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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.

 

 

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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This email may contain information protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). If this email contains confidential and/or privileged health or student information and you are not entitled to access such information under FERPA or HIPAA, federal regulations require that you destroy this email without reviewing it and you may not forward it to anyone.
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