Category Archives: Blog

Abundant Ideas to Save IT Expenses AND Enhance Services

By | Blog, Ed Tech, LaunchPad, Uncategorized | No Comments

EDTECH magazine has outlined a wealth of ideas to save IT money while expanding and enhancing K-12 technology in the April 2009 article, “Budgetary Blessings.”* As stated, “schools are trying to spend the money they do have wisely, or are finding creative ways to pay for new technology.”Among the many suggestions outlined are: Blade servers – upgrade servers and lower…

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Comprehensive Report Compares U.S. Education with G-8 Countries

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The recently released Comparative Indicators of Education in the U.S. and Other G-8 Countries: 2009 by the National Center for Education Statistics* provides a wealth of data to take the guesswork out of where the U.S. currently stands on a myriad of education areas for 5 to 29 year olds.  Summarized and then backed by extensive tables and data, the…

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NEA Survey Results: ‘Woefully Inadequate Classroom Technology’

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According to a recent survey of America’s teachers, there is almost unanimous agreement in two aspects of the use of technology in the classroom: Technology is essential to teaching, learning and to improving student motivation Current technology usage is dramatically lacking The study, published in May 2008 by the National Education Association (NEA), was summarized in T.H.E. Journal article noted…

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3 Years’ Research Emphatically Proves Benefits of Technology Access

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New and startling federally funded research conducted over a three year period has produced clear results – the use of technology causes dramatic improvements PROVIDING (and this is a key “if”) the technology is readily and widely available to the students.  July’s eSchool News online article titled, “States: Ed tech is raising student achievement,” gives a precursor to the findings…

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New research uncovers true growing cost of technology

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Tech support costs have doubled in the last four years, according to a report cited last month in eSchool News.  The technology budget percentage for support has risen from 14% to 28% over this period and in trying to make up the difference, many schools look at cutting costs in important areas like professional development, instructional software, or technology conference…

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Thin Client – “Old” Technology Making “New” Sense

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According to two recent New York Times articles*, support of thin client technology is growing and rightfully so.  While the technology has been around for years, the Times quotes HP officials in January 2008 saying they’ve doubled investments in thin client technology for the past 18 months because, “the technology is ready to grow in popularity because of increased concerns…

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Superintendent Survey: “Responding to the Recession”

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A recent survey conducted by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) reveals how public school districts have been impacted by the economic plunge and the measures they are taking to cut spending.  After surveying over 800 superintendents across the country, the most practiced steps to saving were: 89% of Superintendents have eliminated, or plan to eliminate all non?essential travel….

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Economic Stimulus Money for K-12

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On Thursday January 15th, House Democrats released their proposal for an economic stimulus package.  With over $825 billion of appropriations this stimulus package is one of the largest ever proposed, including $142 billion allocated to education in hopes to provide schools with much needed aid in construction, technology, Title I, and educational aid for homeless children.  This incisive effort towards…

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Ed Tech Funding Reaches $920 Million

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As detailed in a March 12 eSchool News article, Congress has passed an additional $270M appropriation on top of the $650M in the economic stimulus package to be used for education technology.  This figure represents more than triple funding over past figures through the Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program. Other funding in the latest appropriation includes: Special education funding…

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AASA Examines School Impact of Economic Downturn

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The American Association of School Administrators updated its annual report on the economic health of national school districts with projections based on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  Looking Back, Looking Forward: How the Economic Downturn Continues to Impact School Districts* will allow you to see how your district compares with others across the U.S.A selection of the…

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Virtualization, Thin Clients, and Energy Consumption

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In previous posts I documented a financial strategy that allows the average district to afford ubiquitous and/or one-to-one computing. This week I want to broaden the strategy to energy savings. It’s amazing what a significant savings replacing traditional ‘fat clients’ with ‘thin clients’ can be. The University of Pennsylvania produced the energy graph below which shows the average PC drawing…

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New Paradigms Needed

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From a teaching and learning perspective 1:1 computing makes complete sense and the positive results of this approach have been well researched and documented. More widespread access to computers makes it possible for students and teachers in schools to transition from occasional, supplemental use of computers for instruction to more frequent, integral use of technology across a multitude of settings…

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Can netbooks and virtualization make 1:1 computing possible?

