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

k12osn at collinsoft.com k12osn at collinsoft.com
Sun May 30 21:06:24 UTC 2004

On Fri, 28 May 2004, Joseph Bishay wrote:
> After finally setting up everything and having the lab running 
> smoothly, some issues have arisen.
> It seems rumours within the school's administration/board abound that 
> the lab we have is totally useless for preparing students for future 
> computer use/education.
> Background: we are a small private Christian elementary school with a 
> very limited budget and basic staffing. The school board is also made 
> up of people who have no experience in teaching (mostly business 
> people) and they don't interact with the school directly (IE: they're 
> completely out of touch).
> What would be the best way to reassure them that the system we have 
> IS able to prepare the students for the future (IE: Doesn't need to 
> be Windows)? Note that in our area (Toronto) there is no ministry-
> mandated computer curriculum, so essentially the lab is used as a 
> reference room for other subjects. 

My latest ammo has been this article from CNet News:

Basically, 80% of businesses still have Win95 or Win98 machines, and only 
62% of computers at firms with $50million in revenue are WinXP. Analysts 
estimate that 40 percent of the servers are still NT4. So when they tell 
you to run what's in the business world, ask them if that means Win95/98, 
W2K, WinXP? And then we get into what version of Office businesses are 
running. Office 95/97 is a lot different than Office XP. It's too much of 
a moving target. We've standardized on OpenOffice.org on the x86 machines 
and MS Office on our Macs (and this will change once the aqua version of 
Ooo comes out).

We are mostly Mac with one LTSP lab. Our latest success story is we had a 
2003 graduate get a job with a PR firm because she had a good basis of 
html and php (which we teach) and she had cross platform experience. This 
fresh HS graduate beat out people with associate and bachelor degrees!

Ryan Collins
Technology Coordinator - Kenton City Schools

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