Resources from Lausanne Laptop Institute 2007

Annotated Resource List from the Lausanne Laptop Institute in Memphis, TN, July 2008:

Topic: Ian Jukes Keynote

Four trends are increasing exponentially:
1) Moore’s Law
2) Photonics (bandwidth increases on exiting fiber optic cables)
3) The Internet
4) Infowhelm (overwhelming, disposable information)

To deal with exponential change, he argued that information fluency needs to be an overt part of the core curriculum and taught by all teachers. More info:

Topic: Will Richardson Keynote

Social Network Online: IBM has created thousands of internal Wikis and social networking pages for employees. Businesses are becoming conversations.
Digital Divide: one in three people in Philadelphia have never used the Internet. – example of 24/7 opportunity for individuals to discuss favorite books and stories and create their own.
MIT Open Courseware example: deep collection of MIT curriculum available for free online. (Note: amazing amount of content.)
Fun example: US student put a rough draft of his history paper on Wikipedia and then watched as others revised and completed it.
See for a long list of interesting examples of the “read/write” web. One interesting example is the presence of Stanford University lectures on iTunes.

Topic: Captive Portal at St. Agnes Academy

St. Agnes Academy has a “bring your own” laptop program. To reduce their support calls, time and installations, they have created a “captive portal” for all users on the wireless network. After logging in (at school or at home), students have access to

1) Xythos for access to their files (PC and OS X).
2) Outlook Web Access for Email
3) PrinterOn for printing on campus (on-campus only).
4) AppStream for Ebooks and Application packages (Adobe CS, for example).

Xythos is interesting is that it is cross-platform, Web-Dav, and enables collaboration on documents and folders. In fact, it can even enable a mapped drive at home. Additionally, students can “share” a folder of files and Xythos will create a link with an encoded key so that the access to the fold is secure but a simple link.

PrinterOn software allows any laptop on campus to print through a web page. It can use a single, generic print driver, and they plan to add keypads to printers so that students enter a code to enable print jobs after sending them.

AppStream is an interesting way to deliver licensed materials (Ebooks, Applications). Windows only.

Currently, the captive portal requires ldap passwords for each of the services. They are looking into replacing it with a Joomla Portal ( and CAS ( for single password authentication to multiple services. Supposedly, Moodle and OWA support CAS.

Topic: Rethinking the Liberal Arts

This session was done by my friend, Daniel Hudkins, at the Harker school in San Jose. One of the most interesting parts of this presentation was his description of a multi-year effort with the librarians at the school to create a set of “research across the curriculum” standards and vocabulary that would help students K-12 with the changing world of research. The objective they are working towards is the full adoption of the Big 6 standards by teachers, tech staff and librarians so all share a same protocol for research ( ). This is an impressive endeavor, and I learned of other schools doing the same with Big 6 and variations of it.

Topic: Virtual Systems

This was a thought-provoking session by Lee Tilley about the use of Virtual Machine software for both servers and workstations. (Microsoft Virtual PC: (VMware: Some of these products are free, and others have cost-additional features.

Tilley listed a number of servers that he now runs virtually and can easily replace the single-file VMs on if they have problems, or start them on a different box. I like this idea—having one or two reserve servers with sets of images from active servers to use as backups.

Secondly, however, is the interesting idea of creating VMs for students. There is a VMWare for OSX and Windows, and the idea is that students could take single file VMs and install them on their own laptops or home machines to have access to a standardized school desktop, licensed applications, ebooks, etc. Toward this end, a Key Server could be used to control how many copies of licensed software could be used at once. ( This idea may not be ready for primetime, yet, but I could see the strong advantages over Citrix for sharing a common desktop and reducing the time of installations on student-owned machines.

It was noted that there are other ways of delivering apps to student machines, including Softricity ( And using 2X on a terminal server for a thin client solution (

Topic: Open Source Software

This presentation shared the chosen open source solutions for a school—focusing on cost savings and equity of access. These included titles like Stellarium, Celestia, Artrage2, and other titles that may also be freeware or low cost options. CMap can be used instead of Inspiration, for example. See for resource links. One of the most interesting is an 80 page PDF document that reviews a large range of open source software for schools:

There’s also a list of recommended software titles:

Topic: Urban School in SF Laptop Program

This was a presentation about the how the Urban School iBook/Macbook program was created, evolved and run today. It was a refreshing look, because they have opted for simplicity and open access to resources at nearly every turn. The teachers and students are given a lot of independence with the tools, and they have not created complicated systems for backups, filtering, or staff development. Each student is given an 80 gig hard drive to take home for their backups, for example. The school First Class server is the main content system, with conferences for classes. The don’t filter Internet content, but they did need to install an Allot Net Enforcer to shape traffic and stop point-to-point file sharing (
This can also be done with a Packeteer ( or a Cymphonix box (

It’s also interesting that they use Extremez IP ( to enable AFP sharing from a Windows file server (to handle long file names, etc.). They also use STOP stickers on all laptops (

Finally, they use EZProxy for home access to subscription databases ( In effect, the students log into the proxy from home, and then have direct access to the databases without additional passwords.

Topic: Student Information Systems

Two schools I follow and respect both made an interesting move this year. They are implementing PCR Educator ( for at least part of their student information system, and they plan to use it’s links into FinalSite ( for web access to student information. This coalition between PCR Educator and Finalsite is relatively new, but I look forward to hearing what their experiences are.

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