I think I can help reduce the IT budgets in schools.  All that needs to be done is get rid of the local network login.  Once that has been accomplished there is no longer a need for expensive servers and backup systems and more importantly there is no longer a need for an expensive full time Network Administrator.  That won't necessarily allow the IT budget to be cut in half, but it might allow resources to be shifted to 1:1 programs and mobile devices that have a short lifespan.  I'm afraid the usefulness of a 4 year old device is going to be a barrier not an asset to constructive learning environments where all students can excel.

What of protecting our IT assets on a network where there is no network login?  We don't surround our schools with impenetrable walls.  If someone walks across the lawn after hours we don't feel endangered.  If a community member accesses the Internet through the school network, what damage is done?  They still have to abide by our filters and a good tech person can protect private assets without presenting barriers to everyone who uses this resource. 

All FERPA and HIPPA communications must be encrypted before traversing the network.  I have yet to run across an application that handles student data that doesn't use HTTPS or some sort of encrypted communication, but I certainly check before we purchase.

Any mission critical resource should be cloud based.  Powerschool?  Pearson would love to host it for you.  Destiny, BudgetSense even SpedDoc can be hosted in the cloud.  When you look at the expense of maintaining private, fault tolerant, redundant, geographically dispersed servers, cloud based resources are the best bargain out there.  Check before you buy, can it be cloud based?  Who is doing the hosting and how sophisticated are they?

DNS, DHCP, HVAC control and Door security may have to be located locally but all can have software firewalls that make them invisible to port scanning software and none of these resources need every single person who uses the network to have an account to be kept safe.  This is were network admins can enforce their ultimate secure password policy, and then be the people who have to live with these policies.

Imagine a world with no local network login and no network admins...  Wait... That is what I do!!!

Craig Lyndes
Network Admin
St Albans City School

On Sun, Jan 5, 2014 at 7:33 PM, John Peters <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I am going to address one issue that was mentioned in this post, and that is the need for Network logins/authentication.  While there has been a shift to cloud based storage (yeah), the need for authentication to allow network access has not entirely gone away.  School internal network systems still must run critical applications to ensure network connectivity to conduct day to day business and remain compliant with the law.  To operate a computer network without local authentication, CFS and IDS/IPS is risky business.  In addition to unauthorized access by non-school related external users, removing authentication from networks puts critical business systems including HVAC, Security Controls, Financial systems, SMS’s, and HIPAA protected systems  at risk of unauthorized access and/or disclosure.  


Recently there was a discussion on this Listserv about backups.  Interestingly enough no mention was made of backups to critical business systems or network and telecommunications services required to conduct day to day business operations or to deliver services to classrooms.  If a school building were destroyed by fire or flooding, how would critical servers such as DHCP, DNS, AD be restored quickly?  How often and where is infrastructure equipment such as switches, routers and WAPs backed up for rapid replacement, restoration and/or redeployment?  How would business, student management and other systems be restored quickly to an alternate site while critical repairs were made to the main campus?  While education is our primary business, the realm of IT in public education has become much bigger than just updating computers and providing an internet connection to classrooms.



John Peters

Director of Technology

North Country Supervisory Union

121 Duchess Ave Suite A

Newport, VT 05855

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From: School Information Technology Discussion [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Lucie deLaBruere
Sent: Sunday, January 05, 2014 1:13 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Hardware lifespan



Good idea (redirecting the My documents) for those who want that feature.  I know I've recently changed how I use "my documents"  It use to be the place where "everything would go, but as I use my computer for more and more things, the amount of space I was using grew so much I started to feel like a horder with lots of clutter).  And just as terrabyte drives were becoming available and cheap I moved to a MUCH smaller solid state hard drive and cloud storage which has me 'automatically" saving things to temporary spaces that doesn't get backed up but instead gets purged and using my "my documents"  space for things I need backed up. 


As we approach a time when we live in an increasingly digital world, we are seeing new workflows emerge and one of our challenges will be to LET GO of workflows or at least NOT try to hold on to paradigms that will prevent us from thinking creatively about new workflows. 


I think  that the pace at which technology is changing has increased so much that even Moore's law is dated!  So questions like 'will my next technology purchase  last 10 years (or even 5 years)' seem less and less relevant.  If we measure how long a piece of technology should cost or last, we are really measuring a cost/benefit ratio over time.  But in order to do that, we need to look at the LIST of things we used technology for "then"  vs "now"  vs "in the future".    

If the percentage of our total school budget for technology was n% in 2010,  does that mean it should be n% in 2015  when the use of that technology piece has doubled in both number of hours used  and number of functions it serves. 


ooops  I started to wander off  from my initial intent which was discussing new workflows.  I think about recent changes to my own workflows over the past few years 

which included moving from  

having everything local and wanting it more centralized (thus came server space)

server space needs increased tremendously and ed tech responded


then came the need to be collaborative, 

centralization helped us with that functions and we started to look at shared server space


Remember investing in increased  centralized storage space and  centralized backup solutions that could handle that.   There were even solutions that forced users  to 1 gig of server space to allow for enough space for everyone.  


