I think that Tech Directors all across the country are going to HAVE to find a way to get it across to their school boards that they MUST purchase more bandwidth. I know a school that has but one t1 line for the whole district! I'm sure that's nothing new to lots of folks. The tech directors in those districts are going to have to study up on this wave of applications that are is hitting the web and SOMEHOW find a way to make the point clear to those that control the purse strings.
If I was a tech director and curriculum director (combined position, I guess) I would immediately STOP paying for Microsoft licenses for my students. Not another penny. Instead, I'd get them up on Google Docs or Zoho Office of ThinkFree Office. Online storage of documents PLUS the ability to collaborate. (Remember the new NETS standards?) And, they'd use the online versions of excel, as well. No more Powerpoint. They'd use the Open Office version to make the presentations, then post them using slideshare or Spresents. They'd have 24/7 access to their files from any browser. They would use the online tools to, as the NETS puts it, "Create Knowledge." They would be using Skype (perhaps only on the teacher's machine) to connect with classrooms across the world. They'd be using Moodle for their classroom gathering point where they'd be building wikis and blogging and commenting on RSS feeds gathered by the teacher. They'd maybe have a Joomla or Drupal site in the English or Journalism classes in which they'd build out their student newspapers or blog about the books they're reading. They'd be ONLINE!
They'd be watching streaming video from their local IU's (A Pennsylvania thing), and they'd be creating their own videos and posting them on TeacherTube or other such sites. They'd be podcasting regularly. Their entire year would be eyeball deep with technology, and all of it focused on classroom CONTENT.
But, what will allow that to happen is enough bandwidth that students can access the sites or watch the videos etc without having to wait for it. It HAS to be fast. Districts HAVE to have the bandwidth! Get 100 megs (minimum) to the Internet. Get 100 megs (minimum) to your local WAN. Get a GIG! In my opinion, this is no longer an option.