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SCHOOL-IT  January 2014

SCHOOL-IT January 2014

Subject:

Re: Hardware lifespan

From:

Bob Wickberg <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 6 Jan 2014 12:51:34 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (583 lines)

I'm of two minds when it comes to things like My Documents folder
redirection.  It's possible for the sysadmin (me) to think of all sots of
ways to make the network easier to use, and less possible for the user to
do something they didn't intend, like save a file locally, using policies
like home folder redirection.  Once upon a time, though, the Vt technology
standards said all students were supposed to be literate in things like
where the heck the file went when you saved it, how to convert files from
one format to another, and "idiotproofing" the network too much, while
helping the students accomplish the tasks they had in mind when they
logged into the computer in the first place, subtracts from the necessity
that the user learn a bit about the technology in order to effectively use
it.  Since we are embedding technology learning in the content areas, and
not teaching a separate class on technology, this could mean taking away
the only opportunity a student has to learn such things.  

When I set up active directory 9 years ago, what I decided was I'd map a
drive to give students a folder on a server to store work in so it could
could follow them from machine to machine, and teach the teachers to teach
the students to use it, but I didn't redirect their My Documents folder or
anything like that.  So from time to time, students do show up in my
office and say "I saved my paper on the P: drive, and it's not there". 
It's not super often, perhaps every couple of weeks.  (If there was a line
out my door of students with lost files, I'd obviously have to rethink
this).  My response is, "Go back to the machine you were working on, start
(word, powerpoint, etc), and see if you can open it from the recent
documents list.  You probably didn't save it where you thought you did,
but that computer knows where to find it."  That works virtually 100% of
the time, and the student has learned a valuable lesson: don't blame the
computer for your screwups!  (also, take a deep breath, the situation is
probably not so dire as you suppose, etc)

Besides, I can't implement group policies on the machines student's have
at home, if they want to work from home, they have to learn to win the
"file, file, who's got the file" game.  

I don't think there's any perfect answer to this issue, a lot depends on
how willing your teachers are to teach, and troubleshoot, the technology,
and deal with the frustrations that come when students screw up.  But in
general, I only spend time trying to mask how the technology actually
works if the the technology is becoming a obstacle to students getting
work done in other content areas.

All this is becoming less of an issue as more students turn to using cloud
based solutions like Google Docs, Prezi, etc, of course...




Bob Wickberg
Technology Coordinator
Brattleboro Union High School District # 6
802-451-3418



