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Education

Best IT Solution For a Brand-New School? 411

Iain writes "I'm a teacher at a British 'City Academy' (ages 11-19) that is going to move into a new building next year. Management is deciding now on the IT that the students will use in the new building, as everything will be built from scratch. Currently, the school has one ICT suite per department, each containing about 25-30 PCs. My issue with this model is that it means these suites are only rarely used for a bit of googling or typing up assignments, not as interactive teaching tools. The head likes the idea of moving to a thin client solution, with the same one room per department plan, as he see the cost benefits. However, I have seen tablet PCs used to great effect, with every single classroom having 20-30 units which the students use as 'electronic workbooks,' for want of a better phrase. This allows every lesson to fully utilize IT (multimedia resources, Internet access, instant handout and retrieval of learning resources, etc.) and all work to be stored centrally. My question is: In your opinion, what is the best way for a school to use IT (traditional computer lab, OLPCs, etc.) and what hardware is out there to best serve that purpose? Fat clients for IT/Media lessons and thin client for the rest? Thin client tablets? Giving each student a laptop to take home? Although, obviously, cost is an issue, we have a significant budget, so it should not be the only consideration."
Linux Business

IBM Pushing Microsoft-Free Desktops 417

walterbyrd and other readers are sending along the news that IBM is partnering worldwide with Canonical/Ubuntu, Novell, and Red Hat to offer Windows-free desktop PCs pre-loaded with Lotus software and ready for customizing by local ISVs for particular markets. The head of IBM's Lotus division is quoted: "The slow adoption of Vista among businesses and budget-conscious CIOs, coupled with the proven success of a new type of Microsoft-free PC in every region, provides an extraordinary window of opportunity for Linux." One example of the cooperation: "Canonical, which sells subscription support for Ubuntu, a Linux operating system that scores high marks on usability and 'the cool factor,' will re-distribute Lotus Symphony via their repositories. Symphony 1.1 will be available through the Ubuntu repositories by the end of August."

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