And now we are looking into solutions that support mobile learning  and collaboration over centralization.  Let's learn everywhere, anywhere, anytime and with anybody.   That means letting go of local network logins that made the "centralization" possible  and valuable to us just a few years ago. 


Are  we now at a time when we are ready to let go of a need for 'terabytes" of storage space  or even printing solutions in favor of faster Internet access and more mobility.   Are we ready to let go of ideas that a technology devices needs to last 5 years and invest in a solution that will serve our purpose over the next two years instead of the next 5 years (since we  can't predict what functions will be important or even necessary ( muttering under my breath -- SBAC testing )

Does renting software (i.e. could based solution) make more sense than investing in purchasing software.  How do we start to think about this differently and budget for it differently. 


These are times that require being nimble, rapid prototyping, adaptability, uncertainty, letting go and constant redefinition. They are exciting times,  times when conversations (like those from this list) and connectivism will more important than ever.  .... ah.. I didn't mean to ramble.. forgive my wandering mind this Sunday morning. 








On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 7:38 PM, Eric Hall <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

"as well as other programs that don't natively save directly to google drive."


For those with dedicated computers (teachers,) installing Drive for PC creates shortcuts so that local applications can save to Drive. You can even redirect MyDocs to Google Drive so that they don't "accidentally" save locally!



Eric Hall

Technology Integration Specialist

Mount Mansfield Union High School

Chittenden East SU


No trees were injured in the creation of this message, but a significant number of electrons were inconvenienced.


On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 1:28 PM, Leslie, Ben <[log in to unmask]> wrote:



I've played around with different scenarios regarding eliminating network storage and utilizing cloud storage.  My concern is users will forget to save files to their g-drive, and keep it saved to local disk storage and then not have access to it when they move to a different lab computer...was this an issue you had that was gradually fixed when students/factually got used to cloud storage?....we currently redirect 'my documents' to a windows server, as well as provide some additional shared/public network storage


we're a mix of office suite users and google docs,  as well as other programs that don't natively save directly to google drive.


Ben Leslie

Technology Manager, BVSU

P: 802-375-6409 ext. 217


On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 1:12 PM, Mark Kline <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>> -Mark, do you integrate Linux machines with an MS AD domain....user login, network file storage that works across multiple OS platforms?

We do access file storage on a Windows 2008 server, although almost nothing gets saved there anymore -- it pretty much all goes to GDrive. We no longer log in to AD, however. Access to the server is so rare that people just go to that when they need it.

If local storage was still vital we would probably switch to Linux for the file server. As it is, however, we're putting our time in elsewhere.

>> Do you all feel like your systems are ready for web based standardized testing?

The SBAC Lock-Down browser is supported on the Linux platform. We have tested the sample assessment and it works fine. The only place we aren't ready is with the netbooks as the screens are too small.

Mark Kline, M.Ed.
Technology Coordinator
Waterbury-Duxbury School District, Vermont


On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 12:59 PM, Leslie, Ben <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Anything with an XP sticker won't be supported by Microsoft come April '14.


-Mark, do you integrate Linux machines with an MS AD domain....user login, network file storage that works across multiple OS platforms?


Do you all feel like your systems are ready for web based standardized testing?

Ben Leslie

Technology Manager, BVSU

P: 802-375-6409 ext. 217


On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 12:46 PM, Mark Kline <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

We have quite a few older machines (including many in the 8-9 year old category). Although it would be great to be able to never have anything older than 4-5 years, it's just not realistic for us at this time.

Since we use Ubuntu Linux, we find that the older machines are quite serviceable. Both Firefox and Chrome run nicely on them, so 90+ percent of what we currently do is covered by those browsers.

We're always willing to provide a little demo if anyone's interested.


I\/I ark

Mark Kline, M.Ed.
Technology Coordinator
Waterbury-Duxbury School District, Vermont


On Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 12:21 PM, Leslie, Ben <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

So you'd say a 8 or 9 year old computer is still "useful"?  what are you using those PCs for?  what are the hardware specs for your 8/9 year machines?  

Ben Leslie

Technology Manager, BVSU

P: 802-375-6409 ext. 217


On Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 9:33 PM, Bjorn Behrendt <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

For my 1:1 next year I am getting Chromebooks on a 2 year lease.   1:1 devices get a lot of legitimate wear and tare and after running MSJ's for three years in would not expect any device to last 4 years, let alone a sub-$500 device.

As for other computers, I recently was looking at my numbers and came up with a $100 rule.   If a computer cost me $1000 then I would expect it to last me 10 years.  At $300 it should last 3.   You defiantly have to be flexible but it seemed to be the average I was already using.

Bjorn Behrendt

On Jan 2, 2014 12:41 PM, "Ben Leslie" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I'm trying to get a general idea of how often/(in)frequently equipment gets replaced in your school districts.
I'd be interested in knowing what you all consider the "useful" lifespan is for:

Lab/classroom computers
1:1 devices
Staff/Faculty computers
Networking Equipment








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Lucie deLaBruere


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