Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

New York School Finds Success with Java Computing Model

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

New York School Finds Success with Java Computing Model

Article excerpt

Last spring, the John J. Pershing Intermediate School in Brooklyn, N.Y., became one of the first elementary schools in the country to connect to the Internet by way of a network computer.

The New York City Board of Education designated Pershing as a pilot school for new technology. Through Project Smart Schools, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Chancellor Rudolph Crew plan to bring computers and Internet access to every public school by the year 2000.

The first phase of the project will put an average of four computers and a printer in every middle school by mid 1998. Instead of purchasing scores of Apple or IBM-compatible machines, administrators expect to develop a network of JavaStations from Sun Microsystems (Mountain View, CA).

No Moving Parts

Unlike conventional desktop computers, the JavaStation has no hard or floppy drive, no slots and no CD-ROM player. A small box enclosure contains a microSPARCII processor, memory (from 8MB to 64MB), Flash RAM (up to 8MB) and networking interfaces (10BaseT or 100BaseT).

The network computer (NC) uses the JavaOS, an operating system from Sun that takes only 3.5MB to efficiently run applications. It supports a wide range of off-the-shelf and custom Java applications as well as Windows applications (with Insignia Solutions' NTRIGUE applet).

To date, Pershing has installed 30 JavaStations, all of which are connected to the Internet. I-Gear filtering software protects students from inappropriate content when they browse the Web.

"Our dream for the past two years at Pershing Intermediate School has been to have a fully networked technology infrastructure with computers and online capabilities in each of our classrooms," says Principal Beverly McCormick. "With the latest computer systems and expertise from Sun, we are on our way to making that dream a reality. …

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