[clug] Linux in education

Brett Wheeler brett.wheeler at daramalanc.act.edu.au
Wed Oct 3 23:46:00 GMT 2007

Pilcher, Fred wrote:
> As I drove in to work today I was musing about what kind of penetration
> Linux might have in ACT classrooms.
> In a previous life I worked in ACT Education and in those days it was
> half Apple, half MS. These days I suspect Apple would be a rarity and
> Linux is probably nonexistant. My eldest graduated from Dickson College
> last year and my youngest is at Lyneham High. They use Linux at home of
> course, but never saw or heard of it at school. If my suspicions are
> correct, what an incredible waste of resources must be going on, not
> just in the cost of buying software but also in supporting it and
> keeping it running and relatively secure; how much valuable teacher time
> and money could be saved, and how much more creative could the kids be,
> if they moved to a FOSS environment?
> Fred 
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There are still a couple of  schools using Macs only (Radford and Boys 
Grammar) that I know of.

I've been trying to get Linux into Dara for a couple of years now, but 
I've encountered a few problems.

- Windows only software (Rhino, Autocad, Maya)
- Curriculum states "Microsoft Excel", "Microsoft Word" etc as opposed 
to "a spreadsheet application" or"a word processor".
- Many teachers seem happy in their ignorance of other systems. We had a 
Sun terminal server but they ignored them in droves.
- All school PCs have Star Office installed on them but I only know of 
one teacher that uses it.
- My boss believes that purchased software automatically means supported 
- Even the programming teachers don't want to learn a new OS.

We are looking to go to Linux on our servers, probably 2008 sometime, 
primarily due to the fact most of our servers are Netware based, and our 
consultants have recommended it.

Just getting Linux and Open Office onto the desktop for even 50 percent 
of our PCs would save us a bucket, but this seems not to matter to any 
great concern to those in positions of power.

However, I will continue to push FOSS whenever the opportunity arises!

Brett Wheeler

IT Systems Administrator
Daramalan College
Dickson ACT 2602

Mob (+61) 0417 228 714

email brett.wheeler(AT)daramalanc.act.edu.au 

* Only the good die young, *
* I love my immortality.   *

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