"The Linux alternative offered by the Userful MultiSeat Solution has simply more benefits and a lower cost."
- Manuel Amau, General Manager, INTEGREX, Perú
The Manuel González Prada School
Setting an Example for ICT Proficiency & Efficiency in the Classroom
The Manuel González Prada School is a historically important Peruvian school in a beautiful heritage building that needed to improve and upgrade the computing facilities so it could increase student access to education using computers. Antonio Rodriguez has been teaching math there for 20 years, and has spent the last 6 years teaching kids about computers. "I wanted to learn about computers, and teach kids about new technologies. So when the school asked who wanted to be responsible of building the first computing classroom, I raised my hand and accepted the challenge," said Antonio Rodriguez, Director of the Technological Innovation Department at The Manuel González Prada School.
- 1. Challenges
- 2. Solution
- 3. Result
The school had only 12 computers and 1000 students. "We used to work with Windows, but after some years we only had 12 PCs working out of many, and they were simply not enough for 30 eager-to-learn kids in each daily class. We asked for help to buy new equipment, but the parents couldn't provide it due to economic reasons, and the school just didn't have the budget," said Antonio Rodriguez.
In addition, many teachers weren't using the existing lab with their students because the teachers weren't trained on how to use it effectively as a teaching tool. "Working with computers is indeed beneficial for the students and we want them to take advantage of the ICTs, but the teachers need proper training on how to use these new technologies in order to provide the right content and learning experiences. Otherwise, the computers won't be used as much as they should," said Angela González, Communications Teacher at The Manuel González Prada School.
The Ministry of Education answered the call from The Manuel González Prada Educational Institution, and with Userful Corporation's help, was able to provide a low-cost and high performance MultiSeat Linux computing solution. To implement the project, Userful partnered with local technology provider INTEGREX.
Userful and INTEGREX worked together to setup a new digital lab and replace the old computers with new MultiSeat Linux zero client stations. Each station includes free educational applications for subjects including astronomy, chemistry, languages, mathematics, planning, and a complete open source office suite to create text files, presentations and spreadsheets. Using a configuration of four zero-client stations per host computer, the new "Innovation Classroom" has 36 fully functional computer stations using only 9 host PCs.
"The Peruvian Ministry of Education has been proactive about testing and implementing new technologies to support computer-based education, but in front of other options like One Laptop Per Child, Ncomputing or Windows Multipoint, the Linux alternative offered by the Userful MultiSeat Solution has simply more benefits and a lower costs," said Manuel Amau, General Manager of INTEGREX.
Six months after the project started, a technical report was produced by the Peruvian government's Division of Technology for Education to evaluate the solution for roll out into other schools through out the country. The performance and usage results were very positive. Among the data collected, the report highlighted that compared to a 1-PC-per-User model, the energy savings were around 50%, and the overall cost per seat was reduced from 0 to 0. "There are two things I like a lot about the Userful solution," said Antonio Rodriguez. "It is great not having to worry about anti-virus purchases and updates because of the secure Linux environment, and it is very useful to have the included monitoring tool in order to know what the students are doing on the computers at all times."
The Peruvian Ministry of Education liked the MultiSeat Linux Solution, and realized that teacher training was a key element for success on the implementation of any kind of technology project for education. Due to this analysis, INTEGREX lead a training course for teachers where they learned how to use computers, how to enrich student learning using technology, and how to deliver the courses to their students using the "Innovation Classroom" computer lab. "Everyone is excited with the new equipment, and with the MultiSeat solution, the teachers now want to learn how to make the most out of their ICT-based teaching activities," said Angela González.
Userful MultiSeat not only saves money, it also helps the environment by reducing electricity use and e-waste. As compared to a traditional PC-per-seat solution, over 3 years, the Manuel González Prada School can make a substantial impact
79,414 kWh = Enough to power 44 homes for a year
62 tons of CO2 = Taking 11 cars off the road for a year, or planting 15 acres of trees
"Everyone is excited with the new equipment, and with the MultiSeat solution, the teachers now want to learn how to make the most out of their ICT-based teaching activities."
- Angela González, Communications Teacher, Manuel González Prada School