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The future of computers in our homes and schools

The future of computers in our homes and schools

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The future of computers in our homes and schools

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  1. The future of computers in our homes and schools David Strom (revised 4/13) david@strom.com Port parent, author, Internet consultant

  2. Who am I? • Port parent, Daly 4th grader • Co-chair Citizens Technology Cmte (‘94) • Consultant to many computer companies • Write frequently on Internet and networking topics (former magazine editor-in-chief) • Test lots of cool new stuff

  3. Agenda • Some predictions for the future • State of our -- and other -- schools • Everyone has a web site these days • Going beyond AOL for home access • What does this all mean for the average parent

  4. My vision for 2002 • Laptops for kids • Internet access everywhere: homes, classrooms, coffee bars, stores, hotels • Everyone is their own publisher • Multiple email addresses for everyone • Portable wireless contact devices: super-pagers

  5. One no-brainer: PCs get [still] cheaper! • Dell, HP for $999 • eMachines for $399! • How low can they go?

  6. Key applications to watch • Music and home audio/theater • Wireless gizmos • Email and the web intersections

  7. The next frontier: Music • Goal: one set of speakers to play everything • CDs • MP3s • DVD, Nintendo TV • PC games

  8. Where is wireless going? • Metricom looking to expand to LI (Internet access) • Now have six different cell systems to choose from • Two-way pagers are just becoming popular • Wireless Palm Pilots

  9. Wireless obstacles • Can’t build [enough] towers • Still slower than wired connections • Too many things to manage and integrate • Too expensive • Batteries never last long enough

  10. Look ma, no laptop! • Haven’t owned one in years • Use cybercafes, libraries for Internet access • Everything I need is on the Internet now

  11. What about email and the web? • Set up various services using web forms • Then send notifications via email • Useful for network-based storage, calendars, document distribution

  12. Examples of email/web applications • eGroups.com mailing and discussion groups • my.yahoo.com calendar and stock quotes • Amazon.com new book notification

  13. Future computers • Lighter, faster, cheaper • Oodles of memory and disk • Remember the typical PC 5 years ago (486/50 w/ 4/300 MB) ? • Home networks won’t be easy -- STILL!

  14. State of Port schools technology • 3 PCs/classroom K thru 5 • Labs, Internet access in all school buildings • Weber to be wired + 1 PC/core classroom this summer

  15. The future of our schools’ technology • Five years for universal gr. 3-12 laptops • Two years for well-integrated curriculum • Two years for >90% teaching training

  16. School technology report card • Training the teachers: B • Improving the infrastructure: B- • Computer curriculum: B-

  17. How do we stack up? • Neighboring communities • Neighboring colleges • Rest of the world

  18. Examples • CAD lab at HS with NY Tech’s lab • Manhasset • Hilton Head High • Intel’s Lesson Plans on the web • Georgia “Write an Engineer” site • Oregon State’s Virtual Student Desktop

  19. Port Schools web site • Portnet: www.portnet.k12.ny.us • School closing notification • School newspapers, student web pages • Class field trip pix • Board of Ed. meeting agendas • Contact info, calendars, etc.

  20. Port Washington web sampler • Library (pwpl.org) • Fire department (pwfd.com) • Town of North Hempstead (northhempstead.com) • Village of Sands Point (sandspoint.org) etc. • Business Improvement Dist. (portwashington.org) • Soccer Club (pwsoccer.com) • Many, many others (including strom.com!)

  21. Typical home Internet situation today • AOL with 33 Kbps dial-up modem • a few multi-PC homes, non-networked • Biggest uses: Chat, email, word processing

  22. What’s changing? • Continuous Internet access • Networks in the homes • Applications moving towards the web

  23. Beyond AOL for home Internet access • DSL (ISP + Bell Atlantic) • CableVision • ISDN

  24. Advantages for high-speed access • Always-on connections • Free up phones for voice calls • Avoid connection busy signals

  25. The Internet is always on in my house • Wife and child now use it daily (28 MM active users in a third US homes?) • Search movie times in local theaters • Calendar on Yahoo • AOL buddy lists always available

  26. The notion of information on-demand • Search online encyclopedias (Comptons) • Download software when we need it (Shareware.com) • Download music when we want to listen to it (Mp3.com) • Download books when we want to read them (ToExcel, Xlibris)

  27. Implications • Newspapers and TV become less important • Networks become more compelling • Finding stuff via the web is still too hard • Buying stuff via the web is sometimes too much of an impulse • New applications for web use (taxes, shopping)

  28. So what’s the average parent to do? • Make sure you don’t over or under buy technology • Consider continuous access soon • Understand and monitor your child’s computer use • Take a course, pick an application (email) to get started • Surf with care: misinformation (Tunisia), hate sites, and porn

  29. Questions? Copies of this presentation, along with links to the sites mentioned, are available at: www.portnet.k12.ny.us/techconference