How can you maximize $1000 to equip a classroom with the greatest number of seats for internet connectivity and word processing?

Joseph Videtto December 21, 2012
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In my school, we’re replacing some of the old Dell OptiPlex GX270’s – some work, some have hardware problems, all have big clunky CRTs, and some but not all have working printers. Allocation of that $1000 is open for discussion to all devices – laptops, tablets, iPads, traditional PCs.

I believe the school is looking at spending about 400 per computer, 150 per monitor, and 350 per printer. Assuming you have about $1000 to spend per classroom, but the main uses will be Internet Web Surfing and Video, and word processing, how would you spend that money to get the most out of it? What particular products or mix of products – traditional desktop computer/monitor setup? iPads? Tablets ? Laptops?

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  1. dragonmouth
    February 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    The cheapest way to go would be to reuse the existing computers and install Linux on them. Free internet, free word processing.

    If you start purchasing new devices, you will run over the budgeted $1000 very quickly.

  2. Junil Maharjan
    December 23, 2012 at 5:05 am

    by going with linux i guess

  3. Rajaa Chowdhury
    December 22, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Joseph,

    You can look into Windows Server Computing environment. You can have a Windows Server OS on your server with terminal services enabled. The clients can be evn the old PC or win terminals or any devices of your choice. Run RDP to connect to the server and compute out of it. Totally server based computing environment like the old UNIX environment/architecture. The server need to be a bit strong. Also you can create a server farm for failover situation if you want. Also rolling out new software is much easier as you only need to install them on a multiuser mode on the server and it is immediately available to all users. Also managing is a breeze with user policies and user access policies (take care of your other question). All devices like iPAD, android, PC, Chromebook, linux has RDP clients so the client can be of your choice. Even you can utilize your old PCs for it as clients. You as a admin can see all session activities also. You can kill sessions as required. Will make life easier and manageability simple and giving you the advantage of latest windows on all devices.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      December 22, 2012 at 2:33 am

      Forgot to mention, you can even define application access policies as per user rights. :) Safe and secure, so if a guy is supposed to access MS Word, he only gets visibility to MS Word. Also if the internet gateway is defined with the Windows server, all the clients connected gets access to the internet through it. (Resolves your other question)

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      December 23, 2012 at 12:13 pm

      As you are a school, you can go for the Microsoft Campus Agreement, and believe me the total software solution, will workout to peanuts for the school. Get in touch with a Microsoft academic marketing representative immediately and suggest them the architecture and solution I suggested. believe me, managing will be a breeze and also with the campus agreement, the latest version of the softwares will be automatically available to you whenever they are launched, without paying anything extra. I have given such solutions to quite a few schools here, and they are pretty satisfied customer now.