By | 1-to-1, Blog, Ed Tech, LaunchPad, Server Based Computing, Virtualization, Uncategorized | No Comments

Niagara Wheatfield School District, a rural upstate NY school district wanted to investigate the efficacy of the new and emerging ‘best practices’ that could make 1:1 computing possible for the average school district. The district is now near the end of a their ‘proof of concept’ stage which tested a combination of 1:1 computing, virtualization, sub $500 mini notebooks, and the use of obsolete…

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Cloud Computing, Virtualization, and K-12 Education

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Thomas Bittman of the Gartner Group has written a thought provoking blog post on Cloud Computing and K-12 education. Bittman begins his piece by letting us know that he is serving as a volunteer on the technology planning committee of his home school district. His first impression? The web, social software and cloud computing will definitely have an impact on…

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Newly enhanced RDP client from HP

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One of the biggest gripes of the RDP protocol was its inability to provide the same experience for the end users as to what they’d expect from a standard PC when accessing rich multimedia applications and streaming video. Although, Citrix’s ICA client helped alleviate this pain for many schools the costs didn’t out weigh the overall benefit. If you are…

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Network Paradigm Shifts Can Create Ubiquitous Computing Environments Without Increasing the Tech Budget

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Cross Posted at Ed Tech Journeys Recommendation: Shift the current ‘Distributed Network’ paradigm to the emerging practice of ‘Virtualization’. There are several technical approaches to virtualizing networks but, in general, most involve running software on centralized servers rather than on the hard drives of thousands of computers distributed throughout the school district network. In a virtualized environment the local computer…

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4 Trends That Could Change Everything

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From the E-School News article by Gregg Downey Experts point out there are several well established technology trends that are poised to have a significant impact on the world. Gregg Downey points out that: “…educators might do well to take heed of four of the more ubiquitous of these trends, which I’ll allude to by means of these labels: (1)…

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Slowing the Technology Merry-Go-Round

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I think it’s important to make the benefits of virtualizing your aging computer inventory more concrete, so here are few rough (very rough) numbers to bring it into focus. Let’s say you have 1500 computers in your district and that a significant portion of them need to be replaced. Best Practice says you should be replacing 20% of your inventory…

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Prolonging the Life Cycle of Your Investment

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Recently I attended several different meetings with a similar story line. Each school district had purchased a lot of computers in a given year. Think of it as an acquisition ‘bubble’. Now, 5 or 6 years down the line, these machines were becoming more and more obsolete and needed to be replaced. The problem? The current budget could not accommodate…

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5 things to know about Virtualization

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Virtualization is one of the hottest topics in IT today and according to Gartner’s 2008 report “Virtualization changes Virtually Everything” by the year 2012 virtualization will be the highest impacting trend for changing the infrastructure and operations.  More hardware and software vendors are adding support and designing virtual infrastructures than ever before.  IDC, a leading research firm states that today only…

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Virtualization Concerns

By | Blog, Ed Tech, LaunchPad, Server Based Computing, Virtualization, Uncategorized | No Comments

In two recent posts (Sustaining the Unsustainable, Towards a New Paradigm) I laid out the case for a new networking paradigm based on ‘virtualizing’ as much of our technology infrastructure as possible. As I pointed out previously, a simplistic explanation of ‘virtualization’ is that we remove the software applications that now reside on individual hard drives and install them on…

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Towards A New Paradigm

By | Blog, Ed Tech, LaunchPad, Server Based Computing, Virtualization, Uncategorized | No Comments

In our last post, “Sustaining the Unsustainable” we examined the status of a small district completely overwhelmed by the trials and tribulations of maintaining a 500 + workstation network. National statistics show that this district’s technical support struggles are like many other districts throughout the country. There is no doubt that schools are struggling to maintain the technology that they…

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Sustaining the Unsustainable: Part 1

By | Blog, Ed Tech, LaunchPad, Uncategorized | No Comments

We recently completed a tech audit/assessment for a small district that pulled back the covers on the challenges many K-12 school districts face as they address the educational technology needs of their schools. The school has three buildings, 1,200 students, and 500 plus networked computers. When we interviewed teams of educators from each building, we encountered a great deal of…

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