Technology: Doing More With Less Presented by Glen Popiel MDE/CIBER Network Engineer CCNA, CNE, MCSE, Security+ MDE/CIBER Inc. Problem #1: We have no money • Budget reductions are affecting State and School District budgets. These can be expected to continue • To improve the quality of education, we need more technology in the classroom • Technology comes at a price, in terms of hardware, software, support costs and manpower MDE/CIBER Inc. Problem #2: We have no bandwidth • More and more applications are moving to an online web-based format instead of being locally hosted as in the past • Internet bandwidth usage is growing exponentially and there is not enough bandwidth to support these applications • Each application moved online consumes additional bandwidth which is only compounding the problem MDE/CIBER Inc. Bandwidth Availability • At the state level there is 1,200 Megabits per second of bandwidth allocated to the K-12 MPLS network • Usage by ALL districts MUST average 7.9 Mb/s • 1791 Mb/s is allocated by the state to the district offices alone – We’re 591 Mb/s short before we even include the schools into the equation – The only reason this works is typical Internet data is not constantly streaming but is intermittent bursts of data • However, more and more of our Internet usage is streaming data (video, etc) • Increasing the bandwidth at the district/school level doesn’t gain anything since the bottleneck is effectively at the state level MDE/CIBER Inc. The Laws of Physics are still being enforced • Bandwidth demand cannot exceed bandwidth available – We’re already negative 600 Mb/s at district offices alone – The move to more streaming Internet content is stretching this to the breaking point • Since neither Stephen Hawking nor Albert Einstein are working on this problem, we’re basically on our own MDE/CIBER Inc. At The School Level • The average school is connected to the Internet via a single 1.5 Mb/s T1 circuit • Assuming the average student online learning session consumes 300 Kb/s and contains streaming content, each school can have about 5 students using any of these applications at a time with NO bandwidth available for other Internet activity • Even if the school is not connected via a T1, the overall 7.9 Mb/s average per district still applies MDE/CIBER Inc. Application Bandwidth Usage • STAR Early Literacy : 32,790 Kb/s • English in a Flash : 14,450 Kb/s • Fluent Reader : 12,390 Kb/s • Accelerated Reader : 9,027 Kb/s • MathFacts in a Flash : 6,178 Kb/s • STAR Math : 5,825 Kb/s • Accelerated Math : 4,333 Kb/s • MPB/Distance Learning : 3,000 Kb/s • Streaming Video : 3,000 Kb/s • STAR Reading : 2,929 Kb/s • Compass/Odyssey : 2,560 Kb/s (HS) 1,280 Kb/s (K-8) • Plato : 1,280 Kb/s • Streaming Music : 1,280 Kb/s • Based on 10 concurrent users • T1 Bandwidth = 1,544 Kb/s • Based on estimates provided by software manufacturer MDE/CIBER Inc. Problem #3: We’re not getting all the bang for our technology bucks • Implementation of Online Applications we don’t have the bandwidth to support • Implementation of new technology we don’t have the network infrastructure or personnel to support • Technology staff is not being involved in purchasing decisions – Not enough manpower to support – Network infrastructure insufficient – Bandwidth not available – Cost of support not considered • Vendors tend to sell what they want you to buy not what you really need MDE/CIBER Inc. There Are Solutions • Bandwidth options • Smart technology purchasing • Virtualization • Free Stuff • Other Cost Savings MDE/CIBER Inc. Bandwidth Options • Conserve Internet bandwidth – Content Filtering can help but it’s a band-aid – User education to reduce bandwidth waste – Don’t use online backup services such as iDisk, Carbonite, etc. They can transfer huge amounts of data – Implement local Windows Update and Antivirus update servers • More Bandwidth – But I said there’s no bandwidth available • Consult with your technology staff, MDE and the CIBER reps for possible solutions • Host your Applications locally – Adds to hardware and support costs MDE/CIBER Inc. Buy Wisely • Do you really need what you’re planning to buy? – Is there a more effective solution available at a lower overall cost? • What are the TRUE bandwidth and infrastructure requirements? – Do you have the bandwidth to support it? – Single User demos always work great. You have to scale it to the planned number of users • Can your existing tech staff support it? – Will it require additional infrastructure and/or manpower? MDE/CIBER Inc. Alternative Solutions • Moodle • Virtualization – server and desktop • Firewall, VPN, Content and Spam Filtering • Voice Over IP Phone/Intercom/Bell Systems • Google Apps • Open Office • Open Source Learning Applications MDE/CIBER Inc. Moodle • Moodle is a FREE Open Source Course Management system allowing teachers to create their own course content in an online environment that is hosted locally • Because it is hosted locally, students and teachers can use Web 2.0 