There are those relationships our brain has had to make the choice to end for our own good but the heart holds on to for a long time… That type of separation is like a slow burn of conflicting emotions that culminates in that last long passionate kiss goodbye. We know it’s the right thing to do but dang it hurts… But that kiss… That’s something…
To that end… We’ve been suckin’ face with Windows XP and the hardware it runs on far too long.
We must move on… We on the tech side of the school house are fully aware of this.
Where we move to though is a big expensive question and the paths to take still aren’t completely clear… We bought XP and we have ridden it very successfully for many years and we want to duplicate that success to get more bang for the buck… But bucks are hard to come by and trying to pick a path to accommodate a student’s needs for their education while being chained to the seemingly ever obscure requirements for state testing seems next to impossible. Plus, anything we buy today will never last as long as our XP boxes have… Google even tells you with a ChromeBook you basically have three or so years to use the device before it is “end of life”… Not the software… The device.
Flipping the switch on a commitment like this is huge but that’s exactly what needs to happen. And while I wouldn’t say “Pick this! This is the way to go!” because what I would suggest may not fit your district, I will say this… It is time to implement a plan and allocate money from whatever source to move on… However your district can do it.
1. Microsoft considers XP dead. It has for several years now… It will remain that way. As time progresses, the lack of support for XP from Microsoft will introduce security vulnerabilities into the network.
2. Early XP boxes have less computing power than some smart phones but yet we try to provide all things educational including state testing on them. Does it work today? Yep… barely and with effort and patience from a techie… Will it work in the future? No… The main reason is the more “Technically Enhanced” test questions of the future will be too big of a challenge for hardware bought in 2003. The tests are going to be difficult enough without having a student wait for a test question to “paint” onto the screen and respond to clicks. Testing as we all know, has become far too big of an influence on education and we should try our best to not let the tech be the weak link and get in the way of a kids performance.
—2a. Processor and memory hardware from the XP era may or may not work with future test clients regardless of what operating system they run.
—2b. The standard issue and affordable video card of the XP era is also going to have a real issue with future test clients because the amount of resources those clients will demand in order to render test question elements.
3. XP is far removed from any modern operating system. With XP we always said “What difference does an operating system make, its just a way of launching Word so you can type.” Not anymore… The modern operating system, regardless of which one, is a basis for not only interacting with those legacy type programs but also used for collaborating inside those programs and others in an effective way… Its a level of computing XP and the hardware it runs on was never designed for.
Replacing XP is no longer about keeping up with the “cool districts” who seem to get new tech constantly… It’s about making sure the tech associated with Education and accountability doesn’t get in the way of student performance.