County Primary School uses Government funding to pioneer
groundbreaking Internet Access solution.
Kimpton Primary School has become the first school in the UK to incorporate an “Internet Appliance”, the latest Internet innovation for Schools. In a collaborative effort with Andover based Internet computer company Icentrix Ltd, Kimpton school became the proving ground for the new low-cost and environmentally friendly Internet Access solution.
Kimpton, Hampshire – 22nd April 1999 – Today Kimpton Primary School near Andover in Hampshire is holding an open day for invited guests to show off their new Internet solution. The school has installed a computer Network linking all Key Stage Two classrooms to the Internet. However the jewel in the crown is the creation of a “ Cyber Zone ” in the school Library where pupils and staff enjoy dedicated access to the Internet all day long.
The Cyber Zone features an “ Internet Appliance ” ; a powerful shared computer that uses it's superior processing power to run special software programs on behalf of less powerful computers on a network, sending the results back to them for display. This makes it possible
to browse the Internet, send and receive email or run Web based software applications using older or less powerful computers without the need for expensive new Windows® PCs. The name of this new product is MarioNet ™ . “ The MarioNet Internet Appliance acts like a pace maker, breathing new life into computers that are connected to it, ” said Quentin Stokes, ICT co-ordinator at the school. “ Four old
computers were purchased from obsolete IT stock for less than £40 each. They can now browse the World Wide Web with the same performance as brand new Pentium® computers, but at a fraction of the cost ” according to Stokes. “ The system was paid for in full using government grants available through Hampshire County Council under the National Grid For Learning scheme ” , said Headteacher Sandra
Hurlin. Adding “ Initial costing suggested that we could not afford the cabling, class room computers and the dedicated Cyber Zone. We were thrilled when local businessman and parent Roger Gross came to our aid ” . “ I knew that clusters of conventional Windows PCs costing around £800 each would soon use up the available funds ” , said Roger Gross, Chief Executive of Andover based Icentrix Ltd, the
company who designed and installed the MarioNet system. “ Kimpton School were instrumental in the design helping us to ensure that MarioNet is exactly what schools want at an affordable price. It is very satisfying to see the staff and pupils get so much enjoyment
from it and I am very grateful for the support that we received ” Gross added.
The powerful Internet Appliance was designed specifically for the task of browsing the World Wide Web in school environments. It runs the industry standard Netscape® Navigator® Web browser software in a Multi-user configuration under the stable Linux ™ Internet Operating
System. It includes support for Java® applets and browser plug-ins (computer programs that are downloaded from a Web site and executed by a Web browser). It can rejuvenate up to 25 old computers and is available in 5, 10, 15 and 25 terminal configurations. The 5 and 10
terminal versions are targeted at the Primary School sector. Secondary and Higher education establishments are expected to utilise 15 and 25 terminal editions. These offer unparalleled price performance with costs as low as one third of those associated with conventional networked PCs. Low administration; robustness; filtering of unsuitable content; year 2000 conformity and immunity from Windows viruses were additional considerations during the design of the system.
The launch of the MarioNet Internet Appliance from Icentrix coincides with a marked change in attitudes towards the Internet and the role that it can play in education. This is evident by the availability of government funds. Increasing numbers of Web sites are available which
provide quality on-line tutorials and exercises as well as games and general information. The real-time nature of the Internet ensures that Web sites are regularly changed and offer stimulating and topical content. Stokes concluded, “ The Cyber Zone does not make class room PCs redundant but does provide a valuable additional resource of dedicated Internet terminals that would be cost prohibitive by any other means than the MarioNet Internet Appliance. The Children have
become highly motivated and are enjoying discovering new Web sites and resources every day through access to this latest ICT technology ” .
Kimpton C of E (aided) School Icentrix Limited
Sandra Hurlin. Head Teacher Roger Gross. C.E.O.
Quentin Stokes ICT Co-ordinator Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email: email@example.com Telephone: 01264 771451
Telephone: 01264 772297 Fax: 01264 772672
Fax: 01264 772992
Icentrix is a privately owned Internet Software company dedicated to providing innovative
Multi-user Web browsing solutions for resource constrained computing platforms, designed
for low bandwidth connections (including wireless), low memory, low computing power and
low cost. Roger Gross founded the company in December 1998. Gross was founder and
former President and CEO of the International Software Company, Caldera Thin Clients, Inc
based in Utah, USA. Gross previously held management and engineering positions with
Novell, Inc and Digital Research, Inc in the UK.
Icentrix and MarioNet are trademarks of Icentrix Limited. All other trademarks and registered
trademarks are property of their respective owners.