Author Topic: Is Ubermix for me?  (Read 977 times)

jamdis

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Is Ubermix for me?
« on: May 05, 2014, 03:11:39 PM »
I'm looking for some advice, trying to figure out if Ubermix is the right solution for me.

My situation:  I teach the technology and media literacy classes at a pre-K to 6th grade school.  I work in a traditional computer lab, but the computers are laptops. Windows isn't really working for me. We use chromebooks elsewhere in the school, and I don't think that will be good enough either.

Below, I've got a list of what I see are the big challenges. I know that Ubermix addresses some of these problems out of the box.  My question is:  Can ubermix be adapted to meet all of these challenges, or is there an approach / distro out there that can?

Computers are shared
In my school, we have 480 students, ages 4-12.  They all have class with me for one period a week.  Each of the 26 computers in my lab are shared among about 19 students throughout the week.

Students need to be able to save their work, and be insulated from one another's work
Screwing up the saving process is the biggest problem I face.  Young children find it very difficult to navigate a "save" dialog.  Since they are sharing the computer with others, it is very common for work to be erased or overwritten by accident by another child. Ideally, each student would have their own user to insulate them from each others work, but we can't afford enough CAL's to do this on our windows domain. Also, I find that children younger than about 8 cannot be expected to manage usernames and passwords, even when they are very simple. I've gone down the flash drive route, and had a lot of problems there too.

Students need to be able to switch computers without losing work
One of the amazing things about Chrome is that students don't have to be married to a particular machine.  This is amazing when one of the computers is acting up, or a particular machine isn't available.  I'd like to replicate this freedom without the restrictions of Chrome.

We need real software
As an administrator I love chrome.  As a teacher I kinda hate it.  The offerings for creative web software are getting better, but still can't hold a candle to real computers.  I want my students to be able to edit video, write python scripts, etc.

It needs to be reliable
Running 26 computers at a time means that if there's a stability problem, you're going to find it.  If you do have to fix something, it should be fast and non-destructive. I really like Ubermix's, screw-it-just-reimage approach to computer maintenance for this reason.