Computer Lab on a Shoestring

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Using opensource to create an affordable computer labs in schools.

Using opensource to create an affordable computer labs in schools.

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  • 1. Open Source for Schools Creating a Computer Lab on a Shoestring
      • John Jennings
      • ICT Specialist
      • Tipperary Institute
      • Email: jjennings@tippinst.ie
      • http://www.opensourceinstructor.com
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5
  • 2. Aims
    • Aims
      • To encourage the uptake and use of open source tools in education
  • 3. Agenda
    • Introduction & Context
    • The Terminal-Server approach
    • Traditional Lab vs Thin Client
    • Demonstration of Edubuntu
    • Shopping List
    • Summary
    • Links
  • 4. Context
    • “ Around one in five computers in Irish schools cannot be used, while 50 percent are at least four years old, according to the National Centre for Technology in Education (NCTE). Despite this dismal performance, last year only EUR2.3 million was given to schools for the purchase of IT equipment.”
      • source: Emmet Ryan http://www.electricnews.net/frontpage/news-9873295.html
  • 5. Issues
    • Computer Hardware
      • “ Old”, not working
      • Must upgrade or replace for new “heavy” operating systems
    • Computer Software
      • Caught in an “upgrade cycle”
      • Retirement of support for software
        • Expensive to replace or renew
    • Management
      • Hard to manage & maintain all workstations in the school
  • 6. The Terminal Server Approach
    • Big in the 1990's but now making a comeback
  • 7. Workstation Vs Thin-client
    • Workstation
      • Every workstation has an operating system
      • Each workstation managed separately
      • Workstations tend to be highly specified
    • Thin-Client
      • Requires a high spec server
      • Clients are usually low spec. with as little hardware as possible
      • Centrally managed
      • More reliable as normally have less components
  • 8. Advantages of Workstations
    • Fewer server requirements
      • Load is spread over the workstations
    • Better multimedia performance
      • Gaming, video/audio editing, high resolution image editing.
    • More flexibility
      • Can have each workstation configured differently
    • Suitable for poor network connections
      • Thin-clients do not work without a network
  • 9. Advantages of Thin-clients
    • Why a Linux based terminal is a good solution for schools:
      • Low cost
        • Potentially as low as EUR 200 per client workstation
      • Ease of installation
        • Once the server is set-up just plug in the clients
      • Ease of maintenance
        • Only server needs to be maintained, e.g. backed up
      • High performance
        • Clients run as fast as the server
      • Efficient use of resources
        • Only uses as much processing power as is required. Bandwidth reduced
      • Great software
        • 100's of educational software packages available for free
      • Reliability
        • Proven history of stability and reliability
  • 10. Demo
    • OpenOffice Suite
      • Word Processing
      • Spreadsheet
      • Presentation
    • Web Browser
    • Email, IM and VoIP
    • Graphics
      • Create Diagrams
        • Dia
      • 3D modelling
        • Blender
      • editing images
        • Gimp
        • TuxPaint
        • Scribus
    • Sound and video
      • Play music, video, burn CD's. Edit video, record audio
    • Science
      • Desktop Planetarium
        • KStars
      • Periodic table
        • Kalzium
      • Chemistry game
        • Atomix
    • Maths
      • Programming in Logo,
        • KTurtle
      • create high precision geometrical constructions
        • Kig
  • 11. Demo contd.
    • Maths
      • Plot Maths equations
        • KmPlot
      • Calculate Precentages
        • KPrecentage
      • Practice Fractions
        • KBrunch
      • Play with Maths
        • TuxMath
    • Drawing
      • TuxPaint
      • Fractal Generator
        • Xaos
    • Language
      • Hangman
        • KHangman
    • Basic Skills
      • Generate and give tests
        • KEduca
      • Learn touch typing
        • Ktouch
        • TuxType
      • Gcompris
        • a suite of over 80 educational games and activities for kids age 4 to 10
  • 12. Shopping List
    • 1 x server
      • LTSP server :
        • 512MB RAM for the idling system with all of its services
        • 50MB per client to hold user data and the first copy of common applications
        • 100MHz of 32 bit processing power or about 75MHz of 64 bit power per client.
        • A gigabit NIC for the private LAN (100 megabit is OK for small LANs with patient users, random boots or client always on)
        • 10/100 baseT NIC for the ISP
  • 13. Shopping List
    • 24 x clients
      • LTSP Clients Spec :
        • 64MB+ RAM
        • 100MHz+ processing power
        • 10/100 baseT NIC
        • Keyboard/Mouse/Monitor
        • Fanless systems are more reliable
    • 1 x 24 port network switch
      • 24 10/100 MB ports
      • 1 or 2 gigabit ports to connect to the gigabit NIC in the server
      • Network Cabling
  • 14. Conclusion
    • You can set up a Linux Terminal Server on a good machine in less that an hour and within two days have a complete computer lab set-up with Edubuntu
    • Given a well specified server, it is a very cost effective solution for a classroom, computer lab and offices of small to medium size.
    • There is a wealth of OpenSource applications avilable fou use in schools
  • 15. Links
    • http://eduforge.org/
    • http://www.schooltool.org
    • http://www.moodle.org
    • http://www.ltsp.org
    • http://gcompris.net/
    • http://gperiodic.seul.org/
    • http://www.openoffice.org
    • http://freemind.sourceforge.net/
    • http://tuxtype.sourceforge.net/
    • http://littlewizard.sourceforge.net/
    • http://eduforge.org/projects/gameflashobjs/
    • http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/tuxpaint/
    • http://www.ubuntu.org
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thin_client
    • http://www.ndiyo.org/systems
    • http://www.edubuntu.org/UsingEdubuntu
    • http://www.geogebra.org/cms/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1