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Re: [K12OSN] Linux in Education Book?



Hi All
We have now come to a item close to my heart, Computers in Education. I am a member of retired professionals who formed a focus group to bring our local high school into a paper-less school.
We found all systems go with one exception, that of qualified software that meets both teachers needs and the school qualifications. Primarily that of teachers preferring to write their own curriculum and the need for measuring accomplishments. We were in hopes of implementing this program in 9/04, but the district is still afraid of placing any program due to cost, even though we showed them how to start the program without asking the parents or governments for help.

We have been researching for over 3 years, listed below is some of the information and costs we found.

(1)   A tablet type PC with notebook capabilities ( I:E LCD display of 8 1/2 X 11, 5 gig hardrive, 128 meg memory, modem, CD ROM RW/ DVD Play,)These units would survive the idiosycrancies of the typical 14 year old, and would be used as texts and notebooks in the classroom ,Cost under $500.00 on orders over 2000

(2)   Full servers and routers to service a 2000 student High school, Cost $55,000.00, 
(3)   We programmed a cost of a split position for a combination IT Manager (this manager would eventually assume the position of the entire district)and Teacher carrying 2 classes per day of computer related subjects. Cost $65,000.00 per year

As stated earlier one of the primary problems is that of qualified software, in that there are no progressive learning programs worth there salt. We have looked at several Linux programs on the web, none met our standards of reporting.

What we had envisioned was, a student in class with a portable PC taking notes from a lecture type presentation, homework would be done on the computer and sent to the teacher via the web, the server would correct and evaluate the answers for the teacher ( Easily possible in todays technology )

Our presentation was based upon starting at the freshman level and building to the senior level, a year at a time. The figures we operated on were $185.00 average lottery money received from the state per year,+ $223.00 average book allowance per student per year.

We polled the parents as to an amount they would consider fair to bring there high school into the modern education, average was $180.00 per year in assessments, this is over and above the local tax rate to education of 51% of assessed tax basis.

The question asked was, Do you believe that your tax dollars are being used wisely in regards to education, how much would you pay to improve your childs education.

Our focus group was immediately considered persona non grata by the local district, we were told they would decide how the tax dollars were distributed. Needless to say school board elections will change things.

In writing this missile it is evident that we must bring  the outlying groups together and form a single group with a single purpose, the larger the number we speak with the more our decision makers will conform.

To those of you who agree get back to me and lets go to work!




John McQuilliams




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