These are my notes from Alex Inman’s presentation, “Saving Money on Your One-to-One Program,” at the One to One Institute‘s conference on November 9, 2009 conference in Chicago, Illinois. MY THOUGHTS ARE IN ALL CAPS. I am recording this session and hope to share it as a podcast later.

Alex in 6th year of 1:1 at Whitfield School in St Louis
– ran a 1:1 project before that in Milwaukee at University Lake School
– also works with Educational Collaborators

to date now, I have helped over 100 schools with their 1:1 projects

First experience: Alex was asked to put together a 1:1 plan and “do it right”
– his proposal was turned down as WAY to expensive
– no money was provided in the end for servers, training, infrastructure, etc.

New school: business manager said we had a 10 year business plan in place that didn’t include 1:1 learning
– so for various reasons, I have learned to be creative in seeking funding and functionality

Understanding 1:1 Costs
– acquisition cost
– operating costs
– opportunity loss costs
– total cost of ownership
– value of investment

Gartner says acquisition cost is just about 25% of your total 1:1 costs, so if you just focus on that (how much is that laptop) you are missing 75% of your cost

BYOL can make your operating costs VERY expensive (students bring their laptops)

opportunity loss costs: if you buy a technology but no one knows how to use it, there is an opportunity loss cost (you can’t actualize the value / potential of that technology
– any new technology has opportunity loss costs
– the space between when you put the technology in place and it is used well

Get familiar with the COSN site: they have a TCO calculator for total cost of ownership calculations
– developed with Gartner

ROI = return on investment (that is what businesses do that are selling something)
– profit is ROI

We don’t do this, we make kids who are contributors to their families, communities, and our democracy
– a VOI (value on investment) is an analysis that helps you analyze and quantify the reasons why you are doing a 1:1
– this answers the value and return questions about your 1:1 project

It’s more than just acquisition cost!!!

There are COSN white papers on how these things have worked in schools: Those white papers are NOT very good
– you have to know what to plug into the formulas for these to work
– some of these examples don’t have annual MS licensing costs included, some don’t include ongoing expenses like this
– be careful with some of those examples, and when you put your own numbers in

Comprehensive One-to-One Planning and Implementation Engagement
– this is the approach we take with schools

Your one to one goals and objectives must align with WHO YOU ARE as a school / district
– if you have a teacher who acts directly against your school mission statement, are they going to stay with you?

Other elements:
– financial planning
– device procurement and deployment
– end user support
– curriculum integration
– marketing communication
– faculty development
– infrastructure development

Planning is a first way to save some dollars
– one of the most expensive ways to do 1:1 is when a single individual decides to go 1:1, and that effort is not supported well by the organization
– mission and focus are key
– professional development
— admin
— faculty
— IT staff
– infrastructure

20 – 25% of TCO is hardware
– if you are

Leadership is one of the BIGGEST keys for success
– so many admins then refuse / don’t go to continuing PD
– focus on assessment of teachers is vital
– communication and marketing is key, how does 1:1 fit into those conversations?
– community buy in is so important, esp in communicates where there is lots of unemployment

The reason we are doing this is the same reason why moms and dads in our community does not have a job today: we need to provide those skills so our students

There are very few colleges who are teaching teachers today how to teach in a 1:1 environment
– classroom management is DIFFERENT in a 1:1 environment
– teachers are typically trained to be the content organizers, but now every child has access via their device to more knowledge and information than the entire faculty does all together
– this has to fundamentally change the role of the teacher!!!!
– secondary and higher education teachers should take their lead from the elementary / primary age teachers who are already facilitators for learning

IT Staff has enormous changes with 1:1
– stock for your IT staff goes up BIG TIME
– in the past, expectations were very low
– now: if you expect every day each student needs to have a functioning device to use is a HUGE difference
– turning around laptops in 15 minutes is critical now, so swappable laptops are key

Infrastructure: save money by fundamentally focusing them on your MISSION AND VISION
– the mission and vision will tell you what software to buy and more importantly, what NOT To buy
– same for hardware, storage infrastructure, etc.

