The first step is to identify the need for the laboratory and the objectives of the laboratory which are:
- Learning computer creating a learning environment for 18 elementary school students with 3 special needs students.
- Internet access for the computer class of 18 elementary school students:
These tasks will need several equipments and software, these can be easily purchased but they must be of a good quality and standard to warrant good performance.
The most important items are the machines with a choice between a Mac and a PC. There is a slight difference between the two but both are computers that use almost the same type of hardware. PC is abbreviation for Personal computer and the MAC is a brand on it own right. However they both have a processor a motherboard, Graphics card, RAM memory, harddrive, optical drive and many more hardware.
The difference between the two comes in the software part of the system, the MAC computers use the OS X operating system additionally one can run windows, or Linux on a Mac machine but the OS X operating system is always a default operating system for the Mac machines. It also has specific programs that can only work in a Mac machine such as file with extension DMG that are unique to the Mac machines. The Mac is also simple and easy to use, less prone to virus attack, they are well designed and come with a better software.
On the other hand PCs use windows and Linux operating systems, they are also known for their wide range of software compatibility.PCs also offer maximum customization one can build a PC from the ground up, additionally one has a wide range of choices of brands. They are also affordable and thus are a preferable choice for this project.
The computer Lab in the elementary school will need few application programs installed in the computers. These software include typing training software for training the students on typing exercise and for their general typing exercise such software include ultrakey,ultimate typing , typing instructor platinum, typing instructor deluxe among others. Microsoft office suite is also an essential application program, others include antivirus software: Kerspersky, Norton antivirus, Avira, Nod32, Avast, AVG among others this are used to protect the computers against viruses and other malicious attacks. Music players and computer games for entertainment. The budgeted cost for installing these softwares is $2,000.
The peripheral devices to be used in the laboratory will include the basic input and output devices. The purchased PCs will be assembled thus will be inclusive of the keyboards, mouse and the monitors. Additional peripherals to be purchased will include a printer, prefereably HP three in one printer that will serve as a scanner printer and photocopier; this will be shared through the network. A standard printer that will be effective for the computer lab would cost $500.
In addition to these peripherals the computer lab will need network hardware to be used by the computers in the lab and also for internet connection. The basic devices that will be required for the network will include a network switch a wireless router and a modem. The Network will be a LAN therefore network cables will be needed for connection. The purchased PCs will be assembled thus will be inclusive of the keyboards, mouse and the monitors. Additional peripherals to be purchased will include a printer, prefereably HP three in one printer that will serve as a scanner printer and photocopier; this will be shared through the network
Three machines will be set aside for special needs students. These machines will be installed with the necessary hardware and software needed to meet the special needs. In general the computers that will be used for the special needs students will be customized to meet this special needs accordingly. These computers must have several USB ports to allow several external devices. It should also have adequate internal memory of at least 1GB and 60 GB external memory.
For autism, visually impaired and hearing disability the software and hardware used aides the student to learn computer and operate the computers just like any other normal student the computers will however be installed with special hardware including microphones, enhanced graphic display and external desktop speakers. In addition voice recognition software such as Dragon naturally speaking software premium edition, Sennheiser ME3 Combination Package.
3 Andrea NC 181VM-USB Microphone packed with the speech recognition software - $450
3 Dragon naturally speaking software premium edition- $600
3 PCs - $2400
Lamar, Stonecypher. The simple difference between Mac and PC. 1 January 2010. 3 April 2013.
Speech recognition Solutions. speech recognition software in special Education. 12 JAN 2013. 3 April 2013.