A practical 1 to 1 school solution
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A practical 1 to 1 school solution

by therobotnextdoor on Sat Dec 22, 2012 4:01 pm

I work for a small, rural private school. We have big hearts but small pockets. Our computers are horribly out of date, and I'm looking for a sustainable solution to replace them.

I've been with the school a year and a half now. Right now we have a computer lab with about 18 computers and 2 computers in just about every classroom. I've been working on an LTSP solution to updating and maintaining our existing machines, but I would rather move to a 1 to 1 model so students could each have a computer to use in every classroom (and possibly even at home).

The way most schools handle this is by handing every kid a laptop or iPad. I don't see this as being a very sustainable model for us for multiple reasons. First of all, we don't have $50,000 to get that off the ground for the 80 or so students in 7th through 12th grade. Secondly, we all know how students treat borrowed property. In many cases if one thing breaks on a laptop, the whole thing has to be replaced. And last, upgrades are limited on laptops leaving no choice but to toss and replace them.

So, I'm asking for your help. As a private school, we can implement any solution we choose. It just needs to be affordable, practical and sustainable. One thought I've had is using the Raspberry Pi (running Edubuntu) hooked up to the Motorola lapdock. Each student would be assigned a Pi to take home, and the docks would stay at the school. All the hardware is cheap enough to be easily replaced if broken. The only problem with this solution is that the Raspberry Pi has lower specs than the old computers we have now.

Currently students are using our machines for word processing, desktop publishing, web surfing, presentations, graphic design, etc. I also have to keep in mind the teachers and students that struggle to turn a computer on. No doubt training will be part of the solution, butnthe solution shouldn't stand in the way of educating our kids in all other subjects.
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Re: A practical 1 to 1 school solution

by adafruit on Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:58 am

thanks for posting, you might want to purchase 1 "set" of everything you need to make a low-cost raspberry computer from what we stock at adafruit. starter pack, monitor/keyboard, wifi and and see if that could work. a lot of schools are starting to explore this idea, it's early but we believe this has a lot of potential.

adafruit support, phil

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.