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So my question - Are you moving to Windows XP Pro on these netbooks? Once
the decision is made to use XP Pro (or maybe 7) the cost per netbook goes
up, and the only remaining benefit seems to be the longer battery life and
compactness. - RickM

 

From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Stephen Barner
Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 8:49 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Anyone remember netbooks?

 

Ditto on what Bjorn said about the need for a 6-cell battery.  The extended
battery life is one of the biggest advantages of these, as is the small form
factor.

 

We replaced a computer lab here at SBHS with 40 Dell netbooks.  The Dells
are excellent, though pricey.  Their charging cart is the best thing ever.
You just slide a netbook into its station and it connects automatically.
The thing that made the netbooks not well accepted was a combination of
trying Ubuntu with a lack of dedicated integration support.  I'll take the
blame for the lack of dedicated support, though it is very possible that
even this would not have made a difference with the cadre of teachers
involved.  They simply never warmed to the fact that the tradeoffs of not
having mapped network drives for storage and substituting OpenOffice for MS
Office allowed us to save a heap of money and get them more machines.  I
found that most of the students I talked to said it was no big deal.  They
didn't have a problem with the extra clicks necessary to access their
network storage, or using OO.  Some students used flash drives and others
used Google Docs as more convenient solutions for file storage, but there
were enough students who had problems saving their files, layered on to the
fact that many of the teachers didn't seem to understand (or maybe didn't
want to try to understand) how to work around these compromises that we have
decided to install Windows on these netbooks.  I actually had a teacher, who
I respect for her professional abilities, though perhaps not for her
technological prowess, look me in the eye and say "We hate netbooks."  When
you get that kind of feedback, it's time to take some action.

 

I think when you get teachers creating true "21st century learning"
environments, the portability and low cost of netbooks will show their true
value.  If teachers are trying to use them solely as a "take the class to
the computer lab so they can all write the same paper" replacement, you'll
find that netbooks fall short.

 

Steve Barner

South Burlington High School

 

  _____  

From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Vincent Rossano
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 11:06 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Anyone remember netbooks?

I'm speaking in jest, of course; we all remember them.  There was a lot of
chatter about them last year at this time. However, the chatter quieted down
considerably by the start of this school year.   Is anyone out there
deploying them extensively?  Is anyone thinking they might still purchase a
bunch of them?  

 

I never got very excited about them, but I wonder if others did and if they
still are.  If so, would they care to comment on their experience with these
devices?  Price is the obvious reason to like them, but did you who
purchased them feel they did everything you expected them to do?  Any
regrets?

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

-Vince

 


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