- Potential Funding
- Staff obtained $5,000 for wiring and electrical outlets needed on site.
- Staff also obtained additional funding for furniture, case locks for alcove computers, switches, and miscellaneous needs.
- Initial Arrangement
- Only 7 computers installed in the conference room due to space constraint, request of staff, and concerns of safety with computers placed in the path of the children’s room.
- Two printers were installed. One is in the alcove and another in the conference room. All computers can print to the conference room printer. The intake office and alcove computers also can print to the alcove printer; the children’s computer cannot.
- Administration & Management
- Implemented successfully, but likely to change due to staff preferences. IT foresees updates being handled remotely by the server.
- Wired network successful implemented by Crosspoint staff.
- K-9 was installed due to financial constraints (compared to NetNanny’ price). OpenDNS was deemed redundant because they already have DNS filtering.
- Computer Software
- Educational freeware was not successful due to time constraints.
- OS – Windows XP Pro, service packs 2 and 3
- Anti-virus – Microsoft security essentials because of financial constraints.
- Open software successfully completed. Microsoft Office Suite was not purchased due to their limit with TechSoup for the next two years.
- Additional Training
- Since verbal inventory and select training was given to IT, this was not a high priority since we faced time constraints to complete the installation. IT will show staff the ropes and hopefully be able to give the training needed.
- Sustainable Employment
- By having computers, word processing software, and the internet, clients have the tools to become familiar with online job searches, job applications, and other life skills to support the Crosspoint curriculum to reach sustainable employment.
- Sustainable Housing
- By having computers and the internet to browse, clients have tools to become familiar with online housing applications and resources.
- Clients are able to become self-reliant and independent by having access to computers in a supportive environment where they are encouraged to explore and increase their knowledge to succeed in their goals they have made while in Crosspoint’s programs.
- Our designed layout for the conference room doesn’t interfere with its original purpose. This space holds their life skills classes that builds community through team activities. With this already in place, we hope that the community that is built will only be supported by the computer lab.
- Making Your Own Decisions
- Outside of the restrictions placed on the space due to their situation, the clients otherwise have free reign to explore the computers to further their own skills.
- Preservation of Childhood
- Crosspoint and their clients who are mothers are very concerned about children being able to be children. By having the computer in the children’s room, children are able to be kept up to speed with technology, but also be “protected” from internet violence and extreme content by K-9 and supervision.
Possible Negative Outcomes
- Technology takes up space
- This was clearly observed in their decision to reduce the total number of computers in the conference room.
- Technology requires maintenance.
- While this is taken care of somewhat by the automatic updates being set up for the software, the hardware will still have to be taken care of. Crosspoint has IT personnel that are undoubtedly able to handle this.
- Security Issues surrounding safety.
- With the anti-virus and physical/software firewalls in place, the machines are not an easy mark. The clients will have to be trained in proper security to avoid giving away private information or enabling malicious users to enter the network.
- Future Costs
- This is a clear and present issue because the plan of the IT personnel is to upgrade their computers to Windows 7, as well as acquiring a new server. It is possible that the hardware installed may fail in the near future
- Technology requires time investment.
- As the clients will have to be trained in how to utilize the software and hardware, in addition to being trained in proper net security, this will represent a time investment on the part of the IT and Crosspoint staff.
- Technology can be potentially be intimidating/overwhelming/frustrating
- As we and the IT staff experienced in just setting up the printers, frustration is a standard part of working with computers. Those who are not familiar with technology may find it foreign and frustrating and/or intimidating to learn.
With the wiring and electrical work done, there is a base on which expansion is possible. A likely evolution is that wireless routers will be placed in the hallway so that the anticipated computer carts will be more mobile. However, in the other areas, the infrastructure in place would be adequate for several years. The computers themselves are Windows compatible, and can easily upgrade to Windows 7 as desired by the Crosspoint IT staff. The biggest issue is that the hardware of the machines is rather dated, and have limited upgrade potential. If the machines were to be upgraded, the accessories that are currently in use would likely also be incompatible, namely the printer in the hallway and many of the keyboards due to lack of necessary ports. We tried to offset the inevitable need to upgrade the machines as far as possible by loading them with a minimum of 1GB of RAM and 40GB of hard drive space, and by selecting only machines with a minimum of 2.4GHz processor speed; essentially the best of what we had available. Documentation will be useful to indicate the current capabilities of the computers. For example, by having the hardware specifications, the IT staff will know what programs are capable of being run on the computers, potentially saving money and time by preventing unnecessary purchases.