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Re: [school-discuss] my puzzle about OSS in education

Hi Wen,

The main reason our elementary school is switching to OSS is to improve reliability and reduce maintenance. We have had nothing but trouble with maintaining Windows PCs (and four different versions of windows throughout the school) and we hope that OSS/Linux combined with a thin client architecture will drastically reduce the amount of time the computers are non functional. And yes, we also hope OSS will improve our student's understanding of computers, programming and networking, but the other main reasons we're going to OSS are:

Lower software and hardware costs over time
Ability to provide students, parents, and teachers with Knoppix CD ROMs with the school's OSS for extending the learning environment into the home (and also encouraging the use of OpenOffice for Windows and Mac for the same reason)
Allow lower income parents to purchase (or get donated) refurbished or bare bones PCs running OSS so that all school families have PCs at home
Allow remote access of computer work to reduce printing and eliminate floppy disk usage
Expand at no additional cost the applications used at the school, especially for the gifted students (to learn programming, electronics, music composition, etc.)
Allow students to access files from any PC (thin client) in the school when changing classes
Provide a scalable solution so that eventually we can support a network where every student has a thin client all day long (currently we have three PCs per class that have to be shared by 16-20 students per class, and usually only one or two PCs on average have been fully functional)


At 02:38 AM 6/2/2005, you wrote:

Since Becta published the report on OSS(open source software) in schools, many people and school pay their attention to OSS in education now.
Why shall we use OSS in education? The report think the main reason is that applying OSS in schools should slash school¡¯s IT budgets. Is that the only reason or the most important reason for schools¡¯s adoption of OSS?
Do you think using OSS in schools have any other advantage? Especially do you agree that using OSS in education will do better to help students in mastering computer skills?
Help for your reply.

wen 20050602

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