Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.
The question our administrators has to ask was: "Is giving up control of our printers worth the equivalent of one first year teacher salary in the district?"
I expect this is not the last time this kind of question be asked. If it means substantial cost savings, should the district...
- Create one image and install a DeepFreeze-like program on all student and staff computers, reducing the need for tech staff time?
- Increase the number of "hosted" applications we now use, eliminating the need for maintaining servers, security features and reducing (again) tech support needs.
- Tighten up on standardization of equipment, allowing bulk purchases, requiring fewer replacement parts be stocked, etc.
- Rely on on-line professional development tools, reducing staff development costs.
To me, the more centralized, more remote the service, the less personalized it becomes*. Teacher A wants this software on his computer? Ain't gonna happen since it falls outside the prescribed "teacher computer image." I am not sure this is necessarily a bad thing, but it is certainly different than the way we've operated in our district, allowing every teacher pretty free reign on what goes on her computer.
So what will it be: individualized and expensive or depersonalized and economical? Oh, we've already ruled on this for most of our students. Most communities have chose the economical route.
*One big mitigating factor is that about all most of us need anymore on our computers is a good web browser and relatively open Internet access. A huge range of tools, many customizable, are then available, provided we are sane in our filtering rules.
Image source: model7126.net