School Information Technology Discussion <[log in to unmask]> writes:
>True: establishing user-specific settings can be a challenge,
>particularly if students are sharing devices and on a different one each
>time they work. 1:1 solves many of these issues (customization is
>one-time at the beginning of the years) but even in a portable lab
>environment it is easiest to have students using the same laptop whenever
>possible in order to take advantage of customized workflow.
>
>
>Give a fish vs. teaching to fish: When it comes to user customization I
>used to bend over backwards trying to get everything configured in
>advance as part of the image. That is less and less realistic, so I now
>we embed these "How To's" into instruction when the context is
>appropriate (eg. at the beginning of the year as part of a file
>management review in English class.) This empowers the user to be in
>control of their own workspace as well as reducing support load.
>
>
>Our students use Drive for all of their storage, so we have actually only
>done this redirection for a few staff members who still rely on local
>apps... They can just as easily point their application to save to Google
>Drive.
>
>
>
>Eric Hall
>Technology Integration Specialist
>Mount Mansfield Union High School
>Chittenden East SU
>
>
>No trees were injured in the creation of this message, but a significant
>number of electrons were inconvenienced.
>
>
>On Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 8:00 AM, Leslie, Ben <[ mailto:[log in to unmask]
>][log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>
>Eric,
>
>
>To roll that out school wide for all students, that seems like a daunting
>task unless it can be controlled by a GPO redirection policy or something
>of the sort, maybe a %username% wildcard can be used?
>
>
>
>
>
>Ben Leslie
>Technology Manager, BVSU
>P: [ tel:802-375-2589%20ext.%20139 ]802-375-2589 ext. 139
>P: [ tel:802-375-6409 ]802-375-6409 ext. 217
>
>
>On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 10:06 PM, Lucie deLaBruere <[
>mailto:[log in to unmask] ][log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>Ah John
>Your point that "IT in public education has become much bigger than just
>updating computers and providing an internet connection to classrooms" 
>is a yet another example of the increased uses of technology in
>educational environments and the new and diverse uses of technology to
>include "school lunch access, HVAC,  parent alerts, and much more".  
>My point was that the new and diverse ways we use technology requires a
>paradigm shifts on all front.  Needs for security, backups,
>collaboration, mobile solutions, classroom setups, visible learning, 1:1
>access have all contributed to the paradigm shifts and the need for new
>and diverse approaches.  We have gone way beyond a 1 size fits all
>solution and outgrown many of our previous models for planning,
>budgeting, and evaluating needs and  measuring success. More than ever we
>need collaborative teams working together to be constantly redefining the
>role of technology.   
>
>
>I hope you didn't think I was implying no need for 'any network logins",
>"backups",  or "security". Having been  part of the team  who set up the
>very first network at North Country schools (your school) , I remember
>the feeling of panic and excitement when we moved my classroom over from
>typewriters to a Lantastic, BNC, daisychain thin ethernet network.  We
>gained a lot from that move.  I enrolled in networking classes at
>Symquest to get up to speed.  The students helped maintain it and learned
>alongside me.   I think today I was just in a reflective mood today
>thinking of the changes and increasing speed of change.  
>
>
> 
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 9:41 PM, Eric Hall <[ mailto:[log in to unmask]
>][log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>Ben - 
>
>
>No scripts: in Windows 7 there is a "Location" tab in the My Documents
>properties (right-click on the actual folder in the user profile, not a
>shortcut.) If you have Drive Sync installed, you can specify
>C://Users/username/Google Drive as the Location for My Documents. Of
>course, this is a user-specific setting so they will need to do it for
>themselves.
>
>
>
>Eric Hall
>Technology Integration Specialist
>Mount Mansfield Union High School
>Chittenden East SU
>
>
>No trees were injured in the creation of this message, but a significant
>number of electrons were inconvenienced.
>
>
>On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 1:39 PM, Leslie, Ben <[ mailto:[log in to unmask]
>][log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>Eric,
>
>
>I've been using the desktop version of Google drive for a year or two
>now, but I have not seen a simple way to redirect 'my docs' to google
>drive.
>Is this in the Google drive setup or do you use a custom script or GPO
>(for windows)?
>
>
>
>
>
>Ben Leslie
>Technology Manager, BVSU
>P: [ tel:802-375-2589%20ext.%20139 ]802-375-2589 ext. 139
>P: [ tel:802-375-6409 ]802-375-6409 ext. 217
>
>
>On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 1:24 PM, Clarena Renfrow <[
>mailto:[log in to unmask] ][log in to unmask]>
>wrote:
>
>
>All good questions and things we need to think about!
>
>Clarena
>
>
>Clarena Renfrow, M.Ed.
>I Teach Technology Now Consulting
>176 David Ave.
>Castleton, VT 05735
>[ tel:802-287-1039 ]802-287-1039
>
>On Jan 5, 2014, at 1:12 PM, Lucie deLaBruere <[
>mailto:[log in to unmask] ][log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>
>Eric 
>Good idea (redirecting the My documents) for those who want that feature.
> I know I've recently changed how I use "my documents"  It use to be the
>place where "everything would go, but as I use my computer for more and
>more things, the amount of space I was using grew so much I started to
