[clug] Linux on new school computers

Ric de France rdefrance at gmail.com
Tue Nov 27 02:06:11 GMT 2007

On 27/11/2007, Andrew Smith <andrew at coolchilli.com> wrote:
> As far as Linux on the desktop, one of the main issues (other than
> hardware support and other technical issues) is Teacher acceptance and
> training.  Teachers are a precious resource, we find that any new
> application or system has to be easily used and understood right from
> the start.  Most (normal) people have a Windows PC at home, so the
> training often starts there.
>  From the hardware/integration side, classrooms these days will usually
> have a camera, projector, liveboard, lego robotics, wifi.  If these
> don't "just work" then they don't get used.  As we know, this isn't
> Linux's fault, usually the vendor focusing on Windows.

I agree with what Andrew says, that teachers are a precious resource,
and I also agree that unless something is easy to pick up, they (and
this is a major generalisation) won't pick it up because it's outside
their comfort zone.

I was at a education conference earlier this year where Jimbo Wales
(of Wikipedia fame) spoke. I was truly surprised by some of the
questions asked there. Supposedly, our teachers have good awareness of
what the web is, and even about 20% use Firefox as their default
browser. Outside of that, they were finding it hard to understand how
reliable a wiki can be if it's open to anyone editing it (yes, there
are those extreme cases of people pretending to be who they aren't).
One teacher didn't know why she couldn't access wikipedia from inside

At the end of the day, I understand that teaching can be a thankless
job, and I'm not envious that I look at a UNIX prompt for most of the
day, and they have the harder task of taking care of Australia's

Ric de France
Ph: +61412945554 (international) or 0412945554 (Australia)
 ==> Do you, uh... Gentoo? Gentoooo-hooo!! <==
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