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Re: [school-discuss] Presentation for local SD

When I argue the case for FOSS, I also strongly mention that as schools build networks amongst themselves and establish relationships worldwide, using FOSS is the only guarantee that  teaching and learning materials designed to be shared, will be able to be opened across platforms across schools.
Why should a poor Windows school miss out on a nice worksheet-type activity created as an odt? ;)
As our Government is tendering for a WAN LMS for all schools in my region, I can only see its potential limited if proprietary file formats only are accepted or accepted as "default". Some schools are Mac, some implement Linux in the form of the eeePC etc, sharing will be so much more effective if FOSS is used.
I also mention that whole epochs of school resources can be lost in an upgrade. FOSS allows a measure of security in that materials created will always be able to be opened. I am sure many of us have old activities that we laboured over and created in the days of 386's and Windows 1 that are no longer usable. (Often that is not a bad thing - curricula and times change) But school histories are important and need to be consciously preserved in the digital age.

Richard Andrews wrote:
You might be interested in http://openeducation.org.au - there's some work done
there on how FOSS applications can fill curriculum needs (Victoria, Australia).

I've been keeping notes on presenting in schools here:


To summarise (so discussions can occur on list)

Suggested guideline for spoken and written communications

    * Don't dwell on zero cost, it makes FOSS look flimsy
    * Focus on the applications and show what they can do
    * Use the term Open Source in preference to FOSS or Free Software
          o FOSS is more correct but only use it with other geeks
          o Free Software has the word free, see zero-cost above 
    * Present applications by name and short description
          o FOSS project names tend to be quirky or in-jokes, not appreciated
          o Providing a three word descriptive title will drive home the
purpose of the package 
    * Open Source software is reliable
    * It's built by communities as a labour of love
          o The developers take pride in what they have created and will show
you how to get the most out of it
          o The developers use the software themselves so the software will
work well 
    * Open Source communities are powerful
          o Open Source people are about helping one another
          o Open Source schools are forming their own communities to help one
          o Schools can share Open Source programs with each other any time 
    * Open Source is about sharing knowledge and educating the user
          o Teach programming by taking an already working program and
modifying it
                + More immediate gratification to students
                + Not as hard to get into programming
                + Open Source programs are written so they are easy to modify
by anyone who wants to 
    * Open Source Software has no licensing headaches
          o You can legally copy it as many times as you want (you are
encouraged to do so)
          o If you find a good program give it to your colleagues
          o You will never be committing piracy 

--- Richard Houston <rhouston@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
I was wondering if anyone had any advice, ideas, suggestions or anything
that would help make this presentation as effective as possible. If you
have testimonials that I could quote that would be great. I will also
promote the schoolforge.net site as a great resource for the Trustees to
get more info.

Also I was thinking that it might be a good idea to put together a info
package skeleton that others doing this kind of thing could use to kick
start there presentation. What do ya think? Good Idea or not?

      Get the name you always wanted with the new y7mail email address.


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