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[K12OSN] Goods for the Kiddies & Administrators SOLD



>> My plan is to start with a visual taste of Linux.  Then I'll list the
>> costs of putting Windows XP and Office on 16 workstations, including
>> more RAM and a few hard drives (three machines had none). 
>> 
>> Any other suggestions are welcome.
>> 

>>> 
>>> Richard Ingalls wrote:
>>> > I agree with Peter Newell on this one!  Linux needs 
>>> > something comparable to "Reader Rabbit" and all the
>>> > "Jump Start" programs for younger students.  At this
>>> > point, I only use LTSP for the older students at my 
>>> > PreK - 8th grade school (which means, I only use it
>>> > for a "writing lab" for grades 5 - 8).
>>> 

Okay, I just sent the following msg to the OSN list, then opened this and read it.
Sorry for the cross post, those of you (many I think) that are on both lists.
This had to be said though, regarding two things, selling Linux to school, AND apps for the young'uns:


I was at my district's tech committee meeting.  I am on the long term goals committee, so when we came to that part of the meeting, I gave a little demonstration.
I downloaded Ofset.org's Freeduc Cd last night.  It is a GNU/Debian system that runs from the CD (Knoppix, ya know) and has a bunch of edu apps tacked on.
I had the full attention of the Superintendant, my principal (middle school) and the elementary principal, as well the middle school tech coordinator, &c.
I floored them with KStars, Celestial, OpOf.org, GCompris, Gperiodic, etc.
I mean, they were drooling over all this TOTALLY FREE software!
I did a demo for the 8th grade science teacher earlier in the day.  She is
starting an Astronomy unit now, and then Chemistry.  I left her with the copy of the CD (have the iso on my hdd), she was SO psyched.
Up to this point, a few techies have gibbered on about a migration, whilst some
looked on with trepidation.  Those days are over.  We're talking action plans implemented/I want it yesterday, stuff.
I was all for Darwin, once, but now I'm trying to get Debian on the Macs at school.
Of course, I want K12 in the lab, on the server, and, at the very least, on MY desktop in my room.  Much as I respect the Debian Nation, guess I'm a RH guy.
But, if you have any doubt, if your administrators have any doubt, if anyone in your building or district has any doubt, you MUST download this disc and show it off.  Ofset's Freeduc CD page:  http://www.ofset.org/projects/edusoft/edusoft.html
(or <!--shameless plug--!> order a disc from my site...).  Heck, OpOf.org would have sold 'em (vs. M$Office licenses, especially), but with all those fantastic edutainment, mathematics and science packages, etc., I really had them  in the bag.
The only minor drawback is that the Ofset disc is configured for a French keyboard setup and many of the menus are in French (C'est pas une problem pour moi, parce que, moi, je parle francais.)  The apps are still 90% in English, though.
That, and b/c my school is presently on a NT network (my excuse), I couldn't get Moz to authenticate on the proxy for full functionality on KStars and to show off 
other great Internet apps included.  S'probably a way to do that, but even on my iBook, I can only get IExploiter to go through the network (otherwise I would delete that M$ crap from my iBook, too, and stick with Moz or Netscrape, which I use at home--Safari is blisteringly quick, but lacks features I like and use in Netscrape).  Networking is my weakness.



tony

I am adding, for the K12 list, that GCompris contains some fantastic apps for the Reader Rabbit crowd.  I downloaded it for my daughter before I saw it on the Freeduc CD.  She is three and a half, some of you may recall.  She had been having  fun with KTuber and a couple of other things, but now that I have added GCompris to her machine she's as attached to the computer as I am. (yes, I built her a machine of her own out of a Celeron 600 and some other old spare parts, and she is making puzzles with GCompris as I type this.)
I'm not saying that it fixes everything, but GCompris is a suite that includes something like 50 different games that range from simple mouse skills, to ABCs to algebra, and engineering feats.  Great stuff!  My daughter plays about a dozen to fifteen of the games in GCompris, unaided by an adult.  (Of course, she IS a genius like her Dad)

nuff said,

tony

http://www.School-Library.net
Read, Connect, Learn!


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