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Re: [school-discuss] Open-source alternatives

Thanks for your feedback, Michael. As the author of that plan indicated, this objective is actually straight from our New York State standards. I also live and work in New York State and while I had absolutely no input into the creation of these particular standards, I think that the author's deliberate connection of her project to her state's stated objectives is a significant improvement over technology-for-technology's-sake implementations. (..which I do not think anyone here is advocating, btw) I am not sure where you live or what standards your state/country has in place, so I am not able to go into offer any sort of comparison for this. I would welcome further discussion on this topic in any case. Thanks again!

Aaron TD

Michael Dean wrote:
I experienced some exasperation at what the New York State calls an "objective".  As stated in the osed site, it is hardly what we would call a SMART objective!  Shouldn't sixth and ninth graders be used to a tigher objective than these?  I know my sixth grade son is.

Aaron Tyo-Dickerson wrote:
Thanks for this question, Michael (and your response, Cameron):

This is a limited project and while I used the entire Mozilla "suite" (email, web, calendar, etc) and am very happy with it, the school's expressed focus is on student use. They are very concerned about email (and do not allow students to use it at all...sadly) and were attracted to the "browser only" Firefox possibilities. We are, however, planning an implementation of the QuickNote extension by the end of the month as part of a plan put together by their library media specialist. (The plan is available online here: http://www.osed.org/about/sscs/firefox.html )

Aaron TD

Michael Dean wrote:
I am curious.  why use firefox?  Wouldn't it make more sense to  use the full mozilla, I would think a calendar would be helpful, as would perhaps the ability of students to email within their network on work teams ,etc.  Any thoughts on this?

garry saddington wrote:
On Saturday 09 October 2004 21:53, Aaron Tyo-Dickerson wrote:
troy@banther-trx.homeunix.com wrote:
Hello everyone,

Is anyone on the list using completely open-source alternatives in
their schools? Specifically GNU/Linux and educational programs. I
would love to hear of the combinations, types of software, server setups.

Thanks for asking this question, Troy, as I have been meaning to join
the conversation with a similar inquiry. I work for a regional public
school consortium in Upstate New York and have been exploring FOSS
possibilities for our area schools.

We currently have one district piloting several FOSS apps on their
Windows PCs. Their "shortlist" includes OpenOffice, The Gimp and the
Firefox web browser. (Not a very daring move by the standards of the
FOSS community, perhaps, but pretty fringe stuff for this region.) At
the same time, another school district has contacted me with a request
very similar to what you ask here: Can I take a laptop PC, wipe its hard
drive and then created a FOSS-only educational computer?

While the obvious, short answer is "Yes, simply install any flavor of
Linux and then add some of the standard desktop apps (see the non-daring
list above) and *Presto* an 'educational computer'", the actual response
is "I am not sure." Schools have very specific needs and I have had
difficulty finding FOSS replacements for things like Inspiration, which
we rely on for graphic organizers / concept maps / idea webs. I have
searched SchoolForge and SourceForge and not found a similar product and
would love to know if there is one out there.

Aaron Tyo-Dickerson
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