Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What are iK-16Clusters?

   Most educational organizations, beginning at Day Care Centers, want exposure and access to computer-based technology to increase, but realize that providing the hardware and software needed while also preparing teachers to use technology for instructional purposes places on them an emphasis beyond their financial capabilities. Yet, computer knowledge is essential in the present times, so parents view favorably those schools that make an effort to introduce their children to computers at an early age, the earlier the better.

   Modern day classrooms provide access to software for children and access to sites that incorporate computer usage to supplement their curricula, enhancing the educational standard of the school. And in an environment where appropriate hardware is available, more experienced teachers report using technology more often in the classroom when delivering instruction or having students engage in learning activities. (Journal of Teacher Education, April 1, 2008)

   The biggest drawback to being able to provide a technology-rich environment is usually cost, and to a lesser degree, lack of familiarity with the tools. Fortunately, cost is an issue that can be managed effectively by deploying long-lasting Thin Client units, instead of fully loaded "fat" computers. The iK-16Cluster equipment is about 75% cheaper (4 units for the cost of 1), and it comes with a free Operating System (Linux) and free software. This free software is the equivalent of proprietary store-bought applications (in some cases it is even better) and it is licensed to legally be given away to students, so they can use at home the same software they use in the classroom. Most of the free software can be used on PCs and Macs, greatly increasing productivity and familiarity with technology tools.

   With all the recent advances in educational technology, must hardware and software acquisitions target the same expensive sources? The answer is NO. To this effect, a recently retired local technology guru is turning the investment educational business have to make on its head. HodsonDTS.org, a local El Paso technology firm, is promoting tailored thin-clients called iK-16Clusters at unbeatable prices.

   These locally installed and configured eco-friendly clients (low power, no moving parts) are mounted on the back of equally green flat screen monitors, and include USB keyboards and mice. Five units are networked to a small-form server running Kubuntu Linux that also acts as a cluster, providing six fully configured access points.

   The robustness of the free Operating System, the fact that it runs all kinds of software with a free license (meaning NO MORE yearly license upgrades of any kind), and the low price (under $2,500) for the whole cluster (1 server, 5 thin clients, monitors, keyboards, mice and cabling) are facts that may win over even the most skeptical decision makers.

   Please visit http://hodsondts.org and take a look at the iK16Cluster information, or better yet, email aahodson@gmail.com to schedule a live demo. Small groups are welcomed to the 90 minute presentation. Make an appointment soon - parents and students will appreciate it. An easy to remember link is this http://moourl.com/abc123.

   For Internet purposes, the cluster will work with most cable (Time Warner) or DSL/Uverse (AT&T) topologies. Assistance and installation is available.

   What HodsonDTS can provide to your organization:
  • A six unit Internet-ready lab for under $2,500
  • Free Operating System (Linux Kubuntu)
  • Free software with take-home licensing that includes the following categories: Desktop, Educational, Games, Graphics, Internet, Sound & Video and Utilities (All major applications are included)
  • Local training and workshops
  • Local support and maintenance
  • Help and support for after-hours uses of the cluster, such as clubs exploring Linux, computer science, graphics (Photoshop-type), video and more
  • Free Parent Internet Home-Safety training (configuring home routers and DNS filters to keep unwanted sites off their home computers/tablets)
  • Network configuration (switches, cabling and conduit)
    Mr. Alan Hodson, M.Ed. CEO of HodsonDTS is a K-12 Texas certified teacher with an ample background in technology. He's been an American Schools overseas administrator and a pioneer in educational uses of the Web (MathMagic Internet - 1992). He is an avid proponent of Open Source Software - he chairs the Texas Open Source Software (TOSS) Foundation, and has presented in numerous state venues including TCEA at Austin, Region XV and Region XIX. He's also active with local user groups. Contact him at aahodson@gmail.com


1 comment:

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