Washington, DC (January 17, 2007) – The Consortium for School Networking today announced the release of the second in a series of implementation studies concerning the Indiana Linux Desktop program as part of the ongoing K-12 Open Technologies Initiative. The first implementation study concerns the adoption of enterprise Linux in Saugus Schools in California, and the second focuses on implementation in the Indiana inACCESS program. Both implementation studies provide technical details about selection, research, communication, training, support, benefits and problems associated with each solution. These studies are intended to provide guidance for school administrators who are considering or in the process of adopting open technologies in their schools or school districts. Future implementation studies will focus on open source learning management systems, open content and interoperability.
"Educational leaders, especially decision makers in charge of technology, are not always aware of the pros and cons associated with using open technologies," said Jim Hirsch, CoSN Board Liaison to the K-12 Open Technologies Initiative and Associate Superintendent for Technology, CIO at Plano Independent School District in TX. "These implementation studies are great resources for helping educators explore and understand the issues involved in adopting open source and other technologies."
While CoSN has not taken a policy position on when school districts should implement open technologies, it is clear from these implementation studies that some educators are finding open technologies a viable alternative to more traditional approaches.
"These two new open technology implementation studies provide educators and administrators with information from the trenches. So often, information about open technologies tends to focus solely on initial cost savings whereas these studies provide step-by-step information about how to use open technologies in support of educational goals," said Michael Jay, Co-Director of K-12 Open Technologies Initiative. "As education leaders plan for technology rich learning environments, it is vital that they think through the role open technologies play in achieving goals related to both education and the business of educating."
The Indiana inACCESS program has placed 22,000 low cost Linux workstations in language arts classrooms. This creates a one-to-one computing environment for a least part of each student´s day in participating schools. In California´s Saugus Schools, administrators were able to find open source alternatives to most proprietary enterprise applications and systems. In both cases schools had to carefully research their transition to open technologies, test applications, and then communicate with the end users. According to the administrators in charge of these initiatives, the open source systems have proven to be reliable, robust and cost-effective.
The K-12 Open Technologies Initiative is sponsored by Apple, IBM, Pearson Education, and the Wm. & Flora Hewlett Foundation to assist the adoption and utilization of open technologies in K-12 education. The initiative examines the K-12 use of open technologies such as open source software, open standards, open content and open hardware. Its Web site is a resource for K-12 school chief technology officers. For more information on CoSN´s K-12 Open Technologies Initiative, please visit www.k12opentech.org.
To read the studies, please visit the following URLs:
Implementation Study #1 Enterprise Open Source
Implementation Study #2 Indiana Linux Desktops
About the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN)
The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) is the country´s premier voice in education technology leadership with a mission to serve as the national organization for K-12 technology leaders who use technology strategically to ultimately improve teaching and learning. CoSN provides products and services to support and nurture leadership development, advocacy, coalition building, and awareness of emerging technologies.
CoSN leadership initiatives include: Accessible Technologies for All Students (www.accessibletech4all.org); Cyber Security for the Digital District (www.securedistrict.org); Data-Driven Decision Making (www.3d2know.org); K-12 Open Technologies (www.k12opentech.org); Taking Total Cost of Ownership to the Classroom (www.classroomtco.org); Value of Investment (www.edtechvoi.org) and the development of the Council of School District Chief Technology Officers (CTO Council).
CoSN´s membership includes a unique blend of education and technology leaders, policy makers, and influencers from the public and private sectors. Our audience includes key technology leaders (often called Chief Technology Officers–CTOs) in leading-edge states and districts, policy makers, private sector leaders, as well as those technology leaders who wish to accelerate their districts´ or states´ systemic technology use. Visit www.cosn.org or phone 866.267.8747 to find out more about CoSN´s programs and activities supporting leadership development to ensure that information technology has a direct and positive impact on student learning in elementary and secondary schools.