Caleb Wagnon cwagnon at redbugmail.k12.ar.us
Sat Apr 3 14:08:10 UTC 2004

Sudev Barar said:
> I try to give
> them examples of K12LTSP but reading this thread shows that many school
> districts there are equally obstinate(?)
> Grin Grunt and carry on!

I find threats work well =)

When schools were getting audited by M$....we got nervous. Teachers seemed to
help themselves to office cd's. Our technology department is still somewhat
young....so back in the day everyone did whatever (one teacher that does
technology...and installs pirated software *everywhere*). So we told them
"we're taking office off and we're not putting it back on". Then when they
requisition office to be purchased and the superintendent kills that...they
beg us for an alternative. I install openoffice and they're happy now. Make
them do without and be miserable first...it helps =)

Now linux desktops/terminals on the other hand have been taken extremely well.
Most of the software teachers are using is web-based here...and they're
already used to open office. So the change was minimal to them. They are
seeing the light of "choice". Some teachers love gnome and its customization.
Others consider iceWM a savior when they get me to K.I.S.S. and strip it down
to nothing but the "icons" they need on the menu.

Movement to opensource (primarily linux) is a big change to us (technology
heads). But the users don't realize how big of a change it really is. That's
what scares them. The better approach is to just tell them we're upgrading
software for better compliance. If we tell them its a massive migration they
get scared. Worked for us ;-)

Anyway...assess your needs. In some instances the paid for software is worth
it if the opensource alternative won't do exactly what they need (maybe not
worth what they ask for it...but ya still gotta give it). Don't look at it as
moving to opensource. Just look at the dollar and features in a side by side
comparision as if you were purchasing this type of software for the first
time. We try to be unbiased in our decisions...and still many of the decisions
we make end up deciding the opensource alternatives are the better value.

Caleb Wagnon MCP A+ CCNA
Technology Coordinator
Fordyce School District

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