[K12OSN] K12LTSP...My Opinion

Martin Woolley sysadmin at handsworth.bham.sch.uk
Mon Dec 5 11:50:00 UTC 2005

On Sunday 04 Dec 2005 05:40, Paul VanGundy wrote:
> WARNING: The following is my opinion and is based off of my
> experiences :)
> All,
> I am finding that K12LTSP is quite exceptional at the primary education
> level. The games and applications available to students at that age are
> broad and deep. However, I am finding that K12LTSP isn't very robust for
> our high school level students. K12LTSP is quite "kiddish" to most of
> our high school students as they see TuxPaint, TuxType and the Mr.
> Potato Head type games. Granted, I can deselect the packages that I
> don't wish to be installed but then what am I left with? LTSP.
> I am currently getting Ubuntu LTSP up and running and it is going very
> well. I believe that Ubuntu LTSP will fit in quite well in our high
> school (besides, I like debian based distros GO APT-GET! :)) as I will
> then install and configure applications that will meet the needs of our
> high school students.
> Why am I even emailing this you may ask? I am curious as to other users
> experience with K12LTSP in their high schools...or even if any of you
> use it in your high schools. I hear of it being used a lot in the
> elementary and middle school levels. Granted, I have been to Exeter, NH
> where they use it in one of their high schools but it resembles LTSP
> more than K12LTSP. Those that have Linux in your high schools, do you do
> stand alones, LTSP, or K12LTSP? Thanks.

We're a grammar school here in Blighty and we use K12LTSP v4.2, but that is 
because I'm lazy.  If someone has already done the hard work and built the 
software into a distro, why go to all the effort of building it again 
yourself?  Granted it would be better if I had installed it myself; maybe 
we'll do that at the next system upgrade which I've scheduled in during the 
end of term break.  Currently half our servers are running FC3 and the other 
half FC4; yes I know K12LTSP v4.2 doesn't come on FC4 but you can install the 
rpms and it works fine - I know 'cus that is what I did. 

With regard to the kiddy programs mentioned, our boys think the TuxPaint is 
the best thing since sliced bread, or at least they seem to think this, 
judging by the number of students I see drawing endless squiggles in it.  I 
recently removed all the games from our systems, but when we had KTuberling 
("mr potato editor") installed, the boys loved it.   

We have the Gimp installed, but most of them find it too difficult to use and 
they would much rather download an image from the internet.  I like the Gimp; 
I often use it to create flashy headings for web pages using Script Fu > 
Logos but the boys even found that too difficult (heck they'd have to think!)  
When they create heading they use a grafiti creator website.

The programs that get the most use are (in order) FireFox, OOWriter, 
OOImpress, OOSpread and OOBase.  The students supposedly use the systems for 
course work, but they seem to spend a lot ot time on the web looking at 
cricket scores, pictures of shoes or pictures of cars. 

We have a couple of stand alone boxes, one for CD burning and another for 
scanning but we don't get asked by the students how to burn a CD or scan 
pictures, so they either have no use for these facilities or they don't know 
about them.

Martin Woolley
ICT Support
Handsworth Grammar School
Isis Astarte Diana Hecate Demeter Kali Inanna

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