[K12OSN] Best approach to calm the school's administration about Linux?

george kocke webmaster at vol.org
Fri May 28 19:31:36 UTC 2004

On Fri, 2004-05-28 at 13:49, Joseph Bishay wrote:

> What would be the best way to reassure them that the system we have 
> IS able to prepare the students for the future

I had to deal with the same thing last year after running LTSP school
wide for a year. 

My arguments were:

1. We need to be providing an education in the concepts of using
computers rather than *training* them in a specific version of a
specific program from a specific company. I asked them if they would use
an auto mechanic who had only learned to work on one specific model year
of a specific car from a specific company.

2. I proved to them that a word processor is a word processor, a
spreadsheet a spreadsheet, etc. I ran copies of MS Office and OpenOffice
side by side and compared them. I even had an old Macintosh SE running
MS Works from the mid 80's and demonstrated how all the concepts on 17
year old software still apply on modern software.

3. I had stacks of articles showing how Linux is being used behind the
scenes (Google, Amazon), how universities are using it, how people in
the "real world" (Largo, Flordia) are using it and how schools just like
ours ( http://www.stmarys-school.org/smsk12linux_howandwhy.htm ) are
using it. I constantly post links to "Linux in the real world" stories
on our intranet news page.

4. Cost. Showed them what it would cost to upgrade our mostly 1995 -
2000 (most machines are P200/32MB Win95 machines from 1997). New
hardware, new licenses for XP, Office, cals, antivirus, etc. Argued that
the money saved in software licenses could be better used to pay
teachers more and buy hardware (terminal server, switches) to drive our
existing set of workstations.

I've had absolutely no complaints this year from teachers or students
about using Linux. I've even had a few compliments on how well things
work (300 days uptime). I've not heard a peep from the administration
about changing things.

Good luck!

george kocke <webmaster at vol.org>

This email has been scanned by the MessageLabs Email Security System.
For more information please visit http://www.messagelabs.com/email 

More information about the K12OSN mailing list