Gwinnett County Schools

Lenovo Success Story: Helping Students Develop 21st Century Skills

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OBJECTIVE

Gwinnett must provide the latest tools and applications in its schools to ensure students receive the best education possible. This includes innovative PC technology so students can begin developing the communication, research and presentation skills needed to succeed in today’s digital society.

CHALLENGES

With approximately 4,000 new students this school year and plans to open 16 additional schools by 2010, Gwinnett teachers are responsible for motivating each student to learn, no matter how large their class size is. Innovative PC technology has become increasingly important to help teachers engage students using multimedia and interactive materials that appeal to their varied ways of learning. Establishing a consistent, reliable PC solution would also allow the district to continue expanding without compromising the effectiveness of its teachers or student achievement.

WHY LENOVO?

Gwinnett selected Lenovo computers as the district standard and deployed 21,000 new ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops to empower teachers, help students develop 21st century skills, improve district operational efficiencies and decrease IT support costs. Gwinnett selected Lenovo PCs for several reasons:

BUSINESS BENEFITS
Big Goals for a Big Deployment

With such a rapidly expanding student population that will ultimately shape the local community and workforce, Gwinnett administrators knew they needed to update the district PC solution to ensure students have the latest tools to become familiar and comfortable with technology early in their academic careers. Gwinnett was using various vendors’ PC technologies throughout its schools and lacked a consistent platform that teachers could rely on to deliver access to the Internet, offer the same applications in every school and ensure district-wide network security. Administrators decided to expand the use of Lenovo Think PCs, which some schools had been using for years, and make them the district standard.

Gwinnett Gets a PC Makeover

Gwinnett deployed more than 21,000 ThinkPad R61 and X300 notebooks and ThinkCentre M57 desktops throughout its schools. Gwinnett’s IT staff worked with Lenovo on a pilot that was conducted with select schools and then rolled out district-wide in several phases beginning in the Spring of 2008.

With Lenovo’s powerful ThinkCentre M57 desktops and ThinkVision L2240p Widescreen LCD monitors in its computer labs, students can now experiment with graphic design, complete creative writing projects, submit assignments and correspond with teachers electronically. In addition, students enrolled in the Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology, a 1:1 computing program with more than 750 students, are able to participate in online classes and interactive projects with schools around the world.

The district’s mobile faculty members use ThinkPad R61 notebooks to help them deliver more dynamic class lessons through reliable access to the latest online multimedia materials and by connecting their PCs to interactive classroom boards. Teachers also use their Lenovo PCs to maintain close communication with parents about student progress, and to remain productive while working remotely during school breaks. In addition, administrators utilize thin-and-light ThinkPad X300 and ThinkPad X61 notebooks to update policies and procedures on the district network in real-time, maintain up-to-date emergency plans and increase collaboration among staff for district-wide initiatives.

Innovative Lenovo Design Delivers the Greatest Value

Administrators chose Lenovo PCs as the district standard for computing technology because of their innovative, durable design that would withstand everyday use by teachers and students, and deliver the lowest total cost of ownership. In addition, the Lenovo PCs would easily scale to accommodate new students and schools and help the district manage related support costs.

Equipped with a magnesium alloy roll-cage, ThinkPad R and X Series notebooks are light and portable, yet durable to withstand accidental bumps and sudden falls off of a desk. In addition, the embedded Intel Trusted Platform Module security chip on Lenovo ThinkPad notebooks and ThinkCentre desktops helps protect information from external software attacks while students are on the Internet.

“Green” attributes on Lenovo PCs also help the growing district minimize its carbon footprint. For example, the powerful ThinkPad X and R Series notebooks are Energy Star 4.0 certified and include features that help conserve power, including low and ultra-low volt processors, LED backlit displays and solid state drive storage. The notebooks are also made of recycled plastics and are GREENGUARD Air Quality certified, making them safe to use in the classroom.

Planning for the Future

Gwinnett teachers and students in every district classroom have a renewed sense of empowerment and excitement using their Lenovo PCs. Teachers are able to deliver increasingly dynamic and customized lessons to ensure students acquire the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century workplace. In addition, by standardizing on durable Think computers, Gwinnett schools have reduced PC support costs by 30 percent annually and now require only one district IT support technician for every 500 PCs. Using Lenovo PCs, the district has successfully created a computing solution that delivers the most innovative learning experience for students while ensuring the district can continue to support its rapid growth.