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Re: [school-discuss] Ah . . . sorry . . . I did not mean that Drupal is the killer app

Les R <openadmin@xxxxxxxxx>:
> 2008/12/22 Marilyn Hagle <marilyn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>:

>> Actually, Moodle is probably the killer app in this context, but really I am
>> talking about a need that only Open Source Software and Open Content can fill -
>> bringing affordable classes to kids.


Open content would cinch it, but I believe it'd have to far more broadly community-based, ala Wiki. This way everyone can contribute.

But this creates a question of portability, so maybe Moodle would work as well as Wiki yet be more portable as Marilyn points out is important.

>> The Open Content efforts out there are cool, but I have not seen anything yet
>> that brings it down to grass roots usability like a Moodle Restore can do.
>> Also, podcasts, simple instructional videos, teleconferencing, and audio texts
>> can translate an online course into a format that more kids can use.

> Two Questions:

> 1) Who is our target audience?  Teachers or Kids? I assume Teachers.

For many curricula teachers need their "teacher's edition" with outline & rubric, how it'd fit in an outcomes-based scope & sequence (curriculum map), the actual student lessons as well as their own training materials.

Content experts might write train-the-trainer material, but the actual trainers/curriculum developers could write open content following curriculum outcome guidelines. The guidelines could either be written by curriculum experts or be developed by simply following a typical outline for a particular topic (adhering to the scope & sequence).

I think the first step would be to set guidlines for training, curricula, lesson plans, rubrics & templates so that content experts could deliver consistent scope&sequence-based curricula.

The method/style I like are like these:



> 2) What is a short list of applications that should have teaching
> materials developed, in whatever form, for them.

> What are the top 5? Top 3?

I'd look at it more from a broader level of skill suites that include both Linux-only and x-platform:

. Karoshi Linux server suite: Needs to be localized, currently UK-only
. Open Office Pro/Oxygen Office
. GIMP/CinePaint/Scribus
. Blender/POVRay/Mosix-like clustering
. Cinelerra/Avidemux/Jahshaka
. Inkspace/Sodipodi/SynFig
. GeoGebra/GeoNext/?

> For me, the top 2 would be:
> 1) Open Offfice
> 2) Gimp

Don't get me wrong, I love GIMP. But...

I've conversed with a highschool teacher about GIMP. GIMP fell short on a present lack of real CMYK support (export only with plugin). CMYK is crucial with many publishers for proper sig/sep printing processes (c.f. school year books). The underlying reason that GIMP can't implement CMYK at this point is that there's a great deal of old 8-bit C code in GIMP still that prevents easy CMYK implementation (which is difficult in of itself). Scribus & CinePaint use the open color mgmt system that is fully 16-bit based on C++ (enabling dynamic object loading), which allows for full two-way & built-in CMYK & deep painting capability. GIMP 3.x might have CMYK, but it'll come only with careful implementation including having access to a real-life working printing operation to careful meter color output against internal values.

FYI, the teacher I conversed with --- he can't bring Linux into his lab, so it's back to ordering Photo$hop licenses again for his lab of Mac minis. If CinePaint were ported to OS-X he'd be in business, but no dice.

So it may well be that the real killer app for real digital media may be CinePaint, but GIMP is more popular and cross-platform. For a deep digital media lab that however ran on Linux instead of Mac OS-X, CinePaint would be superior to requiring a Photoshop lab license in terms of cost savings & general feature set (so long as money is an object and/or specific features are negotiable).