This past week I was very interested to learn from Bruce Dixon, of the Anywhere Anytime Learning Foundation, that New South Wales (NSW) in Australia has rolled out the first student 1:1 laptop initiative with the Windows 7 operating system. The following five minute video from the NSW Public School System, “The Digital Education Revolution in NSW,” gives a promotional overview of the project. NSW has purchased over 250,000 Lenovo s10e Ideapads (netbooks) for students in this initiative.
Stuart Hasic, in his August 20th post, “Is this Technically the Best 1:1 Rollout in the World?” provides some additional technical details about the NSW rollout I found both intriguing and instructive. As we would find if we attempted a similar initiative in Oklahoma, Australian NSW schools had HUGE differences in the networking infrastructures existing in schools prior to this rollout. For this reason, project administrators opted to purchase and install a “parallel” 802.11N wireless networking infrastructure in each school, with at least one access point provided per classroom. This leaves existing networking infrastructures in place in schools, but provides a robust wireless connectivity layer in each classroom. NSW went with Aruba access points which include Power over Ethernet, a VERY smart choice since ceiling-mounted power supplies are generally not in great supply in older schools. To manage and track a quarter of a million laptops, NSW is using Absolute Software’s Computrace solution. (For consumers, this is sold as “Lowjack.”) Microsoft Office is included, along with the Adobe Creative Suite. This means NSW student digital storytellers won’t be limited to just PhotoStory3 and MovieMaker for their forthcoming video creations, but will be able to use Adobe Premiere.
Governors in the United States, are you paying attention?
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