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Technology: Doing More With Less. Presented by Glen Popiel MDE/CIBER Network Engineer CCNA, CNE, MCSE, Security+. Problem #1: We have no money. Budget reductions are affecting State and School District budgets. These can be expected to continue

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technology doing more with less

Technology:Doing More With Less

Presented by

Glen Popiel

MDE/CIBER Network Engineer

CCNA, CNE, MCSE, Security+


problem 1 we have no money
Problem #1:We have no money

Budget reductions are affecting State and School District budgets. These can be expected to continue

To improve the quality of education, we need more technology in the classroom

Technology comes at a price, in terms of hardware, software, support costs and manpower


problem 2 we have no bandwidth
Problem #2:We have no bandwidth

More and more applications are moving to an online web-based format instead of being locally hosted as in the past

Internet bandwidth usage is growing exponentially and there is not enough bandwidth to support these applications

Each application moved online consumes additional bandwidth which is only compounding the problem


bandwidth availability
Bandwidth Availability

At the state level there is 1,200 Megabits per second of bandwidth allocated to the K-12 MPLS network

Usage by ALL districts MUST average 7.9 Mb/s

1791 Mb/s is allocated by the state to the district offices alone

We’re 591 Mb/s short before we even include the schools into the equation

The only reason this works is typical Internet data is not constantly streaming but is intermittent bursts of data

However, more and more of our Internet usage is streaming data (video, etc)

Increasing the bandwidth at the district/school level doesn’t gain anything since the bottleneck is effectively at the state level


the laws of physics are still being enforced
The Laws of Physics are still being enforced

Bandwidth demand cannot exceed bandwidth available

We’re already negative 600 Mb/s at district offices alone

The move to more streaming Internet content is stretching this to the breaking point

Since neither Stephen Hawking nor Albert Einstein are working on this problem, we’re basically on our own


at the school level
At The School Level

The average school is connected to the Internet via a single 1.5 Mb/s T1 circuit

Assuming the average student online learning session consumes 300 Kb/s and contains streaming content, each school can have about 5 students using any of these applications at a time with NO bandwidth available for other Internet activity

Even if the school is not connected via a T1, the overall 7.9 Mb/s average per district still applies


application bandwidth usage
Application Bandwidth Usage

STAR Early Literacy : 32,790 Kb/s

English in a Flash : 14,450 Kb/s

Fluent Reader : 12,390 Kb/s

Accelerated Reader : 9,027 Kb/s

MathFacts in a Flash : 6,178 Kb/s

STAR Math : 5,825 Kb/s

Accelerated Math : 4,333 Kb/s

MPB/Distance Learning : 3,000 Kb/s

Streaming Video : 3,000 Kb/s

STAR Reading : 2,929 Kb/s

Compass/Odyssey : 2,560 Kb/s (HS) 1,280 Kb/s (K-8)

Plato : 1,280 Kb/s

Streaming Music : 1,280 Kb/s

Based on 10 concurrent users

T1 Bandwidth = 1,544 Kb/s

Based on estimates provided by software manufacturer


problem 3 we re not getting all the bang for our technology bucks
Problem #3:We’re not getting all the bang for our technology bucks

Implementation of Online Applications we don’t have the bandwidth to support

Implementation of new technology we don’t have the network infrastructure or personnel to support

Technology staff is not being involved in purchasing decisions

Not enough manpower to support

Network infrastructure insufficient

Bandwidth not available

Cost of support not considered

Vendors tend to sell what they want you to buy not what you really need


there are solutions
There Are Solutions

Bandwidth options

Smart technology purchasing


Free Stuff

Other Cost Savings


bandwidth options
Bandwidth Options

Conserve Internet bandwidth

Content Filtering can help but it’s a band-aid

User education to reduce bandwidth waste

Don’t use online backup services such as iDisk, Carbonite, etc. They can transfer huge amounts of data

Implement local Windows Update and Antivirus update servers

More Bandwidth

But I said there’s no bandwidth available

Consult with your technology staff, MDE and the CIBER reps for possible solutions

Host your Applications locally

Adds to hardware and support costs


buy wisely
Buy Wisely

Do you really need what you’re planning to buy?

Is there a more effective solution available at a lower overall cost?

What are the TRUE bandwidth and infrastructure requirements?

Do you have the bandwidth to support it?

Single User demos always work great. You have to scale it to the planned number of users

Can your existing tech staff support it?

