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Re: [school-discuss] Homeschooling & FLOS
Couldn't have said it better myself Peter! In fact, I pointed out
recently to both Atlanta Public Schools as well as Dekalb County Schools
(who just started their first K12LTSP deployment, I briefed them about a
year ago) that the cost reductions and performance enhancement in dual
core desktops has flipped the classroom server vs. enterprise server
cost models. Two years ago when I recommended an enterprise
(schoolwide) server model to APS, a server for 100 clients was about
$6000, while a classroom server was about $1500. That led to a server
only cost for a 40 classroom school for a 2:1 student to PC ratio of
about $60k for classroom servers and only $24k for enterprise servers.
Even if the schools had to be rewired for Cat6 (frequently the case),
you could do enterprise servers and rewire for less than classroom
servers, and rewiring was a good thing anyway. Note that you need the
same switches, etc. in each classroom either way.
Nowadays, a classroom server is less than $400 as Peter points out, so
for the same 40 classroom school, the server cost is now only $16k, and
you don't have to rewire the school for classroom servers. More
importantly, I would expect classroom servers to continue to drop faster
in price than enterprise servers, so in 3-5 years when it's time to
replace the servers, it will cost even less.
And then there's all the other benefits of classroom servers with which
I've already bored this group (teacher control/customization, ease of
Peter Scheie wrote:
I've been thinking the same thing for the past year or so, that adoption
of FOSS and LTSP, as you've done in Atlanta, Daniel, would be more
possible in charter schools. Charter schools tend to be newer/more
recent, and so are less likely to entrenched in their implementation of
tech, e.g., they've already 'standardized' on Macintosh, etc. They are
also likely to have smaller budgets, something that plays well to FOSS's
strengths. Because they are newer, they may be able to arrange for
larger physical classrooms.
I notice that my local MicroCenter now sells a dual-core PC with 2GB of
RAM for $350; adding in $100 for a switch and $50 for ethernet cables;
and using K12LTSP and donated machines for thin clients; and for
$500--the cost of a single PC, less than the cost of a single Mac--one
could provide a 1:1 student-to-computer ratio in every classroom.
Computing becomes so ubiquitous that it is no longer necessary to ration
it via the old 'schedule an hour in the computer lab once per week' model.
Daniel Howard wrote:
Um, OK that was a dream...a cyber charter school is just an online
school that supports home schooling and/or flexible schedules for say
atheletes, not a school that uses the charter approach to divorce
themselves from district management/oversight, and in the case dreamed
about, from district IT management/oversight.
What we need is the concept of a Charter school that applies primarily
to IT, but maybe you have to do the whole Charter thing to have that.
I think I will take this as encouragement to contact any charter
schools in Ga just to see if they can more easily do IT things like
Opensource that break from district/county IT management.
Daniel Howard wrote:
Cyber charter schools? This sounds interesting...Can you or anyone
else elaborate? If there's a precedent for a school to become
independent of their district IT department without having to go
through all of the paperwork for curricular charter status, that
would be of great interest to this group, I suspect. Daniel
Mark Rauterkus wrote:
I think that the questions about homeschooling are important.
Likewise, it might be most productive to ask many of the same
questions about "charter schools." There are many 'cyber charter
schools' that have budgets and the capacity for hiring programmers,
teachers, and rely upon computers that are given to the students /
Mark Rauterkus Mark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:Mark@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
President and CEO
Georgia Open Source Education Foundation