I had the opportunity on Friday to spend some time with our enterprise systems manager thinking about something that certainly isn’t glamo(u)rous, but is nothing shy of essential. That something?
Sure, there’s plenty of “free” storage out there for the taking, but I’m interested in making sure that we can offer students and staff in our district a reliable environment that will be there today and tomorrow, and won’t disappear, or fill up, in the middle of the night. As we see more and more growth of our district’s Virtual Campus (a Moodle installation), as well as the beginnings of the use of in-district blogging tools, we’ve got to make sure that we’re planning for enough space so that we can meet the needs of teachers and students both today and down the road.
That sounds easy – but it’s certainly not. Hence our conversation. I actually find fascinating all the bits and pieces of infrastructure that go into making sure that, when you turn on your computer or launch a browser, the stuff that you want is there for your use. And I know, too, that the infrastructure that we build ultimately affects what can and cannot be done with students, so there’s a direct impact on education with every technology decision made. I take opportunities to think and learn about the district’s infrastructure very seriously.
And now, I need your help. I’m wondering, and have been asked to make a guess (well more like an attempt at making a semi-intelligent shot in the dark) about what the storage needs of a teacher and a student are today here in the dawn of the 21st Century. How much space does a teacher need to teach and a student to learn and to archive his or her learning over the life of public schooling? What’s a decent ballpark? How much space should we have available just for the digital learning and online storage needs of a district of approximately 25,000 students and 1300 teachers? Can you defend your answer?
We’re going to be making some plans around these numbers, and we’d like to at least get close. Any ideas you have are much appreciated.