[clug] Re: Linux Learners Group idea

Drew Parsons Drew.Parsons at anu.edu.au
Fri Jun 16 05:20:05 GMT 2006

On Fri, 2006-06-16 at 10:50 +1000, Paul Wayper wrote:
> steve jenkin wrote:
> > Imagine the case they can put to the Govt:
> > - we'd like to drop the tens of thousands of dollars paid to Microsoft
> > - we'd like to *keep* old computers for xxx purposes (servers, 
> > firewalls, print servers, ...)
> > - we'd like to buy lower-spec computers and keep them longer
> I heard Pia Waugh giving a talk about OSS in education, and she said 
> something like "When you've given them a proposal to save millions of 
> dollars and the minister hasn't even opened it to look at it, you know 
> there's politics at work, not economics."  

> So while I love the idea of 
> talking to schools, teachers, parents and children and getting them to 
> see the benefits of FLOSS, these are not the decision makers and they 
> are not allowed the leeway of installing whatever they like.

Not at all true, I think.  In my experience a school's computer systems
tend to be maintained in house.  In poorer (e.g. government) schools,
it'll sometimes be an enthusiastic maths teacher given the extra
responsibilities to keep everything running, others may have employed
someone full time to work on it. I know at least one school which
employs students to do the job!

The real decision makers here are the school executive - the principal
and deputy principal etc.  The lone teacher will only be able to proceed
(and *will* be able to proceed) if he/she feels s/he has the support of
the executive.  And the pressure of the parents is what causes the
executive to make that decision.


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