>feel like a horder with lots of clutter).  And just as terrabyte drives
>were becoming available and cheap I moved to a MUCH smaller solid state
>hard drive and cloud storage which has me 'automatically" saving things
>to temporary spaces that doesn't get backed up but instead gets purged
>and using my "my documents"  space for things I need backed up. 
>
>
>As we approach a time when we live in an increasingly digital world, we
>are seeing new workflows emerge and one of our challenges will be to LET
>GO of workflows or at least NOT try to hold on to paradigms that will
>prevent us from thinking creatively about new workflows. 
>
>
>I think  that the pace at which technology is changing has increased so
>much that even Moore's law is dated!  So questions like 'will my next
>technology purchase  last 10 years (or even 5 years)' seem less and less
>relevant.  If we measure how long a piece of technology should cost or
>last, we are really measuring a cost/benefit ratio over time.  But in
>order to do that, we need to look at the LIST of things we used
>technology for "then"  vs "now"  vs "in the future".    
>If the percentage of our total school budget for technology was n% in
>2010,  does that mean it should be n% in 2015  when the use of that
>technology piece has doubled in both number of hours used  and number of
>functions it serves. 
>
>
>ooops  I started to wander off  from my initial intent which was
>discussing new workflows.  I think about recent changes to my own
>workflows over the past few years 
>which included moving from  
>having everything local and wanting it more centralized (thus came server
>space)
>server space needs increased tremendously and ed tech responded
>
>
>then came the need to be collaborative, 
>centralization helped us with that functions and we started to look at
>shared server space
>
>
>Remember investing in increased  centralized storage space and 
>centralized backup solutions that could handle that.   There were even
>solutions that forced users  to 1 gig of server space to allow for enough
>space for everyone.  
>
>
>And now we are looking into solutions that support mobile learning  and
>collaboration over centralization.  Let's learn everywhere, anywhere,
>anytime and with anybody.   That means letting go of local network logins
>that made the "centralization" possible  and valuable to us just a few
>years ago. 
>
>
>Are  we now at a time when we are ready to let go of a need for
>'terabytes" of storage space  or even printing solutions in favor of
>faster Internet access and more mobility.   Are we ready to let go of
>ideas that a technology devices needs to last 5 years and invest in a
>solution that will serve our purpose over the next two years instead of
>the next 5 years (since we  can't predict what functions will be
>important or even necessary ( muttering under my breath -- SBAC testing )
>Does renting software (i.e. could based solution) make more sense than
>investing in purchasing software.  How do we start to think about this
>differently and budget for it differently. 
>
>
>These are times that require being nimble, rapid prototyping,
>adaptability, uncertainty, letting go and constant redefinition. They are
>exciting times,  times when conversations (like those from this list) and
>connectivism will more important than ever.  .... ah.. I didn't mean to
>ramble.. forgive my wandering mind this Sunday morning. 
>
>
>Lucie
> 
>
>
>
>
>   
>
>
>On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 7:38 PM, Eric Hall <[ mailto:[log in to unmask]
>][log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>"as well as other programs that don't natively save directly to google
>drive."
>
>
>For those with dedicated computers (teachers,) installing Drive for PC
>creates shortcuts so that local applications can save to Drive. You can
>even redirect MyDocs to Google Drive so that they don't "accidentally"
>save locally!
>
>
>
>
>
>Eric Hall
>Technology Integration Specialist
>Mount Mansfield Union High School
>Chittenden East SU
>
>
>No trees were injured in the creation of this message, but a significant
>number of electrons were inconvenienced.
>
>
>On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 1:28 PM, Leslie, Ben <[ mailto:[log in to unmask]
>][log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>Mark,
>
>
>I've played around with different scenarios regarding eliminating network
>storage and utilizing cloud storage.  My concern is users will forget to
>save files to their g-drive, and keep it saved to local disk storage and
>then not have access to it when they move to a different lab
>computer...was this an issue you had that was gradually fixed when
>students/factually got used to cloud storage?....we currently redirect
>'my documents' to a windows server, as well as provide some additional
>shared/public network storage
>
>
>we're a mix of office suite users and google docs,  as well as other
>programs that don't natively save directly to google drive.
>
>
>
>Ben Leslie
>Technology Manager, BVSU
>P: [ tel:802-375-2589%20ext.%20139 ]802-375-2589 ext. 139
>P: [ tel:802-375-6409 ]802-375-6409 ext. 217
>
>
>On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 1:12 PM, Mark Kline <[ mailto:[log in to unmask]
>][log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>>> -Mark, do you integrate Linux machines with an MS AD domain....user
>login, network file storage that works across multiple OS platforms?
>
>
>We do access file storage on a Windows 2008 server, although almost
>nothing gets saved there anymore -- it pretty much all goes to GDrive. We
>no longer log in to AD, however. Access to the server is so rare that
>people just go to that when they need it.
>
>
>If local storage was still vital we would probably switch to Linux for
