazed that they can just log in in
the library and have it look exactly like it looks at 'their
computer'.  The jobs the teachers do with the kids is a job I can't do
... it just isn't something I can do.  Similarly, they don't always
'get it' wrt thin clients and IT.

> I've been running thin-clients since the 02-03 school year, but it's only
> been in the past 1 or 2 years that the state of Ohio has finally decided
> that thin-clients might be a direction to go. Hopefully the NJ DOE will
> realize the savings in time and money.

Other states are starting to look which is why I tend to think we are
reaching a tipping point. Indiana (I think) also has been at the
forefront on this.

> Be vocal on the costs. 24 machines x $1,149 is $27,576. That's a lot of
> money. Also be aware that schools can still buy the 17" iMac for $899
> ($21,576), so that might come up if the money isn't there for the 20" iMacs.
> You won't be able to use TCO figures, since Macs have such a low TCO. BTW,
> where was the $40K figure coming from?

that was the number for 35 systems.  State stds for classroom size
vary by grade. We have to cover not just that but also off-time usage
when multiple teachers want to bring in classes at the same time to a
room, or send down groups of students as well.

Dave Hopkins

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