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Re: Getting people into Linux (was: donated computers lab setup)



Glad you are trying to get more to use Linux and OSS.  However, from
my perspective there are some serious issues that should be addressed
through education of the educators, parents, PTA, etc.

1) Many schools teach "keyboarding" which is little more than the use
of Windows and Word.  Often they don't even know of OpenOffice.  That
is their response to "typing" and "using computers"

2) Many have tight budgets but can get enough for a few "state of the
art" computer centers often with Government grants or corporate grants
-- lots of shiny computers with shiny copies of Windows and shiny
copies of commercial educational software.  It really looks good to
the PTA.

3) Schools often don't know of the tools available.  For example, my
son's H/S algebra teacher who has never used, or was not aware of
octave, gnuplot, etc.

4) They don't have the staff that are capable of supporting Apple,
Windows, and Linux.  They can barely support Apple and Windows.

5) Windows can play mp3 audio files, generate videos, comes with Word,
Excel, and Powerpoint, and comes with IE, a browser that is supported
by most sites (at least this is what it APPEARS like).  Other concerns
are secondary (like security, flexibility, openness, etc.).

6) Most parents use Windows at home and that is what is on their
computer so they can help little Johnny with it at home but they don't
know what this lin-ucks stuff is.  Some of us have no choice in the
matter, for example, I have to use XP for a legacy Canon printer
(hence one computer is mainly Windows, the one my oldest son uses most
of the time).

7) School boards don't understand technology.  In Stafford, VA, they
have rule 10 which prohibits any alteration, removal, or erasure of
computer programs, data, or software.  The rule does not include the
word "unauthorized" nor does it address removing LEGAL software or
computer data YOU created (for example, little Susie in first grade
removing the picture she created to a floppy -- she could be
expelled).

AFIK, Schools used to get Apple machines (my H/S was one of the first
in the country as the then-president of Apple had a brother that
graduated there).  Now they get whatever they can, often via grants or
state programs.  Those programs try to get the "best" educational
software they can find, but from their perspective, it nearly always
means Windows....


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