Archive for Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Basehor-Linwood teachers to get new laptops after schools OK technology buy

The Basehor-Linwood school district's administrative offices, and the school board meeting room, are located at 2008 N. 155th St.

The Basehor-Linwood school district's administrative offices, and the school board meeting room, are located at 2008 N. 155th St.

March 12, 2014

Teachers in the Basehor-Linwood School District will be receiving new laptops this spring after the USD 458 school board approved several new technology purchases Monday night.

The board approved, 6-0, the purchase of $191,000 worth of Apple laptops for teachers. The new computers will replace current staff laptops, many of which are six years old, according to Superintendent David Howard and Director of Technical Services Lisa Lund.

The district also approved a new contract with WOW! through February 2017. The contract includes larger bandwidth capabilities and improved data plans. Howard said the board and technical services staff had been considering other companies such as AT&T for the service because of WOW!'s prices, but eventually agreed to stay with WOW! for three more years. The district will pay its share of about $14,000 per month for the plan, according to Howard. Howard said the WOW! plan was chosen because of customer service issues with AT&T.

Also at Monday's school board meeting, the board:

• Approved a banking service proposal that will transfer the district's building level accounts, about $300,000 worth, to First State Bank & Trust of Basehor. The district will maintain the rest of its accounts with Community National Bank of Basehor. The district has worked with Community National Bank for the past 10 years but received a request from First State Bank recently as part of the district's regular three-year cycle in which they seek requests for the district's accounts.

"Both banks do a lot to support our community and I think it's important that we try to do business with both of them," Howard said.

• Will consider for the April board meeting whether to approve a dance team for 7th and 8th graders at Basehor-Linwood Middle School.

Spanish and world language teacher Ashley Slobodnik presented a proposal to turn the popular dance club at the school into a school dance team. The team would meet four times per week to practice and would perform at middle school football and basketball games. Slobodnik said the club has been very popular, with 31 dancers currently participating, and the 7th and 8th grade dance team would be a feeder for the high school team that currently only has five dancers.


Jason Bailey 4 years, 2 months ago

Public education's love affair with Apple since the early days of desktop publishing on the Mac in the early 80's is blind. Bottom line: Mac market share in the "real world" (which is the purpose of a school - preparing kids for the "real world") is < 5% and has stagnated in the last couple of years.

In addition, it's no secret that Apple hardware comes at a premium that doesn't justify the cost. You can get the same hardware (albeit, without a lighted fruit logo on the back of the screen) for $500-$1000 less if you don't go with Apple. In my experience working in IT, Apple does not provide the net tangible value to justify the cost.

Whoever makes the IT purchasing decisions at the school (and any school that continues to recommend Apple products over Windows products due to a religious zealotry) should be shown the door. This is our tax money being wasted; if the general populace was more educated about technology and had an understanding of capital purchasing processes that work in the private sector, we'd hold these people accountable.


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