>the file server. As it is, however, we're putting our time in elsewhere.
>
>
>
>>> Do you all feel like your systems are ready for web based standardized
>testing?
>
>
>The SBAC Lock-Down browser is supported on the Linux platform. We have
>tested the sample assessment and it works fine. The only place we aren't
>ready is with the netbooks as the screens are too small.
>
>
>
>
>Mark Kline, M.Ed.
>Technology Coordinator
>Waterbury-Duxbury School District, Vermont
>
>
>
>On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 12:59 PM, Leslie, Ben <[ mailto:[log in to unmask]
>][log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>Anything with an XP sticker won't be supported by Microsoft come April
>'14.
>
>
>-Mark, do you integrate Linux machines with an MS AD domain....user
>login, network file storage that works across multiple OS platforms?
>
>
>Do you all feel like your systems are ready for web based standardized
>testing?
>
>Ben Leslie
>Technology Manager, BVSU
>P: [ tel:802-375-2589%20ext.%20139 ]802-375-2589 ext. 139
>P: [ tel:802-375-6409 ]802-375-6409 ext. 217
>
>
>On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 12:46 PM, Mark Kline <[ mailto:[log in to unmask]
>][log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>We have quite a few older machines (including many in the 8-9 year old
>category). Although it would be great to be able to never have anything
>older than 4-5 years, it's just not realistic for us at this time.
>
>
>Since we use Ubuntu Linux, we find that the older machines are quite
>serviceable. Both Firefox and Chrome run nicely on them, so 90+ percent
>of what we currently do is covered by those browsers.
>
>
>We're always willing to provide a little demo if anyone's interested.
>
>
>FWIW,
>
>I\/I ark
>
>
>
>Mark Kline, M.Ed.
>Technology Coordinator
>Waterbury-Duxbury School District, Vermont
>
>
>
>On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 12:21 PM, Leslie, Ben <[ mailto:[log in to unmask]
>][log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>
>So you'd say a 8 or 9 year old computer is still "useful"?  what are you
>using those PCs for?  what are the hardware specs for your 8/9 year
>machines?  
>
>Ben Leslie
>Technology Manager, BVSU
>P: [ tel:802-375-2589%20ext.%20139 ]802-375-2589 ext. 139
>P: [ tel:802-375-6409 ]802-375-6409 ext. 217
>
>
>On Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 9:33 PM, Bjorn Behrendt <[ mailto:[log in to unmask]
>][log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>For my 1:1 next year I am getting Chromebooks on a 2 year lease.   1:1
>devices get a lot of legitimate wear and tare and after running MSJ's for
>three years in would not expect any device to last 4 years, let alone a
>sub-$500 device.
>As for other computers, I recently was looking at my numbers and came up
>with a $100 rule.   If a computer cost me $1000 then I would expect it to
>last me 10 years.  At $300 it should last 3.   You defiantly have to be
>flexible but it seemed to be the average I was already using. 
>Bjorn Behrendt
>[ http://www.EdListen.com/ ]http://www.EdListen.com/
>[ http://www.AskBj.net/ ]http://www.AskBj.net/
>[ http://www.VTed.org/ ]http://www.VTed.org/
>
>On Jan 2, 2014 12:41 PM, "Ben Leslie" <[ mailto:[log in to unmask]
>][log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>I'm trying to get a general idea of how often/(in)frequently equipment
>gets replaced in your school districts.
>I'd be interested in knowing what you all consider the "useful" lifespan
>is for:
>
>Lab/classroom computers
>1:1 devices
>Staff/Faculty computers
>Servers
>Networking Equipment
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>This e-mail may contain information protected under the Family
>Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). If this e-mail contains
>student information and you are not entitled to access such information
>under FERPA, please notify the sender. Federal regulations require that
>you destroy this e-mail without reviewing it and you may not forward it
>to anyone. 
>
>
>
>
>
>
>-- 
>Lucie deLaBruere
>[ http://www.LearningWithLucie.com ]www.LearningWithLucie.com
>[ http://twitter.com/techsavvygirl ]http://twitter.com/techsavvygirl
>
>
>Google Voice [ tel:%28802%29%20557%200013 ](802) 557 0013
>
>[ mailto:[log in to unmask] ][log in to unmask]
>
>--------------------------------------
>Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.
>  - James M. Barrie
>---------------------------------------
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>This e-mail may contain information protected under the Family
>Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). If this e-mail contains
>student information and you are not entitled to access such information
>under FERPA, please notify the sender. Federal regulations require that
>you destroy this e-mail without reviewing it and you may not forward it
>to anyone. 
>
>
>
>
>
>
>-- 
>Lucie deLaBruere
>[ http://www.LearningWithLucie.com ]www.LearningWithLucie.com
>[ http://twitter.com/techsavvygirl ]http://twitter.com/techsavvygirl
>
>
>Google Voice [ tel:%28802%29%20557%200013 ](802) 557 0013
>
>[ mailto:[log in to unmask] ][log in to unmask]
>
>--------------------------------------
>Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.
>  - James M. Barrie
>---------------------------------------
>
>
>
>
>
>
>This e-mail may contain information protected under the Family
>Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). If this e-mail contains
>student information and you are not entitled to access such information
>under FERPA, please notify the sender. Federal regulations require that
>you destroy this e-mail without reviewing it and you may not forward it
>to anyone. 

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