Whitfield School, a private coeducational college preparatory day school for grades 6-12 in Missouri, has completed one successful year using Lenovo (News
) ThinkPad notebooks in its “1:1” computing program.
The program enriches the education of students by equipping each student with a computer. The program has given Whitfield’s students and faculty new avenues for interaction and learning by using Lenovo ThinkPads (powered by Linux) in the classrooms. Students now have immediate access to information while in the classroom, and teachers are able to enhance learning by bringing wikis, discussion boards, news feeds and other reference material to the classrooms.
Whitefield picked the Lenovo ThinkPad R61, R50e, R51 and Z60t notebooks and Novell (News
) SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 for the program.
“Lenovo understands the needs of educators to have cost-effective, reliable and manageable technology solutions, and has designed and tested its ThinkPad notebooks to meet these requirements while providing students innovative tools for a superior learning experience,” said Alex Inman, director of technology at Whitfield School, in a statement.
Whitfield decided to use Linux in order to control licensing and support costs that would have been high in case the school had chosen Microsoft (News
) Windows or Macintosh OS X. Linux has helped the school improve performance in a cost-effective fashion and allows students and faculty to run programs in both Windows and Linux environments using the Citrix Access Suite.
A study conducted by the school indicated that students using ThinkPads during the 2006-2007 school year spent 75 percent of their time on the PC in the Linux environment. This increased to 86 percent during the 2007-2008 school year ending in June 2008.
“Information is just a click away from so many people today,” said Inman. “It’s become a commodity. The value comes in taking disparate information, tying it together and producing something new. One-on-one laptop computing enables kids to incorporate that process into their daily lives and culture, and gain real technological literacy in the bargain.”
Vinti Vaid is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Vinti’s articles, please visit her columnist page.