Perspectives on ubermix: Posts from the blogosphere

Posted by Jim Klein On Thursday, November 24, 2011 1 comments

While nitty-gritty details about ubermix are certainly easy to obtain, and a number of articles in popular education technology magazines are useful, by far the best places to gain insight into what ubermix is actually like are the blogs of real educators and technologists at schools that use it every day. A few quotes, with links to the original posts:

For us, the cost factor (as well as the ease of setup/support) is huge... I would encourage everyone to at least explore a netbook running ubermix if you think it might meet the needs of your students and teachers.
We recently started exploring the use of ubermix on school computers. Before I get into what ubermix is I wanted to do a little thought experiment.
  • What if I told you ubermix sped up boot times from 7 minutes to 1 minute?
  • What if I told you ubermix freed up 500 MB of RAM on each computer?
  • What if I told you ubermix freed up IT staff from having to manage classroom computers?
  • What if I told you ubermix came with a wide variety of apps chosen by educators for classroom use (from multimedia to math)? 
  • What if I told you it was free?
--Colin Matheson: Cytochrome C - Why Ubermix? 
I believe the netbook can provide the educational opportunities with technology that we want our students engaging in. And we can do so at a fraction of the cost with an open platform that affords students more opportunities than an iPad does.

...the right combination of technical specifications and software to turn netbooks into the high-functioning computers we need in classrooms.
As Lone Rangers, Danny and I deployed eighty netbooks to two classrooms in a day and a half. Most of that time was spent unboxing and setting up the carts. I haven’t had a netbook related call yet. They just work; and if for some reason they don’t, the teacher can reset them in five minutes. They don’t have to be locked down and controlled. Kids can explore and learn on them. They have keyboards. They can print. At $284, they are affordable. If you’re a small school and are thinking about a one-to-one program, check out the ubermix.
This stick is truly uber. It goes above, over, around, and across computers to provide students faster, more stable, virus immune, sustainable and more importantly, educational digital platforms. The uberstick can extend the life of your computers beyond their District Support life span. After using the uber stick on a small form GX260 in my office it was able to startup in under 1 minute. That means 1 minute to actually be ready for you to start clicking on application icons. That’s a huge difference compared to the 15 - 20 minutes it used to take to be ready to use. It even runs Google Earth smoothly. Google Earth!
--Christopher Earthtree: earthtree.org - uberstick
So why this technology?  There are a number of useful principles that are met in this tool: Student-centered... Inexpensive... Productive... Small... Durable... Appliance-like...
If I were to set up a classroom netbook/laptop cart for a K-12 class or a school-wide 1-to-1 netbook/laptop program, I would follow what Jim Klein did as part of the SWATTEC program at the Saugus Union School District.
Oh, one more thing: the X101 and the 1011PX ship with different operating systems, the Linux-based Meego for the former and Windows 7 starter edition for the latter. I would recommend replacing both with the “Ubermix” build of Linux/Ubuntu that Klein has developed and which he generously makes available for download.

1 comments:

Colin Matheson said...

I bet you couldn't find this many blog quotes about the positive impact of Windows OS in schools!

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