My daughter goes to a small parochial school (about 200 students; 10 teachers; 1 principal; 1 office assistant ). They have a dozen PC in the computer lab running Win95, and a few of the classes have older Macs (performas, IIsi). The computer lab uses Powerpoint and some other apps for the upper grade levels and Math Blasters and such for the lower grades. In 2001 I suggested to the principal and the home and school that they move up to the 21st century and get a web site and email. I even set up a sample web site. They liked it and by the end of the year wired the school and got Roadrunner and a PC server. Early this year, after much dragging of feet, I set them up with an actual web site and a handful of email accounts. As of today, they haven't made much use of email, and haven't asked me or anyone to update the site.
But over the summer, we received a new pastor who is "computer savvy". He had his nephew (an MIS somewhere) install another server with Microsoft Exchange and started setting up more email accounts. From talking to staff, it's connected to the school office and the church office (2 computers).
Now I'm a Mac guy... I don't even like having Internet Explorer on my Mac... but I'm not against a school getting whatever technology it can afford to help the kids (and this school can't afford much). But from what I'm picking up, this setup is way beyond what's needed for this school. Am I off target on this?
1. At what point would you NEED to have MS Exchange in your lineup?
2. What kind of costs are we looking at?
3. Can Macs be connected easily to this setup?
4. Could Macs do this setup easier/cheaper?
5. What are the advantages/disadvantages to Exchange?
Sorry for the long winded post... any advice is appreciated.