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Re: [school-discuss] FOSS and FOOD [Was Re: "Educating Tux" + IT apathy]
Could we let the teachers be the ones that sneak over to the mystery
meat and then sneak plates to their students under the table? (teachers
trying out FOSS in their classes under the radar...)
Also, don't forget the classics: "we just spent a huge amount of money
on mystery meat contracts and are locked into it" as well as "but
they're going to eat mystery meat in the workplace when they graduate,
so that's what we need to prepare them for" and finally (my favorite)
"OK, we'll try the free international food, but *this* mystery meat
entree *has* to be part of the menu"
Marilyn Hagle wrote:
I love your modified version!! :)
Good luck with your conference,
Quoting Bryant Patten <opensource@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>:
Add me to the list of people that think your banquet analogy is
Next week I am speaking about FOSS and education at MassCue and a
couple of weeks after that I am running Vermont's first Open Source
and Education conference and I would like to use your analogy in both
places. I was thinking about modifying in the following way:
"Using Open Source in Schools can be a bit surreal - imagine the
It is lunch time at your school and all the kids troop down to the
dining hall, which is divided in half with a large glass wall down
the middle. On one side, the majority of students are charged for a
lunch of mystery meat and instant mash potatoes. On the other side
is a huge buffet of amazing international foods that is all you can
eat and free. Standing at the entrance to the dining hall is the
Assistant Superintendent for Technology, telling everyone that they
must go into the mystery meat room. Occasionally, someone will find
a worm or some other horrible thing in the meat, complain loudly,
dump the plate and then...surreally...get right back in line for
Because some students notice what is happening on the other side of
the glass wall, they ask if they can go into that room. They are
told no, because most of the world eats mystery meat, there might be
spices in the foreign food and besides, they just put salt and pepper
in the mystery meat so it is really better now. The more determined
of the kids wait until the Ass. Sup. of Tech is distracted and sneak
into room, enjoy a fabulous lunch and start telling their friends
about it on the playground. So the next day, their friends sneak
Thanks for the great post.
National Center for Open Source and Education
On Mar 12, 2008, at 11:30 AM, Marilyn Hagle wrote:
Joel and James,
Oh my . . . state testing and bureaucratic straitjackets! Don't
And also the dumb ass proprietary software packages that promise
(forgive me - I am originally from Iowa where we are plain spoken
that's another topic.
Getting my students to be creative has been more of a stretch this
ever before. They have spent all of their time in school preparing
tests. I feel like I need to bring my little kids' building blocks
just let them play.
And rural Texas schools do not believe in the importance of
offering fine arts
courses. Very few schools have choir. Art classes are minimal.
sometimes required for football programs. :)
So, I think you just need to do what you can, wherever you can, for
as long as
you can. This year I am using Linux for everything and having a
blast - but I
know I make some people nervous.
Hey . . . what do you think about hosting a fine arts gallery for
created with FOSS? Have we talked about this already? I am not
contests where there is only one winner . . . but a celebration of
achievement with some positive critiques. I could send you some
student generated Blender, Gimp, and Cinelerra files - then to the
we can say "look at this!"
Maybe we need a formal online school that home school kids and
afford that teaches music, art, science, poetry and general
James . . . your additional comments on the dumbing down of ed tech
really sum it up. That quest for power thing screwed us. Is it
natural sequence of organizational evolution?
To be fair, we all know there are many good people in the group too
- but it is
definitely a mixed bag.
And yes . . . "But the brown sugar is in reality an artificially
hypnotic cleverly designed to make the worms more palatable." LOL :)
Thanks for letting me ramble on philosophically.
Quoting Joel Kahn <jj2kk4@xxxxxxxxx>:
Marilyn Hagle wrote:
Many in educational IT management - probably the
middle managers who are misunderstood and struggling
to keep everything running - are concerned about
tightly controlling the teachers. After all . . .
they have been breaking copyright laws, pirating
software, and inviting viruses and spyware into the
LAN. So now teachers everywhere are in lock-down mode.
Experimentation is thwarted, new ideas are discouraged,
and creativity is scorned.
And let's not forget atrocities like the No Child Left
Behind Act, which forces teachers *and* students into
bureaucratic straitjackets and makes it incredibly hard
to even think about changing anything. A proprietary
software package that is marketed with wild promises of
a "guarantee to boost scores on standardized tests" has
a big edge over any wild and risky creative things like
GIMP or Tux Paint. If you allow those misbehaving kids
and teachers to start really experimenting with any
truly flexible software, who knows what kind of trouble
we all might be getting ourselves into. . . .
Never miss a thing. Make Yahoo your home page.
President and CEO
Georgia Open Source Education Foundation