No CD\DVD-RW drive included with WMSD laptop issued in 2015-2016

I'm the Music teacher and I just heard that we will be getting laptops soon instead of our desk tops. I asked if they are able to burn cds and play dvds and I was told that they are not. Big problem for me. As a music teacher I burn and copy lots of practice cds throughout the school year. I also have music dvds that go along with lessons and use for sub days. I will need something that allows me to do this especially burning and copying cds. Please let me know what to do. Thanks! ___________________________________________________________________________________________ CD/DVD technology is being phased out by the industry, so most laptops being made currently are shipped without such technology. It is cost prohibitive and reduces the battery life to continue purchasing equipment with built-in drives. Though shrinking, there is still some need for optical disc technology. To address this need, we have also purchased 10-20 External CD\DVD Drives per campus to be available for check out from your library or issued directly by the Principal to the staff members they deem as necessary. Most remaining need/use for CD\DVD optical disc drives is for accompanying textbook software or DVD videos. The showing of DVD videos is not a justifiable need unless we have the license to do so. To start, showing mainstream movies that you purchased from a retailer or got from RedBox is likely not educational. Even if it is, this type of use is not licensed properly. See http://k12.movlic.com/ for more details. As a district we spend far too much annually on textbooks, and need to break away from such an antiquated model. Not only do we pay too much for the readily available information in textbook form, but the publishers insist upon including the accompanying software for the textbook in disc form. This costs us even more money to buy the non-standard equipment (external DVD drives) to be backward compatible. Textbook publishers's software is also antiquated because they rarely have a method for school to mass deploy the textbook software. Only works from a disc, and they sell/ ship us one per book, even though they are all the same. Not offering a mass deployment option, further increases the cost of support in both hardware and support time and personnel. Every time I hear the word "textbook" it results in more money being spent or arguably wasted. I am sure this was more information than for which you were inquiring. I included it to acknowledge your unique, yet justifiable need for an optical drive. However, this question will come from many that do not have the same justifiable need and probably fall into the DVD Movie or Textbook reasoning. We will have a limited number of CD\DVD drive for "checkout until phase-out." We will not continue issuing one to all, as it would be wasteful to continue widespread support for antiquated equipment. There are other ways that are more efficient technically and financially that WMSD must move towards. -- Jim Robb Director of Technology West Memphis School District 410 West Tyler Avenue Suite A West Memphis, AR 72301 Phone: 870-732-8565 jrobb@wmsd.net
Published on: 2015-09-11 See other articles in I.T. Policies.