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


OSS/Linux is important to teachers because of all of the great applications
available.  There is a dependable software tool for everything.  Plus everytime
you turn around there is a newer cooler version.  I downloaded Knoppix 3.82 the
other day and was wowed by the latest Gimp. Open source software evolves in an
exponential manner.  You don't have to wait forever for buggy updates like with
many commercial programs.  And often the user can even contribute to
through questions and comments.

OSS applications are not weak adaptations of commercial software - they are
often superior, with their own unique features (tab browsing, export anthing to
pdf, open pdf in word processing, print as poster).  Here are your reasons to
check out OSS = OpenOffice, KWord, the Gimp, LyX, Blender, Mozilla, Firefox,
Gaim, AbiWord, Ksnapshot, Konqueror, KGhostview, Scribus, Knotes, Ding,
Audacity, XMMS, Rosegarden, Kmidi, K3B, Kivio and on and on and on . . .


Quoting Daniel Howard <daniel@xxxxxxxxxxx>:

> 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)
> Daniel
> At 02:38 AM 6/2/2005, you wrote:
> >Hi,
> >   everyone!
> >
> >   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
> >
> >_________________________________________________________________
> >ÏíÓÃÊÀ½çÉÏ×î´óµÄµç×ÓÓʼþϵͳ¡ª MSN Hotmail¡£  http://www.hotmail.com
> Daniel Howard
> President and CEO
> Quadrock Communications, Inc
> 404.264.9123 main
> 678.528.5839 fax
> 404.625.1593 cell