Sisnet SIG Meeting Summary

Greg Lindner, SISNet SIG Chair

The latest Sisnet meeting was held at the San Diego County Office of Education on September 23, 1994. I want to express a special thank you to Harry Bloom for all his help and for shuttling us to and from the airport. I also want to thank Skip Sharp for getting us a room which helped us keep the costs of the meeting to a minimum.

While attendance at the meeting was light, it allowed us to be very informal. The meeting started off with Russ Brawn from Far West Laboratory giving us a summary and status report on the CSIS project and AIRS. Since it was an informal setting we were able to jump in with questions whenever we wanted. I believe everyone in attendance had a much better understanding of CSIS and what AIRS is all about after Russ' presentation.

The remainder of the meeting was spent discussing how districts or counties buy equipment and software. The question was raised about leasing versus buying. Apparently there are companies that will lease hardware and software to a school or district instead of selling it to them. This would allow the school to always upgrade to the latest hardware and software for a fixed annual cost. This raises some interesting questions about funding for purchases--either one-time funding or on-going funding. The group was interested to learn more about this topic.

Another issue discussed was the use of Ethnic Codes. The question was raised about how schools or districts handle the situation of having a student that does not necessarily fit into one of the defined ethnic codes. After much discussion, it was the consensus that the codes do not always fit and this often puts schools in a difficult position.

The remaining topics covered included the Internet, Training, and Site License Purchases for Software. San Diego COE is currently providing training on the use of the Internet and has trained over 500 teachers since early this year. Additionally, San Diego COE is working on a Site License Purchase for software from Microsoft and Claris. The pricing for this type of site license is extremely competitive and should be looked into by any large district or county. I will attempt to find out more specifics on this issue for future articles.

All in all it was a very rewarding meeting.