[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: [school-discuss] back on the list again - looking for ideas

Hello Marilyn,
Welcome back to the list. It is funny that you should email with this
question, because I am in the process of compiling this exact
information for a presentation to  local  school admins here in
Maryland. When I am done, I would be happy yo send you the materials as
well. In the meantime:

Dynebolic - http://www.dynebolic.org/
This live cd has been getting a lot of attention lately. It has a very
active project, and supports a large amount of hardware.

UbuntuStudio - http://ubuntustudio.org/
This one is a recent creation. Although not a live CD, it is worth
taking a look at because it combines audio, video, and image editing
into one studio software package.

Free-Duc - http://www.ofset.org/freeduc-cd
This one is a general disk with a wide range of applications. The 1.5
version is the latest and is focused on Primary Schools. There is also a
more science based version for older students version 1.7:

One question: How did you manage to get the IT staff to allow you to
start using Linux and open source? I guess this goes for anyone in the
group. I have extreme difficulty getting IT admins to agree to any open
source usage. As a consultant I talk to Principals and Teachers who all
want to use it, but the effort stalls when it comes to the IT admin. Any
advice would be greatly appreciated.

Chris Gregan
Open Source Consultant/Founder
Aptenix LLC Desktop Solutions
New Market MD 21774

"Open source, open minds."

This message is confidential, intended only for the named recipient(s) and may contain information that is privileged or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient(s), you are notified that the dissemination, distribution, or copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you receive this message in error or are not the named recipient(s), please notify the sender at either the fax address or telephone number above and delete this message. Thank you. 

marilyn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> Hi there everyone!
> I'm back on the list again (Marilyn from Texas). I let my former domain,
> linuxined.org, go last April and just signed up for schoolforge-discuss about a
> week ago.  It has been fun to read your discussions about bringing technology
> to
> remote areas.  Wow.
> This summer I got a new teaching job that will be closer to home (yay!).  I
> will
> be teaching high school tech apps (animation, desktop publishing, multimedia,
> web development) in Mexia, TX.  I have been teaching elementary music for a
> couple of years after trying to sell tech stuff in '04.  From '02 to '04 I was
> teaching HS animation.  I don't know if you remember me, but I've been using
> Linux in the classroom since '97.  Yeah . . . that chick!
> So . . . once again I humbly come to the Linux gurus to get your ideas about my
> idea.  You probably don't realize how much I have depended on your wisdom and
> others on the net. (thank you)  :)
> Roughly, I think I want to implement a system where I only use bootable media -
> probably CDs - and use hard drives only for storage.  I might use the network
> for storage as well and maybe that walmart 2 gig usb storage thingie jobber.
> Why?
> For the past two years I have been teaching music in an intermediate school
> (5th
> & 6th grades).  My school district was a windows shop.  Both years I took my
> music classes to the campus computer lab once a week.  The first year I used
> the windows stuff already there and did online activities using various
> elementary music websites.  Also, I created my own web pages with links to
> these sites, instructions, forms for quizzes and tests, etc.  Using my own
> website worked pretty well, but depending on the other sites was a drag. 
> Sometimes they were up, sometimes they were down, and sometimes our district
> network was slow or down.  Overall it sucked.  During that first year, however,
> I discovered Musix.
> The second year I got permission from our systems administrator to change the
> boot sequence on the computers in the lab to look at the CD before the HD.  I
> burned 32 Musix CDs and was in business.  Musix is a live CD based on Knoppix. 
> It boots up as a music studio, reading the sound card info well, automatically
> setting up audio and midi.  We used Solfege for learning rhythm patterns, and
> then the Hydrogen Drum Machine to compose our own rhythms.  I worked really
> really well.  We didn't save work until the end of the twelve week session, but
> then saved to a network folder.  In the classroom I played back the
> compositions
> and we voted for our favorites.  Also . . . our school district used a proxy
> server and I didn't give the students those settings . . . so no one was on the
> Internet.  It was great to not have to worry about that mischief!
> I think I might have suggested this last fall to you guys, but after a full
> year
> of successful implementation, I really think there are some great advantages to
> using a bootable OS.
> #1  You don't have to install anything.
> #2  You don't have to worry about the kids installing anything (actually true
> by
> just using Linux)
> #3  You don't have to worry about the kids messing up the OS (windows was
> frequently hosed on computers in the lab, but Musix always worked!)
> #4  You don't have to worry about your network being slow
> To really be successful in education, you need to leave mischief-making
> software
> off the bootable CDs . . . you know, network administrator type stuff.  Also,
> the CDs should be setup to automatically look for all of your storage areas =
> network folders, HD directories, USB storage, exterior writable CD drives,
> whatever.  And, the CDs should have drivers and easily access cameras, drawing
> pads, scanners, midi keyboards, etc.
> This is how I envision it.  My kids come in for computer animation class.  They
> pick up a CD/DVD that has all software and drivers related to that activity. 
> Hmmm . . . actually in thinking about it . . . there could probably be a CD/DVD
> that covers all of my classes . . . music compostition, animation, desktop
> publishing, web development, video/audio editing.  Of course they can have
> their own CD/DVDs to take home too.  These bootable DVDs have ALL of the
> related OSS programs available for these areas.  And, you can create these DVDs
> to have the lessons included and links to appropriate websites included and
> maybe some websites already blocked?
> I think there should be bootable CDs for science, math, writing - with
> everything available on each subject.
> Probably the reason I am most interested is that MIDI is such a pain to
> configure on Linux for me.  It was great to use Musix and have it working. 
> Also, I don't know my new district will let me install anything I want yet. 
> The principal said he didn't care if I used Linux or not and he really liked
> that it was free.  
> OK . . . gotta go and send this quick.  Thoughts??
> Marilyn