Jump to content

School Plans on Buying Netbooks for its Students, Help


Hawks

Recommended Posts

My school district is planning on buying netbooks for all of its junior high students (they're getting a new building, and there was money left in the part designated for technology... why they can't spend money on buying MS office is beyond me but anyway)

 

 

 

Specs they've relesased: 80Mb hard drive, 3 yr warranty with an option to buy into some form of insurance plan. They hope for them to last 5-6 years.

 

 

 

Each kid will receive one netbook during their JH career. At the end of 8th grade, they turn it back into the JH, and get a new one in the fall which is theirs during their HS career (but they will turn it back in when they graduate)

 

 

 

Can you give me your thoughts on this? I am writing a letter to the technology coordinator addressing my concerns (I am a freshman in the district who will not be recieving a netbook but I have a younger brother who will... you could say this is spurred on by jelously... sorry for my awful spelling)

 

 

 

The tenative outline for my letter is below. I will be talking to some fellow students to find out their thoughts also.

 

[hide=Letter Outline]Netbooks.

 

 

 

Why/What

 

-Why did you decide to purchase netbooks for all JHS students?

 

-What do you invision these being used for?

 

-Can you give me more specific specifications? (OS, RAM, network capabilites)

 

-How do you think teachers will use this to their advantage?

 

 

 

Internet/Network Connections

 

-Will students be able to use these on the Internet?

 

-Will there be non-bypassable filters to prevent students from looking at objectionable content?

 

-How will this work if they log on at home to a wireless network or at the public library/McDonald's etc.?

 

-If students take their laptops home, do they just log into the laptop, or do they log into the school network somehow? How is this differentiated, because they have to be able to log into the school network, but also use it at home?

 

 

 

General Usage

 

-Under what conditions would a student be liable for the replacement/repair of a computer?

 

-If another student bumped into a student, causing damage to that student's [the one bumped into] laptop, which student would be liable?

 

-Would they be charged even if it was under warranty?

 

-Can you give more details into an insurance plan and what that would cover?

 

-What sort of limits do you have placed on these netbooks? Will they be limited like the school computers? (in that you can't change the backgrounds, edit the icons, install programs, etc.)

 

 

 

Other Ramifications

 

-You have said that labs at the HS would be closed, can you give details into why and which ones, if you know?

 

-When would these be closed? Would the closings affect the current freshman class (Class of 2012; who will not get netbooks)?

 

-Because of this, do you expect to have applications installed on these netbooks that would otherwise be availible only in the labs? (PS, other Adobe products)

 

-Or would this just get rid of the current school-owned laptops that are already in pretty bad shape?

 

 

 

Suggestions

 

-At the parent meeting in the fall, it would be important to explain thoroughly the internet and network parts of this system so parents understand what the computers can and cannot do.

 

-Also thoroughly explain the insurance system and explain why parents would want to buy the policy.[/hide]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am kind of in the same boat. I graduate this year, but next year all of the incomming freshmen will be getting netbooks. It was my idea actually. Our school is getting a grant which should more then well cover the price of the netbooks. I honestly don't think that the junior high students should get netbooks. D they really need to use them for school related work? In high school, we do essays, reports,research papers, powerpoint presentations, and other things like that where a netbook could be useful. Monitoring the students would be another hassle. They would have to use a coorporate trojan to log the things the students do on the computers. If the computers have office, adobe suite, anti-virus, monitoring software, or any other software on a coorporate level, it could be very expensive. There are other variables as well. I think the school should provide a disoout and let the students get a netbook for cheap on their own money so they will be less inclined to damage the computer.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a possible netbook our school will get. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6834220504

 

 

 

--bballer

wii_wheaton.png

[software Engineer] -

[Ability Bar Suggestion] - [Gaming Enthusiast]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Giving students netbooks instead of buying MS Office for the labs is a brilliant move; consider that for the cost of one of those licenses, two students get an Eee PC. Besides, there's always OpenOffice.org for you to use, which does the exact same thing and is free.

 

 

 

Anywho, looking at your letter, there's a handful of common sense things in there that even I could answer, with no foreground into this kind of situation.

 

 

 

A)

 

A netbook could be seen as a laptop that every student could have. This allows them to do their work with the flexibility of going outside, going to the cafeteria, to the library, and so forth - without having to compete for resources in a crowded lab.

