At a continuation high school (10-12) serving at-risk students, online math software could be used to let students complete credits quickly. Most students would be online if more computers were available. Generally, students prefer computers to direct instruction.
Unfortunately, while each student needs to surf math websites, only a few computers are available. Stretching a personal computer so that more than one student can use it at a time would lower the cost of computing. This can be done because the computer processor (i.e. chip) sits idle most of the time. Sharing the processor between four workstations (monitor/keyboard/mouse) would allow more students to use software inexpensively from both hardware and maintenance standpoints.
The cost of computers in school districts is not commonly discussed. In my district it costs over $1,450 to install one new computer, including tables and chairs. If NComputing's X300 is purchased, one new computer plus three workstations would cost $1,700 for everything, not $5,900.
If funded, an existing computer, old monitors, keyboards, mice, tables, and chairs will be used. Effectively, each workstation would cost $75 - not a bad price!
Students use online Algebra, free exit exam, free consumer math, and free office software. Workstations give them access. Extreme specialty applications, such as video editing, may not run fast enough. That's OK. This grant helps achieve 1:1 computing by delivering low cost, basic computing for four students, instead of one.
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