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Hi, Vince,

 

Not only have we purchased the Dell 2100's and a Dell cart, but we're in
the process of purchasing 208 HP Netbook's.  The majority being the HP
2102's with a few 5102's.  We're specifically targeting a class of
students in 5th grade, and as many seventh graders as money allowed.
Our Technology Integrators did a nice job testing lots of the software
we use here at SB on our current Dell 2100 and found most applications
ran fine.  The processor in the HP is better than the Dell's, so we're
optimistic about the usage and the rollout.

 

To reduce the costs for our seventh grade purchase, we've chosen not to
go with the professional version of Windows and leave the machines off
the domain using an OEM version of Windows 7 Starter.  

 

From our total order we've received a few of the HP 5102's (only 8).  So
far, I'd say they're a pretty decent Netbook, but we won't know more
until we actually put them into production.  I will say this though, we
placed our order on 3/3, and we only just received a notice yesterday
informing us of an expected ship date of 4/2.  The long wait time may
have just been this order, but something to keep in mind if you're
considering purchasing some.  Marcus from the Top Floor has been good in
helping us expedite the order and keeping us in the loop though.

 

Steve

 

-SB

 

From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Stephen Barner
Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 9:58 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Anyone remember netbooks?

 

I would concur with Bjorn's ideas on a successful rollout of netbooks.
Getting away from Windows would likely be most successful with a
one-to-one initiative.  When the student works with the netbook all the
time, any pain from the learning curve will wear off more quickly and be
offset by the privilege of having such a cool toy.  Also, avoid the
network share problem by steering people to Google Docs or Google Apps.
Of course, with one-to-one, local storage is fine, too, as long as you
stress backup and off-loading old files to other storage.

 

Steve Barner

South Burlington High School

 

________________________________

From: School Information Technology Discussion
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bjorn Behrendt
Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 9:29 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Anyone remember netbooks?

I didn't mention it in my last email but I am likely going with Ubuntu
next year on the netbooks instead of windows. 

 

Here are some recommendations if you are going to use linux.

1.	Don't try and switch people to Linux and OpenOffice in one
swoop.   This year was my OO and google apps integration (telling people
to use google apps as the primary with OO as a backup).   
2.	Put some standalone ubuntu (or other flavor) machines around.
I put them into the language and music department about mid year here
(after the OpenOffice change died down). 
3.	Treat 1 to 1 differently then a mobile lab.  Mobile labs should
still connect to shares (which Suse Linux is probably better for Active
directory Integration).  1 to 1 probably would work best if shares were
not used, because students bring them home (at least in my case), for
standalone I like Ubuntu over Suse because of the program support. 
4.	If you go with Ubuntu check with conical (the $$ behind Ubuntu)
they offer a support package, basically the person told me to just buy
one desktop support package for $250 and use if for all of our ubuntu
installations.   They also have a program called landscape for central
management with is really slick but still over priced for schools $65
per machine. 

 

Right now I have some netbooks with ubuntu installed and I am making
teachers take it home a week at a time for them to play with, so far so
good.

 

A big recommendation when going netbook is getting ones with a HD high
resolution screen.   This is usually an inexpensive upgrade per machine
but has made a big difference in the likability of the implementations I
have done.

 

Hardware I have played with (HD screens, 2 gigs ram, 6 cell batteries),
my max was $500 per machine if windows was installed.  I know I can get
a full laptop for that price but the smaller size and battery life
netbooks bring to the table are much more important to me.

 

*	Acer 11.6 ~ nice screen size, runs ubuntu and windows 7 fine,
the battery doesn't last a full day. 4-6hrs 
*	Hp 5102 ~ I really like this netbook, the body is well
constructed the battery lasts all day working hard.  HP's linux contract
is with Suse which runs great on it, but Ubuntu 9.10 has some driver
issues, which will likely be fixed soon.  I have not been able to get it
to work with Fog Ghost yet because the nic card is one of the ones with
driver issues. 
*	Dell mini 10 ~ This can be bought with an HD screen and I have
ordered a demo.   Dell contracts with Ubuntu which is my proffered
flavor.   I am hoping that with the out of the box ubuntu install will
make it the best choice for next year. 

 

I don't have the Dell in my possession yet but I will try and bring the
other 2 netbooks to FOSSVT if anyone is interested in playing with them.

 

 


Bjorn Behrendt
IT Coordinator 
Mount St. Joseph
[log in to unmask]
(802) 775-0151



On Thu, Apr 1, 2010 at 8:49 AM, Stephen Barner <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

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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confidential and/or privileged health or student information and you 
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