 

 

 

The typical specs for a notebook either come with some flavor of Linux or Windows XP Home, using the Atom processor + around 1GB of RAM. Hard disk size varies from 20GB (SSD) to 160GB, depending on the amount of cash your district is using for these things.

 

 

 

B)

 

Netbooks have wireless, of course. They can be used on any wireless system, provided that they have the SSID/password. Filtering would be up to the school's network administration, since it's highly unlikely that they'll install any bloatware/net nanny type software on these. Since it works just like a normal "laptop", connecting to the Internet shouldn't be a problem. Key word - shouldn't.

 

 

 

But yeah, it's actually quite awesome that they're giving the students this technology. Sorry you won't get one from the district, but consider this - they're only like $300 anyway, and some better ones won't go past $700, so why not ask your folks to get you one, too? :D

Linux User/Enthusiast Full-Stack Software Engineer | Stack Overflow Member | GIMP User
s1L0U.jpg
...Alright, the Elf City update lured me back to RS over a year ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see what the big deal is. Your school district is building a new junior high and has extra money so they are spending it on equipping every student with a computer so no one person is at a disadvantage. I would ask questions like what other options have they considered spending the extra money on? What is the long term plan? 5 years from now? 10 years from now?

tFtfA.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Makoto_the_Phoenix: they've said the laptops will only have 80mb hard drives. What can you do with that?

 

 

 

These computers have to be able to log into the school network, is that possible with XP Home?

 

 

 

 

 

My questions about the internet stem from the fact that the school district could be liable for 'bad things' that happen to students as a result of being unsupervised with a laptop with internet. I honestly don't care, but I want to know what they're doing to prevent that.

 

 

 

I am planning on asking them about what they plan to do in the future, they've siad they hope the laptops last 5-6 years, and after the first round of laptops is done (after next year's sixth graders are freshmen) they will buy the extras needed using money from the general fund.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Makoto_the_Phoenix: they've said the laptops will only have 80mb hard drives. What can you do with that?

 

 

 

These computers have to be able to log into the school network, is that possible with XP Home?

 

 

 

 

 

My questions about the internet stem from the fact that the school district could be liable for 'bad things' that happen to students as a result of being unsupervised with a laptop with internet. I honestly don't care, but I want to know what they're doing to prevent that.

 

 

 

I am planning on asking them about what they plan to do in the future, they've siad they hope the laptops last 5-6 years, and after the first round of laptops is done (after next year's sixth graders are freshmen) they will buy the extras needed using money from the general fund.

 

 

 

Key word : Netbook.

 

 

 

 

 

Sounds like a cool idea, netbooks are amazing tools. Just be glad your school has enough money to do this at all, not sure why you'd complain about it. :|

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Makoto_the_Phoenix: they've said the laptops will only have 80mb hard drives. What can you do with that?

 

 

 

These computers have to be able to log into the school network, is that possible with XP Home?

 

 

 

 

 

My questions about the internet stem from the fact that the school district could be liable for 'bad things' that happen to students as a result of being unsupervised with a laptop with internet. I honestly don't care, but I want to know what they're doing to prevent that.

 

 

 

I am planning on asking them about what they plan to do in the future, they've siad they hope the laptops last 5-6 years, and after the first round of laptops is done (after next year's sixth graders are freshmen) they will buy the extras needed using money from the general fund.

 

 

 

You can do plenty of school-relevant work in 80MB, although I'm more inclined to believe 80GB. Think about it - I have a 4GB drive with all of my school work and other stuff, and the schoolwork doesn't count for more than 2% of the whole thing. Remember, it's a netbook; it's designed to be small and be productive, not to jerk around and play games and stuff.

 

 

 

Anyway, it's up to the school district to filter their networks, per their IT guidelines. Have you tried accessing game sites? If they block those, there's a very good chance they block the illegal stuff, too.

 

 

 

Their hopes are too optimistic for these netbooks to last 5-6 years. With general use of any standard netbook, you're guaranteed 2 years at the most, and that's with general care. The hard disks don't last normally longer than that, unless they planned on buying new hard disks for every netbook.

Linux User/Enthusiast Full-Stack Software Engineer | Stack Overflow Member | GIMP User
s1L0U.jpg
...Alright, the Elf City update lured me back to RS over a year ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.