Monday, November 19, 2007

Not all peaches and cream


Not all peaches and cream
Originally uploaded by mahlness
A big grant gets you lots of nice equipment, but also a few headaches, especially when tech support is mostly you.

Two of the temporary (tan) cpu's in place in my classroom, pending replacement of motherboards on my GX 270's. Four of ten need this done...

6 comments:

Brian B said...

I gave up on Dell a few years ago....and more recently HPs too (8 of 40 laptops had either memory or video issues within the first year - not a good record by my standards). I have gone to buying my PCs from local vendors that give the same if not better warranty service than the big guys, contain the same brand-name components, and cost less.

Tom Hoffman said...

Yeah, Providence bought a zillion of those bad-motherboard Dells. Literally, after years of no standardization at all, someone was brought in who decided we should all standardize on... crap.

Mark Ahlness said...

Live and learn, guys, it has been a tough one, though. My personal experience with Dell had been outstanding, through several purchases. I researched the GX 270's before deciding on them (refurbished), and went with them because of the 4 memory slots and the 4GB capacity - despite reports of capacitor failure. I figured the one year warranty would help. We'll see.

We shall also see how the motherboard replacement goes. District personnel is Dell certified, and I've been assured they know how to do this, no sweat. Replacement kits are on the way.

BTW, I also bought four Latitude D600's and one D610 that are real champs - so far. - Mark

Tom Hoffman said...

The replacement should go fine. This is ultimately more of an inconvenience than anything else. Just be glad that you didn't buy 1000 of them over 50 sites...

Laura205 said...

I'm currently taking an online course and we have recently discussed how to get grants for technology-related equipment. How difficult is it really to receive ample funding for your school? Do you feel you get the adequate amount of funding that you need?

We have also been discussing the use of obsolete equipment. Would you use older, out-dated computer models if that was all you were provided with or would you rather not use them at all? What is the most appropriate computer for the classroom to you and the best technology resources for children to use?

Mark Ahlness said...

Laura, lots of good questions!

First, on getting grant money... Grant money is there, but for the average teacher, finding the time to do the research and actually write grants is often the biggest hurdle. And of course, you have to write lots of them... I just got lucky with the one I recently landed.

Ample funding... No. What schools get is not even close to what they need. Now this varies from school to school state to state, etc, but I can tell you our school has NEVER had a line item in our budget for technology. The district provides new computers from time to time, but the big piece most often left out of funding, is support - and I believe this experienced quite regularly in most school districts.

Obsolete equipment... Often that's the only choice, especially if a classroom teacher wants more than a district usually provides. My classroom has had a 2:1 student to computer ratio for the last three years - because I obtained, configured, repaired, and maintained donated computers on my own time and my own dime. I'd suggest you learn as much as you can about hands on maintenance of computers before you get in a classroom. It'll be a tremendous help.

Good luck to you! - Mark