SOURCE: School Web Lockers

February 20, 2008 12:49 ET

K-12 Schools Turn to Web-Based Storage as 2008-09 Budgets Demand Cost-Effective Technology Choices

School Web Lockers SaaS Platform Delivers Unlimited Online Storage and Improved Data Security for as Little as $1 per Student

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - February 20, 2008) - As budget planning begins for the 2008-2009 school year, school administrators throughout the U.S. are turning to cost-effective, software as a service (SaaS) platforms to meet their growing storage capacity requirements. School Web Lockers, a provider of web-based computing solutions for K-12 schools and school districts, is responding to this demand by offering unlimited storage capacity to schools for as little as $1 per student.

With storage area networks (SANs) priced as high as $50,000 or more today, online storage services are becoming increasingly appealing as schools also consider the costs of hiring a salaried employee to manage and maintain the SAN.

For Chuck Gott, MIS director for Village Christian Schools in Sun Valley, Calif., allowing students to safely and securely transfer files between home and school was a top priority. School Web Lockers provided the most economical means of satisfying that need in a simple way.

"The School Web Lockers service is a fraction of the cost of what it would entail to buy and install our own storage system, let alone manage and maintain it," Gott said. " The service has allowed us to provide our students and teachers with an efficient method of transferring files and managing online homework assignments."

Use of the School Web Lockers platform, which is also designed for collaboration, is simple. Each school or school district receives its own secure, password-protected web site. All students, teachers and administrators are then assigned their own web locker, or digital drop box. Students can start their work on a computer at school, and then stash it in their web locker to finish at home or elsewhere.

All files are backed up daily and preserved from year to year to allow students to easily create a portfolio of work. The service also offers other security and safety measures for students, such as blocked file types, parental sign-in, and the ability for teachers and school administrators to monitor what students are storing. For collaboration beyond file sharing, School Web Lockers also provides teacher blogs and message boards (for school-wide or even district-wide online discussions).

One of the biggest advantages of the School Web Lockers system is that it is completely hosted within a co-location center, which means schools not only reduce their investment in technology infrastructure, but they also eliminate software maintenance and administration costs. And, while many districts already rely upon on-site SANs for administrative files, they can expand their storage environments by using SaaS-based systems to support the increasingly complex video and data files that students and teachers use.

Schools are also finding that SaaS offers a safer, more secure alternative to allowing students to use portable devices such as USB drives or compact disks, which can threaten the security of district networks. In addition, having students access their data on a separate domain from the school network, through the use of a service such as School Web Lockers, also addresses further security concerns.

Another cost-saving factor is that web-based storage removes the need for paper by allowing teachers to upload documents and post them directly into student web lockers. A teacher can simply upload one document and post it in all student lockers instead of making multiple handout copies. In turn, students can complete an assignment on the computer and upload the document into the "homework due" folder, from which it is then sent directly to the teacher.

The move to online storage is a transitional one for most schools, said Kelly Agrelius, manager of sales and marketing for School Web Lockers. "In some cases, schools are steadily integrating the service, one classroom at a time, and based upon teacher interest," she said. "Further down the line, we anticipate that districts will formally train teachers to plan curriculum using online storage. That's when we'll see the trend toward online storage really take off in education."

About School Web Lockers

School Web Lockers is a leading provider of cost-effective, web-based tools for collaboration, distance learning, one-to-one computing and online storage. Formed in 2004 as a division of San Diego-based Networld Solutions, Inc., School Web Lockers today serves hundreds of K-12 schools and school districts across the U.S. with secure, easy-to-use computing solutions for students, teachers and administrators. For more information, visit www.schoolweblockers.com or call 1-866-499-6527.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Kelly Agrelius
    School Web Lockers
    858-874-5588
    Email Contact

    Paula Johns
    Paula Johns Communications
    760-487-1799
    Email Contact