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[K12OSN] Accelerated Reader/Renaissance Place

Greetings everyone,

Let me start off by saying that I've followed this list for the better
part of a year without ever posting anything, so I'm a first-timer.  I
am the technology director for a 5 school district with approximately
1500 students in Iowa.  With our ever-shrinking budget, I have been
pushing for Linux on the desktop for some time.  My superintendent loves
the idea, and is totally for LTSP throughout the district.  Naturally,
we have some school board and staff members that are not entirely
receptive to the idea....you know the drill....we need Microsoft, etc.
At any rate, this summer I purchased the materials to build a dual
processing opteron server with 4 gigs of memory.  When I told the
superintendent about the purchase and the cost(roughly $1600 from
Newegg.com) he really fell in love with the idea.  Last week, I finally
talked a teacher into allowing some of her old junkers to be "upgraded"
to LTSP thin clients, as well as a computer in our high school media
center, and one additional client in my office.  The immediate reaction
is very positive--teacher and other staff members are very impressed
with the speed of the system!  I would eventually like to put about 20
clients on this system to see how the system reacts under a pretty full
load.  Can any of you comment on a fully loaded (20-25 clients) running
on a dual opteron, 4 gig, WD Raptor hard drive setup?

Now on to my real question.  Are any of you using the web-based version
of Accelerated Reader(Renaissance Place) with LTSP or Linux?  If so, how
is it working for you?  The people at Renaissance have assured me that
this will indeed work, but can't give me the names of any districts that
are currently using LTSP with RP.  When I go to RP website, I am able to
use their sample quizzes within Firefox with no problem, using the flash
plugin.  I am going to try to convice RP to let my district test/pilot
RP with LTSP/Linux so I can be assured that I'm not going to pay for a
product that won't work.  Any comments/advice welcome.


Brad Johnson

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