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Objectives for Integrating Technology

Existing Technology

The church came equipped with some key components that made the overall implementation of the lab easier.

The church already had two computers in their office in the main church building. One is running Windows XP and the other is running Windows 98. The Windows XP machine is their primary office computer, and it connects to a copier/scanner/printer combination unit, the Sharp MX-2300N.

During our installation visit, we discovered that the Windows 98 machine can no longer connect to the Internet, because they no longer pay for their dial-up service and the computer does not have an Ethernet NIC. However, this computer has not been in use recently, and hopefully the new lab will make the ‘loss’ of this machine less of a burden to the community.

Before our partnership came about, the church had already been planning on installing a lab. In anticipation of the new lab, the church had already invested in a high speed Internet connection through AT&T U-verse. They had a password-protected wireless router already functioning, and during one of our visits, we discovered the connection was very strong in the out-building. The office computer connections to the router via a cable connection.

Integrating Technology

The wireless connection will make it possible to connect the lab computers to the Internet which would have been very difficult otherwise. If the church did not have wireless capabilities, we would have needed to string out copious amounts of cable. The wireless connection makes our job of integrating the lab much easier.

The pastor expressed interest in connecting the lab computers to the office printer. Since the functioning office computer already is connected to the printer, Printer Sharing was simple to set up so that kids in the lab will be able to print off homework or creative projects they do.

We need to consider the tools we will need to successfully integrate their existing technology with the technology that we will bring to the table. We have a couple hardware concerns. We are bringing 6 computers for their lab, and each will need to be outfitted with a wireless card. We will also need to figure out a way to make the lab and power source for the lab mobile because their space serves so many purposes.

We want to make sure that we integrate software that will be useful for their purposes for the lab. We will present them with the software on the 451 installation CD, and we will also ask them for additional recommendations from the church members.

We will also look into creating a website for the church, so that they will gain an important web presence and share their events calendar. ~mkl