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Thin Client Computer Labs in Cambodia Educational Support to Children in Underserved Populations (ESCUP) Goals of ESCUP

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Thin Client Computer Labs in Cambodia

Educational Support to Children in Underserved Populations (ESCUP)


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Goals of ESCUP

  • Address the needs of improved educational access and quality to marginalized groups in Cambodia including ethnic minorities (Muslims groups-such as Cham-and highland peoples), children with special needs, the very poor, girls, and children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS


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Thin Clients Bottom Line

  • Set of computer workstations working off a single server

  • Simulates a one to one computer experience

  • Potential benefits: cost savings from reduced equipment and energy needs, low maintenance requirements

  • Potential hazards: centralized dependence on a single server, high energy needs for server


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Students at Kor Secondary school in thin client computer lab established July 2008

  • 11 workstations networked to 1 CPU

  • 2 Solar Panels provide sustainable power

  • If successful, 12 TC labs to be established in 2009


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Typical challenges to computer labs

  • High costs for equipment, set-up, maintenance, securtiy

  • High energy costs

  • Theft

  • Viruses

  • Upgrade needs and costs


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Kor Secondary School Pilot

  • World Education is implementing partner

  • Local partner (Kampuchean Action for Primary Education) helped renovate classroom

    • tile floor and ceiling

    • dust proofing

  • Community provided $1,000 cost share

  • Microsoft advised on suppliers, software, etc


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Unit cost for equipment in a thin client lab and a traditional lab

Thin Client Lab Traditional Lab

Student Workstation Equipment

Thin Client unit or CPU $145 $480

Monitor and Keyboard $180 $120

Surge Protector/Battery $5 $90

Student Workstation Total $330 $690

Teacher Workstation Equipment

Thin Client unit or CPU $720 $480

Monitor and Keyboard $180 $120

Surge Protector/Battery $90 $90

Printer $200 $200

Teacher Workstation Total $1,190 $890

Lab set-up with 11 student workstations and one teacher workstation

$4,820 $8480


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Energy Costs traditional lab

  • Solar panels minimize recurring utility costs

    • $5,000 (2 panels) for Thin Client

    • $30,000 in solar panels needed for traditional lab

  • LCD monitors higher up front cost but use 65% less energy (30 watts + 5 for thin client unit)

    • CPU’s consume 150 watts and CRT monitors another 100 watts

  • UPS battery only required for teacher workstation


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Advantages traditional lab

  • Each station consumes 35 watts compared to 250 watts for traditional PC

  • Equipment is 44% cheaper and 88% reduction in energy use

  • Fewer moving parts per workstation = reduced maintenance needs and costs

  • Less vulnerable to USB/CD based viruses

  • Upgrade costs of RAM, software etc apply to only one computer, rather than several

  • Theft less likely (though monitors will be tempting)


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Disadvantages traditional lab

  • Dependence on a single server

  • Configuration and maintenance requires additional training

  • Higher energy consumption of server (?)


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