[clug] Linux in education

Tim Jones tim.jones at anu.edu.au
Wed Oct 3 08:06:39 GMT 2007

2007/10/3, Hugh Fisher <hugh.fisher at anu.edu.au>:

> ...give the schools and ACT government a business plan:
> "we will convert all your machines to Linux at $X per
> desktop and server with guaranteed
> equivalent functionality...

But if you converted all the machines, you would have a similar
situation to now, where everybody only learns one OS (and worse, it
wouldn't be the most common one in the general workforce).

I think there are two issues here:

1) The cost of proprietary software may be able to be saved by
switching to a free/open source solution.

2) Students will be more computer literate if they use more than one
operating system at school.

I don't know about schools in Australia, but in New Zealand (or
Christchurch at least - I have a friend who is a teacher there) Apple
seem to do a very good deal with schools, providing both cheap (I
think free in some cases?) equipment and software. I believe they also
ran training courses for the teachers, but I can't remember. I'd be
surprised if Apple weren't running a similar gig here - Does anyone
know if there actually *is* a lot of spending on proprietary software
in schools here?

The varied OSes for computer literacy thing is harder - you'd probably
need to sink more money into administration to get someone with all
the requisite skills. But it might be worth it - is a good idea to
expose kids to multiple interfaces, even if it's just so they learn
how to use software they've never seen before.


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