[clug] Linux in education

Ben Chaplin wombat at chapmac.com
Wed Oct 3 05:46:09 GMT 2007

On 3 Oct 2007, at 13:46PM, Robert Edwards wrote:

> Andrew Bartlett (who may be lurking on the list somewhere) set up
> some Samba and Linux stuff at Hawker College many years ago and kept
> on as a sort of consultant for several years after he left.

> Don't know if the Samba server is still running there

> - the head teacher is/was Dave Day.
Still is.

Sorry to report that the only linux remaining at Hawker is a backup  
server with last year's stuff on it.  The backup LDAP server is now  
my home router...  I worked with Andrew on the old linux network at  
Hawker but to comply with the government standards Hawker switched to  
the standard generic Windows set up.  I personally feel that it was  
an unfortunate decision.  We have gained little from the switch and  
lost rather a lot of functionality.  But that's just my opinion.

I think the biggest motivating factor in using Windows in schools is  
the perception, whether true or not, that "pretty much everyone" in  
the corporate and home environments uses Windows and there's no point  
teaching kids anything else.  I agree that "pretty much everyone"  
uses Windows but I feel that it's a very valuable thing for people to  
use more than one platform in their life.  Particularly in a college  
environment where kids are supposed to really be learning, they  
really should be exposed to other alternatives.  I feel that someone  
graduating with the basic ITC competencies needs to have used  
Windows, a Mac, and Linux.  It's not hard!

I'm currently in first year at the ANU (hi Bob!) and on the computing  
forums there are quite a few people suggesting we should be running  
Windows in the IT labs because they feel uncomfortable with Linux and  
think Windows would be faster and easier.  Windows in the programming  
labs... WTF?!  I can't help feeling that if some of these people had  
been using Linux earlier it might be easier to make the adjustment.   
Or they might at least recognise that you won't always get what you  
want on someone else's computers.

Then there are all the ethical and monetary advantages of running  an  
open source primary platform but if I get started on those we might  
be here for a while...

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