School computers are environmentally unfriendly and too powerful

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In the increasingly environmentally conscious world of technology, or those who use it, a new report suggests that computers in schools are incredibly wasteful and that the systems are too powerful for what they’re required to do anyway.

Sirius Corporation say that ‘fat client’ workstations should be replaced by ‘thin client’ terminals – no, it’s nothing to do with Jamie Oliver, but more to do with minimising the pool of over-powerful, energy-inefficient standalone computers and using flat-screen terminals connected up to a PC server which does all the work of running the software, handling printing, and so on.

The sentiment is fine, though the CEO of Sirius, Mark Taylor, is a little patronising as he says “The hardware specified is just too powerful for the tasks required of school children.”

Yes of course, Mark. Why give kids a half-decent chance with modern computers that will propel them into the world of technology they’ll have to work in? Aww bless them, modern PCs are just too powerful for them (despite the fact that most kids know at least twice as much about PCs as most current CEOs do…)

On the other hand, most tech-savvy kids probably have a much better PC at home than the school could ever offer them.

“Most school’s PCs spend their time idle,” Mark continues. Yep… well switch them off then! Don’t just downgrade them.

Certainly getting a job lot of flat screens and replacing CRT monitors will help the energy situation.

What do you think? Do kids need decent PCs at school? Or are these computers wasteful energy hogs?

Andy Merrett