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Proposals out on Walker, MacKenzie pilot project


Details of the $700,000 pilot project at Walker/MacKenzie schools here are expected to fall into place next week as a request for proposals is due back Monday.

“The request for proposals is out right now. We want to see what vendors come back with what,” said Stephen Danielson, computer systems administrator for the Rainy River District School Board.

The deadline for proposals is Monday at 2 p.m.

The board had advertised outside the district, including Winnipeg and Toronto, said Danielson, adding many responses already have come in.

“We could go wireless LAN [Local Area Network] or somebody might want to come in and poke fibre-optic,” he noted, referring to the system by which a communication network could be established throughout the two schools.

Danielson also said last week’s board report contained a misnomer as far as the use of wireless laptops could go.

“Students who take home laptops could dial in through a modem [through a telephone jack],” he clarified.

“If a student had a document on a word processing program, we could synch the homework file on the school server with the ones on the laptop.

“They could then access their homework, do it, and send it back to their school,” he explained.

While wireless laptops might be used in the school with a wireless LAN, they couldn’t be used at home since they would only maintain wireless capability within several hundred feet of the school.

As reported in last week’s Times, the purpose of the pilot project is to establish a role model for educational applications of Information and Communication Technology, which later could be replicated in other schools across the province.

Walker/MacKenzie is one of just five schools chosen by the Ministry of Education.

Danielson said a second proposal also is out to get the technology in place to allow students in every school under the board to have access to their own files from respective school servers.

“A lot of what they’re doing at Walker is something we’re trying to do at all our schools,” he noted.

The difference is Walker students will have much more ready access to computers while other students will have to access their schools servers from their own home computers, he explained.

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