Without the focus on mission and focus, you’ll be scared, looking for a technological solution, and it will meet some problem but not necessarily YOUR mission goals and focus

focus on your mission and vision!!!!!!

“The Cloud”
– web 2.0
– Google Apps (we just switched over in May to Google Apps for Education)
– Web Based SIS, etc
– Cluster Servers

Story of 2 hour downtime with Google Apps last year
– downtime with Google Apps for Education is MUCH less than it was with our MS Exchange server, which we were

Change management
– I try to be careful about how much change I introduce / implement at the same time
– when we went to Google Apps, I just focused on mail

web 2.0 applications don’t require you to install software, and are very light on support costs
– you can buy these as a service

We host our own Moodle server, but this year we are moving it out to a hosted solution
– this year I’ve calculated the opportunity loss cost for supporting my own Moodle server, and those costs for being down when I couldn’t fix it, as well as new Moodle

Some districts and states are locked into a particular Student Information Systems
– we moved to a Web Based SIS, now it is WONDERFUL!!!!!
– are a host of different options

Cluster Servers used to be really expensive and complicated, it is neither now
– different servers back each other up
– much more attainable
– we use VMware’s clustering

Server virtualization by VMware
– Xen (open source virtualization option)
– if you are not doing this now, you definitely should be looking at this
– software provides redundancy across server
– example: at morning login time, your domain controllers get more “juice” to handle those server loads as they are needed, power gets redistributed
– these functions can ROI in a heartbeat, if you have more than 5 servers in your environment, you should be doing server virtualization

Application virtualization
– Citrix: now deliver applications via Zen
– like an application server: instead of installing an application on every machine, you install on a server and make it available to all your machines
– can generally save money on installations and use of licenses
– Kidspiration and Inspiration is a perfect example of this
– if you start pricing these out in a 1:1 environment, it is heinously expensive to do on a client basis
– then you can license for something like 100 concurrent licenses, and make those available to 1000 machines (or however many you have)

Desktop virtualization

Microsoft changes their opinion fairly often about virtualization and concurrent licenses
– costs for MS licenses can vary
– for non-MS software, your cost savings is HUGE

I am now presenting with my $325 Netbook that we roll out to 25% of our students
– runs Ubuntu, no operating system costs

Open Source programs / applications we use:
– Moodle
– Linux
Open Office
KdenLive (like our iMovie)

On the acquisition cost there are costs savings, and we work closely with users to manage opportunity use costs

The stability of Linux is staggering
– I have 2.5 times FEWER help desk requests than my colleagues at other area schools doing laptop initiatives on other platforms (Windows or Mac)

Schools to look at
– San Diego Unified: told vendors in 3 years we are running Linux on everything, so if your applications don’t run on Linux or or on the web, you will be removed from our vendor list
– Accelerated Reader is now web-based, you can thank San Diego Unified for that

The web is THERE, vendors CAN create/port their applications to run on the web

put your money into buying a bigger Internet pipe, find ways to get open source solutions in there


Linux can run a good number of Windows programs through WINE, as an emulation environment (Windows licenses not required for WINE)
– could also use Terminal Services to do this
– not sure if Windows can run from a USB key

For a statewide project, you could go to WINE developers and ask for support / pay for support to develop needed client support

To make large scale changes like this, you really need to know your culture
– example might be photoshop and GIMP, importance of involving your visual arts folks in this conversation / discussion

I used run a company on Blackboard
– Blackboard is an information delivery tool
Moodle is a learning management system
– just because it is free (Moodle) does not mean it is cheap
– Moodle is SO MUCH better compared to Blackboard, the differences are HUGE

If you can start saving money BEFORE you have to save money, go get ahead of the game, you take a piece of those savings and put them into change management processes: PD, FAQs, etc.

It’s tough to change when you don’t have to

Evolution is an open-source client like MS Exchange that works with Exchange Server

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , ,

If you enjoyed this post and found it useful, subscribe to Wes' free newsletter. Check out Wes' video tutorial library, "Playing with Media." Information about more ways to learn with Dr. Wesley Fryer are available on

On this day..

Share →
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Made with Love in Oklahoma City