[comp.sys.ibm.pc.net] A NET for Grade-school

monett_s@cho006.cho.ge.com (05/01/91)

I am looking for some ideas for putting together a PC network in an
elementary school.

We want to provide two levels of connections. The highest level would
link all of the classroom IBM PC machines on a school-wide basis. The
lower level would link all of the student machines in a classroom. 

The IBM machines would be primarily used by the teacher. Important
applications would be Email, school calendar, word processing, and
lesson preparation. These machines would be a mix of existing AT class
machines and some new low-end True Blue machines like the 55SX. 

The student machines would be used by kids in grades 2 through 5. They
would mostly be Apple Macs. These would most often be used with
stand-alone instructional applications but the actual use is open to
exploration. What is relevant here is that I want to offer some method
for the student machines to hook into the school-net for shared
resources. This can go in many directions. It may be as rude as using
Kermit between the Mac and the teacher's PC and then having the teacher
use the school-net to finish the task. At the other end of the scale we
could equip ALL machines in the school so that they could use one Novell
server and then use the security features to setup a teacher-net and a
kid-net. But if you know anything about school budgets these days you
know how far I will get with this last idea :-).

School buildings cause some problems for wiring the network also. Most
offices are set up so that a hub can be used. Our school building is an
irregular "U" with a central courtyard. A good estimate of end-to-end
distance for all stations would be 200 meters. If the server were in
the school office the server would be about 150M from the most distant
station. I think that this rules out twisted pair wiring.

Can anyone give me some ideas on this? I would like to here from anyone
who has done this before. How expensive is it? How much help is there
from the vendors and manufacturers as part of an educational assistance
program. How hard is it to administer? 

Steve Monett                        monett_s@cho006.cho.ge.com
GE-Fanuc; Charlottesville, VA       (804) 978-7946