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John Mullen of Dell opened the Moot this morning with a quick chat about the state of technology in education and Dell’s various initiatives to help schools and institutions cut costs and focus on innovation.

Though commercial in a sense (there were very specific product placements throughout the talk…Dell Streak anyone?) the keynote was sprinkled with some good information and insights.

Shifting IT Focus:

Dell’s public sector division’s goal is to help cut IT costs and efforts by 80% in order to help schools and institutions meet their cost reduction goals while maintaining the same or higher levels of IT use.  They view IT in institutions as cooperative and urge users to move them towards a more centralized approach (rather than each division/department to have their own IT cells): the approach, John says, can help to maximize the use of IT human capital by redistributing it’s role — that is to say, shift it’s focus from IT management (through time reduction) towards support, training and to address more mission critical goals (for higher education this was focused on research).

John went on to talk about the new paradigm of educational technology and how it affects more of the educational community (including parents):

  • Parents: more informed/involved
  • Technologists: more integrated
  • Students: more engaged
  • Administrators: more successful
  • Teachers: more enabled

Higher Ed:

Through their work with higher education institutions John mentioned that nearly 50% were currently evaluating LMS implementations, specifically open source options such as Moodle.

Blame my myTouch 3G for the poor quality

Dell’s Public Sector Division:

Dell’s PSD is over 10,000 employees world wide and covers health, education and government.  John played a quick video to highlight their dedication to the staff in those areas available at:

Dell and Moodle:

Finally, John closed with some information about Dell’s newest technologies for education and their partnership with Moodlerooms, which, perhaps is the most interesting and least discussed part of his talk.  Perhaps both companies together are looking to emulate the Blackboard hosting model (which pairs the software with capable hardware (and charges accordingly).  What is clear from the keynote is that Dell is seeking to become the hosting environment for educational institutions using Moodle through their partnership with Moodlerooms (though they did mention that they hoped Moodle-interested organizations would also evaluate Remote-Learner‘s Moodle-based offerings as well.  More information about the partnership is available at

Dell Streak and upcoming Tablets:

During the Q&A John and his staff alluded to the introduction of both a 7 and 10 inch tablet to combat the iPad’s early tablet dominance.  It will be interesting to see their success in bringing these to education (and potentially helping to push forward the development and adoption of Mobile Moodle).

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