The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

March 20, 2014

Changes in technology use considered

By Samantha Pidde Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

CAMANCHE — The Camanche School District is looking at changing how students use technology.

As of April 8, Microsoft will stop supporting XP systems, no longer providing automatic fixes, updates and online technical assistance. Camanche Information Technology Coordinator Jeffrey Raab said there are viruses and malware just waiting for this end date.

Currently, the school district has more than 150 machines with XP. Instead of replacing them with similar desktop computers, Raab suggested at the Board of Education meeting Monday that they move forward into a “bring-your-own-device” system. He explained that in high school, many students are more comfortable with a mobile device in their hands than with a desktop computer.

With the current computer labs, Raab pointed out that students lose education time by having to move from a class to a lab and back. He added that after the district purchased Chrome Books that could be used in class, students using them saw an increase in test scores.

With a combination of Chrome Books, iPads and devices brought by students, particularly in high school, Raab would like to utilize unused fiber optic the district. The district is currently using eight wireless ports and has 14 potential ports available. This would require updates to the system, including replacement of out-of-date switches.

“We are working with some very old stuff,” said Raab, explaining that the estimated end-of-life date for some of the switches was four years ago.

Raab is looking into prices for the project, but estimated some of the computer costs at $185,000 and the price for replacement of the switches at $25,000.