Saturday, March 3, 2012

Thursday - 1:1 Anywhere Anytime Learning (Niles)

This was run by Niles Township (Guy Ballard, Phil Lacy, and Marcelo Sanz).  It was a presentation as to how they've implemented a districtwide 1:1 roll out for the past 2 years (incoming freshmen each year are receiving devices).  I found them to be very professional as well as informative as to how they went about their decisions.

For Professional Development, they had the following:

  • For Teachers
    • 3 levels of in-district classes that teachers can get credit on
    • access to professional workshops and conferences
    • the district will host a technology conference (to aid in bullet#2)
    • a teacher computer lab for a Professional Development Center
  • For Students
    • Tech support and training available for students
    • Community service credit for student techs
  • Dedicated Technical Support for program (2 per school)
Hardware & Printing
  • Purchased devices for students, teachers, tech support, check-outs
  • Developed a quick check-out system to quickly distribute hundreds of devices
  • Went with Netbooks.  Cost is currently $325 with a 3 year warranty.
    • This was chosen based upon cost as well as durability
    • Thee netbook itself is researched and revisited annually to purchase the best choice each year
  • Use open source operating sytem (linux based) and are going to use Ubermix next year. Also use freeware for word processing and similar apps.
  • Encourage students to save everything to cloud and if there are technical issues, netbooks are reset to "factory settings" based upon school image.
  • Students are given ownership of the device once it is given to them.
    • Students can add any personal software including operating system they want. (if problem, district just resets to image.
    • Cost of device should offset cost of books and photocopying over time and is meant to be part of registration fees.
  • 10% replace rule holds true for them.
  • When ordering devices, give time to manufacture as bulk purchases will require extra time to arrive.
  • Niles considers this a BYOD model where the district buys the students their 1st device.
  • Printing is discouraged and printers are purposefully scarce.
  • Student Handbook is no longer printed in Niles. Digital only.
Wireless and Applications
  • Niles currently has 260 MB pipe and will be purchasing an additional 100 for next year. (They have 2500 netbooks in circulation this year.)
  • Niles installed charging stations within the building for students to access.
  • Wireless coverage is a constant work in progress.  Capacity and Density need monitoring and adjustment.
  • Currently using a firewall (Palo Alto) that prioritizes applications so that you can filter based upon that instead of port traffic.
  • Authentication is currently disabled because it choked the system.  They would see 800 kids disappear from the network at the end of a period and then all attempt to jump back onto the network after the passing period.  Authentication could not handle it.
  • District uses Google Apps and through their educational service, they can archive data.

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