[K12OSN] School board not interested in OSS

Eric Brown ericbrow at gmail.com
Mon Nov 10 19:36:39 UTC 2008

I have to chime in here as well.  I had worked for a school district
who has been extremely resistant to any OSS, even though I was saving
them tens of thousands of dollars each year by expanding the number of
computer classes taught with absolutely no extra costs involved.   I
taught a computer repair class using recycled computers  I had to seek
out the computers myself, because the assistant
superintendent/technology coordinator refused to funnel any broken or
used equipment our direction.  I taught web design (HTML) and advanced
web design (PHP and MySQL) running off of a LAMP server I had
purchased and maintained myself.  I pulled my "textbook" off of free
resources on the web.  I offered up my networking class to re-cable to
some labs that were in horrible shape, only to be rejected.  The last
straw for me was when the tech coordinator, her secretary, and two
consultants working overtime to swap out 6 switches, when I had asked
for my students to have the experience.  Something as simple as
swapping out switches.  They'd rather pay in the neighborhood of
$90/hr rather than give students an educational opportunity.  When I
presented my concerns to the school board, they just shrugged their
shoulders and admitted how they deferred technology matters to the
tech coordinator because they really didn't understand.

Quite frankly, I am rather disgusted with the mindset of technology
education in the US.  The whole goal seems to be to restrict
information rather than guide the students how to find reliable
information.  I have not heard of once decent financial nor
educational argument against FOSS from anyone ever.  Educational
leaders use lots of taxpayer money and their ignorance to keep
students from learning.

Sorry for venting.  It is at least re-assuring to hear that other
countries are having the same problems.


On Mon, Nov 10, 2008 at 7:12 AM, Rob Owens
<rob.owens at biochemfluidics.com> wrote:
> Jason Yeoman wrote:
>> Here in Ontario the Ministry of Education purchases licenses for
>> software and provides it at no cost for the schools.  There is no real
>> incentive to look towards OSS.
> <snip>
>> I feel for the students because they are
>> forced to use Microsoft Office then have to purchase it for home to do
>> their homework.  I would like to see Open Office and other great
>> software on cd for lending from the school library.  Some families
>> can't afford MS Office.
> That's the incentive, right there.
> As a side note, I just discovered that OpenOffice has extensions
> available (like Firefox does).  http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/
> There is an extension that allows you to import and edit PDF documents.
>  I've tested it and it does work.  It requires OpenOffice 3.0.
> http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/project/pdfimport
> Extensions were one of the main selling points for Firefox, and I
> wouldn't be surprised to see extensions become a big selling point for
> OpenOffice as well.
> -Rob
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