One of the most influential trends in education today is differentiated learning, whereby educators provide students with different pathways to learning in the same classroom. Shelton Public Schools, a K-12 school district in Western Connecticut, has addressed this trend by using Citrix technology to support the Google Chromebox computers that mount on the back of a monitor and retail for less than $200 - a fraction of the nearly $500 per device Shelton Public Schools would have had to spend on desktop computers for its classroom learning centers. By working with strategic IT consultant Gotham Technology Group to implement significant upgrades to the school’s equipment, Shelton Public Schools has saved a staggering two million dollars in technology costs over the past 10 years, and will continue to save $120,000 a year in capital investments. In a district serving students of varying socioeconomic backgrounds, all students now have access through Citrix XenApp to Chromebooks and all of the same apps – such as Google Apps for Education and the latest Windows-based applications – whether they’re in school or at home and regardless of device.
Shelton Public Schools’ decision to also purchase 600 Chromebook devices for approximately $200 each represents a significant savings in hardware; regular laptops can cost as much as $1,000 each and need to be refreshed every five years. Teachers are now able to work collaboratively on creating curricula without having to coordinate onsite meetings or be issued costly laptops, resulting in a cost avoidance of more than $150,000 in laptop expenses. Since teachers are no longer required to stay onsite to collaborate on curricula – an activity that requires bringing in substitute teachers – the district saves almost $50,000 a year in overhead costs.
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