Steve, I am trying to organize a group buy for smartboard in early July. Initially I was trying to do this just regionally but there is no reason why it could not be opened up to people interested in VT. I would get everyones orders, then put it out to bid. Not quite sure how shipping would work, but my friend U-Hall could always be a backup.
Hi, All,The more I think about it, the more I wonder why we don't agree to a statewide list of standard equipment that we all would purchase. The benefits seem compelling to me. (New England-wide would be even better, but I don't totally live in fantasy land!)I'm curious, what do people see as problems with an idea like that listed below? How could we move forward?SteveGreat discussion...
From: Steven Webster
Sent: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 2:36 PM
To: 'School Information Technology Discussion'
Subject: RE: Looking a gift horse in the mouthSome comments from a "push the envelope" technology integrator:Re: Standardization:
- I 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 as:
- 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 duty cycle)
- Color Printer(s)...
- Switches and other network infrastructure components
- Document cameras...
- Digital Cameras (low end; standard use; SLR)...
- Would it be a challenge to reach common agreements? Yes!
- Would 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 so!
- Would 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!
- Would we save $ by being able to do statewide purchases? Gotta think so!
- Would 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!
- Would this likely result in much more robust and stable systems for teachers and students, which is what us educator types really want? Absolutely!
- Do we have the guts to risk giving up our local control if it would result in significant benefits to all of us? I hope so?
- How about a strand or session at the next Techie Conference or Vermont Fest to explore how we could establish such an exalted priesthood of techies that we could all trust to make decisions for all of us? Or is this something that VITA-Learn could take on?
- 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.Steve
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