[clug] Linux in education

Robert Edwards bob at cs.anu.edu.au
Mon Oct 8 00:49:52 GMT 2007

David Tulloh wrote:
> Put yourself in the schools position for a minute.
>    You don't care about the freedom.
>    You don't care about the price.
>    You might care about making students 'job ready'.
>    You do care about having a tool that has the programs required.
>    You do care about having something that your poorly trained IT 
> teacher can teach students.
> I would probably be thinking very carefully before I outfitted a school 
> with linux desktops.  The last point is really the kicker, I'm not sure 
> how much schools spend to send teachers on training courses.  I've never 
> even heard of a suitable introduction to linux course.

I mostly agree with David's synopsis of the situation above. I think
the only way things will change in Govt. schools at least will be by a
policy decision from the top (ie. the Govt./minister). Below that, the
system generally does not see any problem with the current situation
(M$-only machines and curricula).

If we are really keen to help out in the Education sphere, I think we
really want to help out the "keen" students (the ones who may actually
care). Maybe some of us are in a position to volunteer to help out at
"Computer Clubs" that many (high) schools run as a regular non
assessable activity. Of course, police checks etc. would be required.

Not many of us on this list are in a position to help teachers to write
course material to teach courses utilising other technologies. To do
this and be taken seriously would require, at a minimum, a formal
Education degree (Grad. Dip. Ed. etc.).

So, in the meantime, we can do what Paul suggests by supporting those
who can make a difference, and we can also continue to lobby our so-
called elected representatives and help them to see the longer-term
dangers of filling our childrens minds with US-centric, culturally-
imperialistic, multi-national motivated "canned" dogma. (Sorry - I
might have gotten a little carried away in that last phrase!).


Bob Edwards.

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