Money Saving Brainstorm Session

Tonight I responded to a question on the CETPA listerv about crazy outside the box ideas for saving money in school IT departments. Here is what I wrote:

We’ved used many strategies to save money, or more precisely, do more with no money (prior to going 1:1 iPads)

1. Virtualized Servers – Used ESXi (free) to consolidate hardware while expanding # of servers

2. Leveraged free cloud services – migrated email from Exchange to Google Apps (includes Spam filter)

3. Used Open Source Software – Moodle LMS running on Ubuntu, District web site wordpress server running on Ubuntu, Untangle web filter, replaced Symantec Ghost with FOG imaging server, LTSP Server for thin clients, 2X Thinclient server for Windows TS pxe boot thin clients, Ubermix for netbooks and lab PCs, open office and google docs for students

4. Purchased Refurbished PCs instead of new PCs for staff

5. Started a MOUSE Squad class for student tech support

6. Not replacing classroom printers when they die (remember – there is no printing from the iPads!)

7. Switched copier vendors

8. Utilize free web based tools for classroom instruction – CK12 flexbooks, web 2.0 tools like collaborize classroom, quizlet, easybib

9. Pushing student file storage to the cloud with youtube, dropbox and google docs

10. Using open source FreeNas white boxes for staff file storage with cheap commodity hardware and DFS for redundancy

11. Using AppleTV and iTunes for cheap digital signage (Danny Silva‘s brain storm)

That’s the list just off the top of my head.

That generally sums up my last eight years at Le Grand, sans the Mac migration and 1:1 iPad move. How we made that pivot is a topic for another day (And if you can’t wait, just listen to my podcast).