The centerpiece of our technology system is a school-wide wireless network that allows students with laptops to connect to the Internet and a Windows 2008 Terminal Server from any location where there is an Internet connection. This technology ensures that all students, regardless of their hardware at home, can use the full capabilities of our server from any Windows, Apple, or UNIX based machine.
While many students use a laptop along with our wireless network, they can also use our new state of the art computer lab equipped with 15 thin clients that connect directly to the server. There are also several Apple computers that serve as video and photo editors, and a couple of stand-alone computers that serve other specialized functions.
In addition, some teachers use various online resources like wikispaces.com to help develop their students’ capabilities in critical thinking. Video teleconferencing programs such as Skype allow us to communicate with people from all over the world. Modeling programs, including Stella and iThink, help students to increase their knowledge of systems science. A host of other applications connect the students to the world around them. All members of our community have e-mail accounts connected to the school domain and individual accounts on the server where they can store and share information with each other.
Changes in technology come about very quickly. Vermont Commons School has chosen to invest in a technological infrastructure that provides a basic level of access to our servers while making it possible for our community to take advantage of a host of online resources and programs allowing for improved social networking, computer modeling, knowledge construction, and communication.