We are moving ahead and making progress! In my last entry, I noted how our entire wi-fi network was unstable and I made a silly "new-bie" mistake: I never checked the capacity of the old, Apple Air port base stations. That is, I never check to see how many simultaneous internet connections that they could handle and discovered to my shock, that they can handle only TEN connections at a time! So with 20 students and at least 10 faculty members trying to access the internet at any given time, as well as trying to print via the networked printers, it is no wonder our base stations have been crashing every other day!
So after a lot of research into trying figure out which product would best replace the base stations, I decided that it made more sense to stick with Apple's latest upgraded hard ware, the Apple Airport Extreme base stations which can handle up to 50 simultaneous internet connections and also have USB ports to connect our printers to make them wirelessly accessible via the network. So they should be arriving in the mail anytime soon and hopefully we will have solved the problem of network stability.
And in another front, our teachers were finally ready to continue with "phase two" of our grant plan--purchasing digital cameras and microphones to start creating and producing digital works to show case their student works online. So we purchased two Canon PowerShot A570's with 2GB memory cards because they take both decent still and video, and two USB Logitech desktop microphones for podcasting. Now the teachers and students are slowly beginning to produce some digital content and uploading it onto our school's server, which was one of the original goals for the tech. grant! So far, so good!