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[vox] [fwd] Computers in all senior schools - Australia
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[vox] [fwd] Computers in all senior schools - Australia

Seen on Schoolforge.  Cool stuff about 1:1 computing in schools (using
Linux & other OSS, of course ;) )


----- Forwarded message from Daniel Howard -----

Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 10:34:13 -0500
From: Daniel Howard 
Subject: Re: [school-discuss] Computers in all senior schools - Australia

rodryan wrote:
> Gday folks
> Here in Australia our new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd has promised a 
> computer for each desk for senior students year 9 - 12. I think the best 
> way to go is with Linux and open source software. Have you any 
> suggestions (political, presentation, hardware, software) on the way to go.
> tia
> Rod Ryan

Have the education minister talk to Mike Huffman, the CIO of Indiana 
State Dept. of Education.  He decided to put standalone Linux desktops 
for each student  with a goal of 1:1 classrooms.  Here's a link 
describing his initiative and with his contact info:


Note the discussion on the Q and A page about needing to upgrade 
electricity and networking to support the 1:1 goal.  We discovered this 
at Brandon in our 1:1 fifth grade rooms: using thin clients cable-tied 
to the side of desks and LCD monitors velcro'ed to the top of the deak 
kept us from having to upgrade the electrical infrastructure, and also 
allowed us to put the LCD monitors on each desk.  Problem we ran into 
was the teachers said the LCD monitors on the top of the desks hindered 
collaboration, so we put the computer tables back in the rooms for 
collaborative project work like art and science, but that really cramps 
the space.  If you look at the pic on the above site, you can see the 
new desks he specified for students which solves the space problem.

>From our experience at Brandon, I think a combination of the thin 
client model using classroom servers and the standalone desktop model 
makes the most sense for a high school.  For classes like english, 
history, etc., the thin clients would be fine and the cheapest and most 
reliable to implement, whereas for science and math, as well as art and 
music the stand alone boxes would likely be needed for CPU power.  All 
could run the same Linux OS for uniformity.  But the space and 
electricity issues are paramount to consider up front for 1:1 
classrooms.  If it's to be a country wide initiative, I bet you could 
design a new desk for LCD monitors and small form factor PCs/thin 
clients that would be even smaller than the ones Mike used for Indiana, 
but I also would say that CRT monitors last longer than LCDs, even 
though they use more electricity and take up more space, so there must 
be a reason Mike chose them over LCDs.

On www.morrisbrandon.com website under Brandon Technology, you can find 
presentations I put together, you're welcome to use any/all info for 
your cause.

One final point.  Even after we set up classrooms as 1:1 we discovered 
the that students in elementary school only used the PCs for a few hours 
a day.  Based on that, and given the space issues, another solution for 
providing 1:1 access to students on a daily basis is to have a 2:1 ratio 
in the classrooms with another 1/2 class worth of PCs on tables in the 
hallway that is shared by only a handful of classes.  This is what we 
have in 1-4th grades at Brandon and it works remarkably well.  But with 
high school, I could see the need for 1:1 in most classrooms since it's 
the same or similar subject all day long in each room.

Best, Daniel

Daniel Howard
President and CEO
Georgia Open Source Education Foundation

----- End forwarded message -----

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