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Re: [school-discuss] Re: Karoshi, anyone? -> gradebook
Oh, sorry, I see what your question is now...
I'm sure it'd help but teachers & school districts are funny about their
gradebook systems, it's worse than M$-addiction. The best analogous
example is when MS started marketing MS Money, they couldn't get into
the market very quickly b/c all the Quicken users wouldn't switch over,
even if MS gave MS Money away.... A school district's student database
& teacher's gradebooks are just like that... User lock-in is a funny thing.
The parts of a network least-vulnerable to user lock-in are the LAN
fileservers, etc., b/c the tech is transparent to the end user... This
used to be the case of Sybase on Unix vs. MS SQL Server on WinNT, there
was no functional difference (b/c MS SQL Server was rebranded Sybase...).
We left all the Win admin/grading/attendence software on their teacher
PCs, still WinXP machines, but I'm hopeful that in the long run, when
the district sees how much money it can save and how reliably Linux thin
clients work, they'll convert to FOSS for the admin software as well and
give the teachers thin clients to replace their PCs. I think for admin
functions, you have to convince the IT folks to do it, then the teachers
are just told "here's the new system we're using." Nonetheless, I'm
going to try next year to get the special needs teachers to try out the
IEP app in OpenAdmin, they've been complaining about how difficult the
Win IEP app they have now is to use.
The answer we found to the lock-in issue for student PCs was 1) start
with teachers who were early adopters, and they got the buzz going about
how easy Linux was to use so that the others were ready for it when we
did their classroom, and 2) identify web based edutainment counterparts
to many of the *-blaster games and other CD ROM titles. Funny part is
that many of them weren't using any CD-ROM win/mac titles because the
PCs weren't working, or the CD ROM drives were bad, etc.
What I see most lacking in web versions of edutainment and the K12LTSP
apps however, is the student tracking element; many of the CD-ROM
education titles (Edmark, etc.) include a progress tracking element that
I wish were in the K12LTSP applications and on web sites.
The Sesame St. site
is a great example of them taking many of the CD-ROM activities and
moving them to web based delivery, OS agnostic. I'm also optimistic
that eventually the *-blaster and most of the other activities will be
web based as well.
You know, from Jim's posting talking about Win Edu titles working under
Wine, could we also generate a list of titles that folks have gotten
working under Wine, and any special things they had to do to make it
work? I think that would be a great resource on SchoolForge: if you're
considering the move to Linux in the future, but still buying Win/Mac
CD-ROM titles, buy these since they also work under Linux...