Amid school budget cuts across the nation, 76 Texas K-12 schools are realizing cost savings while offering convenience to students and teachers by implementing the School Web Lockers online storage and file sharing system. The Web-based platform allows students and teachers to work on computer-generated documents both at school and at home, without expensive servers hosted by the district.
In Texas, 45,000 teachers and students are now benefiting from School Web Lockers technology. The software provides access to digital documents and projects from any Internet location, and combines online storage, backup, collaboration and file sharing in a single system. To start, each user receives a secure, password-protected Web locker, or digital drop box. They can then create work on one computer device and then save files in their Web locker for access and completion on another computer later.
On average, servers hosted by a district can cost up to $32,000 a piece and each district may require three or four servers alone to secure students’ digital documents. By contrast, School Web Lockers’ online service costs as little as $1 per student, per year. Data storage is unlimited, giving students the ability to maintain a large online portfolio of video projects, presentations and everyday assignments.
For Ron Bolin, executive director of technology for Randolph Field Independent School District in Universal City, Texas, the decision to implement School Web Lockers’ online storage solution three years ago was more about ease of use and convenience for the student population.
"We are very happy with what School Web Lockers offers our district and students," said Bolin. "The technology is so easy to use from both a technology management and student point of view, and all for just a low fee."
In addition to saving money on server fees, many districts leveraging the School Web Lockers solution spend less on paper and ink toner, as projects do not have to be printed out and taken home. For further savings, all of the data is stored off site, in a secure center that is managed and monitored by School Web Lockers, requiring no maintenance or upkeep by the school district.
Ron Hudson, technology director of Christ the King Catholic School in Dallas, says his school has experienced substantial savings since using School Web Lockers. "Saving money on jump drives has been our biggest cost-cutting factor, removing about $2,400 from our budget," said Hudson.