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Re: [school-discuss] Idea for mobile computer teacher/specialist in enterprise Linux thin client schools

When I was a tech coordinator, we had many transient teachers like
Marilyn and asking a teacher to ensure that a piece of tech equipment
got to his or her room was the wrong approach.  As the tech
coordinator, I just set up a simple online scheduling page where they
would request the tech resource and I or one of my student assistants
would deliver it.

When I was at IBM, we tried to push the wireless carts fin K-12, but
they never seemed to take off.  I am sure there were a variety of
reasons behind that, our high prices as one, but the feeling I got
from feedback was that it was simply too complicated.  This speaks to
many issues like training, change management, teacher motivation, etc.

For this to be successful, I think the thin clients would need to boot
to a specific server with a specific image that had everything the
teacher needed.  The idea of your average teacher plugging and
unplugging wires isn't going to go very far is my guess.  And the idea
of every teacher having their own server sounds like a logistical tech
nightmare for IT.  It really has to be simple so the focus is on the
instruction and not the technology.  The technology needs to be
practically invisible in education for true success.

My opinion if it helps!


On Dec 12, 2007 3:10 PM, Marilyn Hagle <marilyn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> I have enjoyed reading this thread.  It is true that when there is overcrowding,
> teachers often lose their classrooms.
> This brought back memories of teaching elementary music.  The music room is
> often the first to go, and then the teacher gets the pleasure of pushing a cart
> of stuff from room to room.  When I was a student teacher, we had to push a
> piano.   Yikes!
> You might be forced to go to a portable class, if there are space constraints.
> However, for the teacher - it will suck (couldn't think of a better word).  It
> wears you out pushing a bunch of stuff around all day.  Organizing your stuff
> can be a challenge.  I think the worst problem is usually discipline because
> you can't control your environment.
> I thought you might enjoy the views of an old traveling teacher.  :)
> Marilyn
> Quoting Daniel Howard <dhhoward@xxxxxxxxxxx>:
> > I'm talking to several Atlanta schools now that are expecting the new
> > enterprise thin client system that William and I recommended within the
> > coming months, and one thing that keeps coming up is what happens to the
> > computer lab teacher when there are so many PCs (at least 2:1) in each
> > classroom.  Plus, many of these schools are bursting at the seams with
> > enrollment growth, so the computer lab is a likely target for a regular
> > classroom anyway.  This is what happened at Brandon, e.g.
> >
> > One thought I had was the following: suppose the computer teacher went
> > mobile and had on her cart a server that she could use to go into a
> > classroom, quickly connect the thin clients in the room to her server,
> > and voila, she's in command and can run any apps she has on her server,
> > including TeacherTool, etc.  Wireless connection from mobile server to
> > Internet would likely be best to prevent the mobile server from handing
> > out IP addresses to other school computers if miswired, and that's one
> > less wire to mess with too.  At the end of the session, she reconnects
> > the classroom clients to the main school server (single wire from room
> > switch to data port, e.g.), and the kids reboot and they're back where
> > they started.
> >
> > Any thoughts from the group, pro/con?  Assume all rooms have the same
> > thin client platform, so a single config with dhcp could be used.
> >
> > Best,
> > Daniel
> >
> > --
> > Daniel Howard
> > President and CEO
> > Georgia Open Source Education Foundation
> >
> :)

Casey Adams