We returned to Boston after an information packed 2 day forum in Texas. It was impressive to the attendees as well as the HP reps that our Superintendent was there, showing an interest and support of technology in education, rather than leaving it all to the “techies.” ( :
I gained a much better understanding of thin client virtualization which sounds like a great way to manage multiple machines in multiple classrooms, but I still have many questions, and I know it is costly, and I am not sure if it is appropriate for our new school. It was unfortunate that our own IT Manager was not there, but I established a contact with an Ed Tech Director who invited us to visit and see their implementation of a Citirix farm with ClassLink. I had no idea about the rich reporting of computer and application usage that Class Link provides! That feature alone is invaluable for determining software purchasing and computer allocation based on data.
I was totally surprised by Acrobat 9’s capabilities as a portfolio housing and found out about the special pricing of the Adobe Digital School Collection with every new HP a school buys.
I engaged in some debate about Apple’s iLife suite of software vs Adobe’s RealLife suite. Adobe’s RealLife is an easy fit for a high school environment, but I am partial to iLife’s ease of use for younger grade levels. I also was unable to get an answer about what Adobe had to offer in response to Apple’s OS X Server. Apple offers a platform, along with its software and clients, that hosts an internal collaborative learning community. Adobe’s answer was to “do-it-yourself” with your own internal web server. And yet also part of their sell is to allow Adobe to take the ownership off of schools and “let the experts do it for you.” So…the debate goes on. I still ask, why not have both?
I appreciated their attempt to provide pre-packaged online professional development opportuinites in the form of segmented video tutorials and downloadable lesson plans. But I would like to see how teachers can contribute to the lesson plans and tutorials themselves, along with me!
What was clear among everyone there, was that the applications and instructional usage must drive the hardware purchases.
HP is one potential provider for schools. There are many solutions to consider that bundle hardware, software, and methods of professional development. Every Tech Director there, however, had the same burning question when all was said and done…”How do I pay for this stuff?!”
Finally, I got to run outside in the sun for a bit and NOT have to wear gloves!