Green Computing in Schools: Benefits of Using Green Practices and How Schools Can Implement Them

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How Schools Can Benefit

At recent webinar on green computing, participants discussed steps that schools could take to reduce their energy consumption of their technology systems. This would not only reduce environmental impact it would also help them cut their expenditure and save on their budgets.

“What’s going to happen to this world if we don’t change our behavior?” asked consultant Karen Greenwood Henke, who moderated the online discussion for the Consortium for School Networking, its host. “Even small changes can have a big impact.”

Schools can benefit from programs such as IBM’s Big Green Innovations, which is aimed at helping schools and businesses design more energy-efficient data centers to reduce power consumption. IBM also buys back and disposes of used computer systems.

The panel agreed that understanding how mush energy is being consumed is a major step to solving the problem. They discussed a number of steps that schools could take, beginning with calculating which systems are using the most energy and determining which of them could be places in idle mode when they are not in use.

The IT systems account for an estimated 45 percent of energy use and power and cooling infrastructure accounts for 55 percent, yet it is also estimated that only 20 percent of the average school IT system is being used at any time.

How Schools Can Use Green Computing Practices

There are several ways that schools can green-up their computer systems:

. By purchasing only energy star compliant products.

· By using an intranet along with Microsoft SharePoint technology for posting internal information, schools can reduce the amount of storage space needed on individual machines and reduce the number of printed emails.

· By using server virtualization technologies to combine a number of servers onto one or two hardware systems to save energy.

· By cutting power consumption by setting monitors to go into sleep mode at a set time.

· By civing students access to virtual schooling at home to cut down on the use of electricity and gas consumption. This is particularly effective for students who live in rural areas and have to travel further to get to school.