technology in a closed, secure, safe and managed environment • Thousands of teachers have already created content you can use immediately in the classroom MDE/CIBER Inc. Virtualization Virtualization is the latest technology trend that allows for reduction of physical equipment while providing the same level of functionality to the end user • Server Virtualization – Allows the consolidation of server hardware to fewer physical units, reducing long term costs – The software required to do this is free • Desktop Virtualization – nComputing/Thin Clients – Significantly reduces the cost and number of physical workstations required, replacing them with just a monitor, keyboard, mouse and a thin client device MDE/CIBER Inc. Firewall, VPN, Content and Spam Filtering • ClarkConnect/ClearOS is a FREE Open Source Content Filter, Firewall, VPN and Email Spam Filter solution which performs as well as expensive commercial solutions. – Some commercial solutions actually use customized versions of the same software components in ClearOS in their products. – Already used in over 100 Mississippi School districts – Fully CIPA compliant – Includes a Helpdesk Ticketing System • Commercial filtering solutions can cost $5/yr per user or higher • MDE/CIBER provides training and FREE support MDE/CIBER Inc. Voice Over IP Phone Systems • Asterisk is a FREE full featured Open Source Voice over IP Phone system with the same functionality of an expensive commercial phone system with integrated videophone capability – Used by school districts to replace telephone and intercom systems – Used as a school bell and alert system – Used for one-on-one video distance learning sessions • Typical savings of $30,000 per campus over commercial solutions • MDE/CIBER provides training and FREE support for the Trixbox version of Asterisk MDE/CIBER Inc. Google Apps • Google Apps is an online suite of applications that provides email with calendar, word processing, spreadsheet and other features – Includes mobile access for Blackberry, iPhone and other smartphones at NO EXTRA CHARGE – Integrates with Microsoft Outlook – 24/7 support – Email Archiving is available – Uses your existing k12.ms.us domain name – Free to schools for first 1000 users – Users can access their information from anywhere – Google Docs can be used offline MDE/CIBER Inc. Open Office • Open Office is a FREE suite of applications that provides word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and other features – Look and Feel similar to Microsoft Office – Compatible with Microsoft Office data formats – Can create PDF files • Microsoft Office Suite 2010 costs $240 per user on the state EPL volume pricing list MDE/CIBER Inc. Open Source Learning Solutions • A vast amount of FREE Open Source Learning Applications is available on the Internet – www.schoolforge.net – OSWINS is a collection of Free and Open Source software for educational use available for download from os.cqu.edu.au – Edubuntu Linux is a free Linux distribution tailored for education that includes a number of educational applications MDE/CIBER Inc. Other Savings • Substantial savings can be gained by turning off the power on your workstations, etc. at the end of the day – Easily implemented and can be cancelled by a user working late • The average compact refrigerator costs $21.25 per year • Not only do space heaters pose a significant fire hazard, they use a lot of power and put an unplanned load on the school’s electrical system, often overloading circuits used for workstations. A space heater can cost a district $54 each per winter. MDE/CIBER Inc. Power Savings • In a district with 1300 workstations, simply by turning off workstations after hours, $2,350 per month could be saved. Over a 10 month school year this adds up to $23,500. • Based on 2007-2008 MOTE survey data, there are 146, 874 workstations statewide. This yields a potential statewide savings of $632,800 to over $3,000,000 in wasted electricity costs. MDE/CIBER Inc. We’re here to help • Work with your technology staff to implement technology wisely. Involve them in your purchasing decisions to make sure you get the most out of your technology purchases • MDE provides the CIBER representatives FREE OF CHARGE to all districts for Consulting, Training, Technology Support and E-rate assistance. • The MDE staff and CIBER representatives can also assist you in evaluating and determining your IT purchasing requirements and evaluating vendor quotes • Contact MDE or a CIBER representative if you would like them to assist you with these and other cost savings ideas MDE/CIBER Inc. In Conclusion • We CAN do more with less • We need to become more aware of the full impact of our technology decisions – Spend wisely – Involve your Technology staff in your technology planning – Take full advantage of the FREE MDE and CIBER resources available to you • A copy of this presentation is available at: www.mde.k12.ms.us/mde_field MDE/CIBER Inc.
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