Will it require additional infrastructure and/or manpower?


alternative solutions
Alternative Solutions


Virtualization – server and desktop

Firewall, VPN, Content and Spam Filtering

Voice Over IP Phone/Intercom/Bell Systems

Google Apps

Open Office

Open Source Learning Applications



Moodle is a FREE Open Source Course Management system allowing teachers to create their own course content in an online environment that is hosted locally

Because it is hosted locally, students and teachers can use Web 2.0 technology in a closed, secure, safe and managed environment

Thousands of teachers have already created content you can use immediately in the classroom



Virtualization is the latest technology trend that allows for reduction of physical equipment while providing the same level of functionality to the end user

Server Virtualization

Allows the consolidation of server hardware to fewer physical units, reducing long term costs

The software required to do this is free

Desktop Virtualization

nComputing/Thin Clients

Significantly reduces the cost and number of physical workstations required, replacing them with just a monitor, keyboard, mouse and a thin client device


firewall vpn content and spam filtering
Firewall, VPN, Content and Spam Filtering

ClarkConnect/ClearOS is a FREE Open Source Content Filter, Firewall, VPN and Email Spam Filter solution which performs as well as expensive commercial solutions.

Some commercial solutions actually use customized versions of the same software components in ClearOS in their products.

Already used in over 100 Mississippi School districts

Fully CIPA compliant

Includes a Helpdesk Ticketing System

Commercial filtering solutions can cost $5/yr per user or higher

MDE/CIBER provides training and FREE support


voice over ip phone systems
Voice Over IP Phone Systems

Asterisk is a FREE full featured Open Source Voice over IP Phone system with the same functionality of an expensive commercial phone system with integrated videophone capability

Used by school districts to replace telephone and intercom systems

Used as a school bell and alert system

Used for one-on-one video distance learning sessions

Typical savings of $30,000 per campus over commercial solutions

MDE/CIBER provides training and FREE support for the Trixbox version of Asterisk


google apps
Google Apps

Google Apps is an online suite of applications that provides email with calendar, word processing, spreadsheet and other features

Includes mobile access for Blackberry, iPhone and other smartphones at NO EXTRA CHARGE

Integrates with Microsoft Outlook

24/7 support

Email Archiving is available

Uses your existing domain name

Free to schools for first 1000 users

Users can access their information from anywhere

Google Docs can be used offline


open office
Open Office

Open Office is a FREE suite of applications that provides word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and other features

Look and Feel similar to Microsoft Office

Compatible with Microsoft Office data formats

Can create PDF files

Microsoft Office Suite 2010 costs $240 per user on the state EPL volume pricing list


open source learning solutions
Open Source Learning Solutions

A vast amount of FREE Open Source Learning Applications is available on the Internet

OSWINS is a collection of Free and Open Source software for educational use available for download from

Edubuntu Linux is a free Linux distribution tailored for education that includes a number of educational applications


other savings
Other Savings

Substantial savings can be gained by turning off the power on your workstations, etc. at the end of the day

Easily implemented and can be cancelled by a user working late

The average compact refrigerator costs $21.25 per year

Not only do space heaters pose a significant fire hazard, they use a lot of power and put an unplanned load on the school’s electrical system, often overloading circuits used for workstations. A space heater can cost a district $54 each per winter.


power savings
Power Savings

In a district with 1300 workstations, simply by turning off workstations after hours, $2,350 per month could be saved. Over a 10 month school year this adds up to $23,500.

Based on 2007-2008 MOTE survey data, there are 146, 874 workstations statewide. This yields a potential statewide savings of $632,800 to over $3,000,000 in wasted electricity costs.


we re here to help
We’re here to help

Work with your technology staff to implement technology wisely. Involve them in your purchasing decisions to make sure you get the most out of your technology purchases

MDE provides the CIBER representatives FREE OF CHARGE to all districts for Consulting, Training, Technology Support and E-rate assistance.

The MDE staff and CIBER representatives can also assist you in evaluating and determining your IT purchasing requirements and evaluating vendor quotes

Contact MDE or a CIBER representative if you would like them to assist you with these and other cost savings ideas


in conclusion
In Conclusion

We CAN do more with less

We need to become more aware of the full impact of our technology decisions

Spend wisely

Involve your Technology staff in your technology planning

Take full advantage of the FREE MDE and CIBER resources available to you

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