comments from a "push the envelope" technology integrator:
know Vermonters love local control, but ... As I mentioned a while ago,
I think we (all Vermont school districts) should delegate responsibility to a
group of our best hardware geeks to identify the standard equipment that
we all would purchase and use, in each of several categories, such
- MultiMedia desktop workstation (PC, Mac, Linux)--high-end for
video production, etc.
- Standard desktop workstation (PC, Mac, Linux)
- Relatively high-end laptop (PC, Mac, Linux)--for video
production, etc. where portability is necessary
- Standard laptop (PC, Mac, Linux)
- B&W Laser Printer (heavy duty cycle, medium duty cycle, light
- Color Printer(s)...
- Switches and other network infrastructure
- Document cameras...
it be a challenge to reach common agreements? Yes!
it take less total time and effort to reach common agreements (and update them
each year) than it does to replicate such decision making numerous times in
all the districts around the state? I've got to believe
we have the time to really thoroughly explore different models (e.g., do
side-by-side comparisons) if we divided up the responsibility between
different work groups? E.g., one group to make decisions re computers,
one group to make decisions re document cameras, one group to make decisions
re cameras, etc. You bet ya!
we save $ by being able to do statewide purchases? Gotta think
all the tech folks learning about and supporting the same gear result in a
massive mutually supportive user group that could help each other with even
the most nitty gritty tech problems? Yup!
this likely result in much more robust and stable systems for teachers and
students, which is what us educator types really want?
- Do we
have the guts to give up our local control if it would result in significant
benefits to all of us? I hope so?
about a strand at the next Techie Conference to explore how we could establish
such an exalted priesthood of techies that we could all trust to make
decisions for all of us?
- If we
do something like this, we need to think about how we can still
support exploring new, non-standard equipment. We need to be able
to innovate and try new things, but it would be great to have a clear
process to explore and evaluate such equipment, rather than let it happen
randomly. I'm wary about building too much bureaucracy, but I also
recognize the incredible benefits of collaborating rather than have each of us
doing our own thing.
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