General discussion


Apples for elementary school?

By MC_User ·
My children's grade school (K thru has finally gotten together some money for new computers, roughly $10,000. This would be for desktops and a server. They are looking for advice.

It is a small school of about 300 students. The computer lab is not a big part of their school day. Computer lab time is only twice a week. The administrator is part time and an Apple fanatic. All of the current equipment is 5 to 7 years old.

Most of the parents use some form of PC/Windows in their daily lives and wonder if they should continue using Macs at the school.

I believe that we could probably get twice as much hardware by buying PC's instead of Macs, but our maintenance and training costs would eat up any kind of savings.

It is my opinion that we should first be looking at the software they want to run first, then decide on the hardware.

Does this seem like a valid approach? Any specific factors I should look for in making purchasing decisions? I would welcome your opinions.

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Start point

by Oldefar In reply to Apples for elementary sch ...

I like your thought about looking at the software before the hardware, but maybe you should push that back to an even more basic point. If you determine what the objectives of the computer labs are you can then look at how to meet those objectives for the greatest number of students in a given time frame with the money available.

A thin client approach will provide more student stations than a PC or Mac. However, students will not have the DVD, CD, and floppy use. I suggest you look at for some ideas. By the way, I am not pushing a Wyse solution, only suggesting a thin client alternative to stretch that budget.

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Increase Budget?

by Oldefar In reply to Start point

I am wondering if the budget could increase if other technology costs were reduced. In particular, the cost of the school telecom.

You can contact me for more information.

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Telecom is currently limited

by MC_User In reply to Increase Budget?

to an ISDN line. Internet access for the students is severly regulated. It is the people in the office who need internet access the most at this time. We get the line for next to nothing through a deal with a local college and their service provider.

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by Oldefar In reply to Telecom is currently limi ...

I was referencing voice as well as data in telecom. It is surprizing how much most organizations overpay. :)

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by Oz_Media In reply to Telecom

Sounds like you are in the telecom industry. I aasume that you are thinking VoIp, which may or may not ofer a cost reduction.
Granted, the initial hardware costs are almost immediately recovered wityh a DECENT VoIP system, not just some AVAYA solution but a decent PBX.
The administrative and infrastructure costs would be heavy though.
I have just recently detailed the VoIP system to link all the cities in Vancouver Island together on a common network. thankfully, they already had a massiveinfrastructure of ISDN PRI (no BRI), T-1 and Fibre between City Halls. The overall cost was only just over $800,000(CDA)and will be recovered in less than three years. This same system was looked into byu the BC Scholl board but due to their archaic systems (pretty much just a few ISDN's BRI and PRI mixed) it would have cost well over 1.5 million to implement VoIP.

The only way I can see them reducing telecom costs, if they have PRI for data, is to convert from standard business lines to PRI via a PBX. Was this your thought?

Just gathering an opinion from someone dealing with FCC regulated companies.

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Other issues

by TheChas In reply to Apples for elementary sch ...

While I agree with looking at the software first.

There are other issues to consider:

What type of computers are installed at the high schools that your students will move on to?

What type of PCs are other area elementary schools using?

If the high school and other elementary schools use PCs, you may be handicapping your students by teaching them on MACs.

As far as hardware cost go, you may be even money for "quality" PCs versus MACs. This is very true if you can still get discounts and grants from Apple for schools.

Another thing to take into account, is what career path do you see for your students?
If they are headed for graphics arts careers, Apple may be the way to go.
Any other career path, they WILL end up with PCs.

Since the PC took over the computer market, I have seen Apples account for less than 1% of the computers installed in businesses, other than graphics arts.


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Good points

by MC_User In reply to Other issues

I think the school board might be heavily influenced by what other schools in the area are using.

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Handicap for students.

by jardinier In reply to Apples for elementary sch ...

I think it would be a distinct handicap to students to learn on Apple machines, only to find in the real world that the vast majority of people use PCs.
I think that the argument that Macs are superior to PCs in graphic applications is starting to wear thin. Continually I am encountering people who work in the graphics industry who are having to switch to PCs because the company they work for has.
Do not be influenced by someone who is a dedicated Mac user. In my experience they are without exception absolute fanatics who will not admit to any deficiencies in Macs, and will not engage in logical discussion between the two systems.

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purpose of computers

by john_wills In reply to Handicap for students.

Are these children using computers so they can become keyboard monkeys or so that they will become informaticians? In the latter case they should have Apples precisely because they are unusual. I am a better informatician with IBM mainframes - and PCs - precisely because I have programmed on other mainframes, just as my English is better than it would be if I did not know some other languages; similarly, starting with Apples they will be able to implement work on IBM clones better. As it happens, I have worked with both Apples and IBM PCs, and I prefer the IBM. I have worked with varieties of Windows; I would work better with Windows if I had OS/2 or Linux experience.

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To young to matter - to young to know

by JimHM In reply to Handicap for students.

K-8 is a little young to be saying that they need to use a Mac over a PC or a PC over a Mac or a Sun over a PC or whatever. They need teaching tools and educational tools that will help the kids learn and study.

Who cares if they learn Mac or PCfirst - Do you lock yourself into a single technical environment - I only use a PC - no Mainframes - no Unix - No Mac - No Linux - They need exposure to all the environment they can at any age so that aren't affraid of changes - and technology changes...

The main goal - is to get as much hardware and software that 10,000 can get ... Thats the important thing... platform is only important as to what can run on it - if the best educational software runs on Mac - Buy Mac - If it is Intel - BuyIntel - If its Sun/Solaris - and thin client - Buy there ...

These kids are much to you to be hampered by the selection - by the time they are ready for real technology needs - it may be Linux running on a Motorala chip in a Xbox with direct interface to the brain...

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