Here’s an interesting article about a decision made by officials at Iowa State University to remove landline phones from student residencies. Most students use cellphones instead of landlines anyway, says the article, and removing the landline phones will save the school $140,000 per year.
Of course, the decision was not made quickly or easily. School officials worked closely with student leaders to make the student body comfortable with the decision. One of the biggest concerns, says the article, was the ability to dial 911 in case of an emergency, which the school remedied by providing one landline phone per floor.
Although this article focuses on a higher education institution, K-12 schools may be facing similar decisions in the near future. I just finished up a story about school districts deciding whether to switch to a wireless network, and many of the folks I spoke with seemed to have the same mentality as those at Iowa State. As usage of wired networks declines, it makes sense from a financial standpoint to decrease the service and invest that money into a wireless network instead, said a number of tech directors I talked to.
What do you think? Is your school considering getting rid of an older technology in favor of a new one? What are the drawbacks to pulling such services as landline phones or wired networks? What are the advantages?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.