Pennsylvania District Moves to Thin Clients

Western Wayne School District in Pennsylvania is moving away from PCs for students and toward thin clients. The district is replacing desktop systems on a rolling basis with Wyse Technology's thin clients in an effort to cut technology costs and funnel the money into other areas, "such as art and music," according to information released by the district this week.

The district reported that it has been replacing about 60 computers annually, which had been costing it about $70,000. Now, it will be deploying 100 thin clients per year, which is expected to save about $25,000 per year "after the second year," according to Wyse.

"I believe that what we are deploying today is the future of education computing," said Brian Seaman, network administrator at Western Wayne SD. "There is a misconception that thin clients don't have the ability to handle today's computing needs – audio, video, multiple screens and the like. Nothing could be further from the truth. For any school or university that's wondered whether thin clients can make their IT arm a more efficient department--all while saving time, money and energy costs--the answer is a resounding 'yes.' We are phasing out PCs in favor of virtual clients throughout the district."

The move will allow the district to get technology into the hands of a greater number of students to help potentially bolster academic performance.

"Over the course of the past two academic years the Western Wayne School District has seen solid growth in our students' Mathematics and Language Arts achievement, as measured by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association," Seaman said. "Although we can't say that the use of technology was the sole cause of this growth, we know that the use of technology to support data analysis and classroom instruction has contributed to this increase in achievement."

Western Wayne School District serves about 2,500 students in three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

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