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The Solution

 

The Open 1-to-1 solution includes all the technical and service pieces necessary for a successful 1-to-1 deployment. The solution is divided into four major components:

Netbooks

Open 1-to-1 is not beholden to any hardware manufacturer, and can be used with any laptop or netbook product. Schools may choose to purchase their netbooks directly from the manufacturer, or participate in buying groups (Open 1-to-1 is working with several) to secure better pricing. Open 1-to-1 will make recommendations for which netbook or laptop schools should choose based on consideration for price, warranty, and capability.

Currently retail pricing for netbooks starts at around $200 and goes up, depending on brand, OS, and battery life. Until manufacturers have made actual bids, its impossible to know the exact cost of a netbook 1-to-1 deployment, but it is reasonable to say that it will be between 1/4 and 1/3 of a traditional laptop deployment. More details on netbook pricing soon!

Operating System and End User Software

A customized Ubuntu based operating system will be maintained and provided by Open 1-to-1. The image will be preloaded with various open source programs, including a full suite of office applications, graphics and video editing, camera/webcam, email client, and an assortment of educational programs. Instructions, tools, and support will be provided for deploying the Ubuntu image.

Infrastructure/Management

Open 1-to-1 is assembling a series of infrastructure and management components that will make your netbook deployment easy and practical.

Imaging Server

A customized imaging server solution will be provided for network imaging netbooks with the Ubuntu OS. This will most likely be a Clonezilla server image, or similar open source solution, and will support PXE/CD/USB imaging of netbooks.

Wireless Networks

As with the hardware for a 1:1 deployment, wireless infrastructure is not a one size fits all approach. We will be collecting and offering best practices for creating and maintaining a wireless infrastructure for supporting a 1:1 computing environment (probably even a 1:many as more and more devices get wireless connectivity).

One solution that you may find compatible with an Open 1to1 solution would be the open source mesh networking solution located at http://www.open-mesh.com[1] The devices are relatively inexpensive ($29-49 each as of this writing) and provide many features that schools may find useful such as:

  • bandwidth monitoring (even on a per user basis)
  • self healing mesh network
  • bandwidth throttling
  • custom welcome splash pages can be added
  • RSS feeds can be displayed in users browsers (think of things like upcoming training, school events, lunch menus, you name it)
  • centralized web based control panel (you can either run your own controller locally or use the one at open-mesh.com or both)
  • adding new devices is as simple as entering them in the web form and plugging them in, they configure themselves
  • add features you want to the dashboard tool, it is open source
  • customized shell scripts can be deployed to the devices through the web interface
  • email notification when units have problems
  • possibility of two SSIDs for running two separate networks
  • ability to stop network clients from communicating directly with each other, reducing broadcast traffic and protecting users from other users on teh network
  • whitelisting and blacklisting capabilities by MAC address

At Open1to1.org we are investigating the possibility of creating a specialized dashboard for schools to use when configuring and administrating the devices.

Please stay tuned for more information.

Student Data Access

A web based solution for uploading student documents/data to a local or online server is being put together.

Open1to1.org is also investigating backup solutions that can be deployed locally or remotely depending on the schools preferences.

Remote Backup Solutions being investigated:

  • Ubuntu One[2]
  • Mozy[3]

Technical Services and Support

Community

Open 1-to-1 will offer community forum support so that users can exchange advice and solutions with each other. The Open 1-to-1 technical team will also address issues on the forums as the come up. Workshops and conferences will also serve as opportunities for members to work with each other and explore solutions.

Commercial

Open 1-to-1 will be providing a list of commercial resources for paid support and additional training, if it is so desired. This support network will consist of local consultants, other school IT people, and traditional service companies. There will be plenty of different options to get commercial support for members that want it. This open support network also introduces the potential for even more specialized services for member schools.