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Re: [school-discuss] looking for open source technology to write about it.

Title: Email Signagture
Laura, this sounds so much like my school district. It's comparable to the world of athletics in that decision makers seem to need big corporation backing, in this case, for their technology. It's almost like it's a security blanket, or perhaps a valid scapegoat. If things don't go as planned, you can hang the blame on a big company and let their tech people fix it. I don't know that this is the reason, but I know how much money my district has spent on Microsoft when open source could have done the job just as well (and with significantly fewer security vulnerabilities) and it's sad considering the condition of some of the middle school textbooks that could've have been replaced with that money..

Christopher Whittum
M.Ed. Learning and Technology
Energize Education through Open Source
CDW Web Design

On 10/07/2015 08:20 AM, LM wrote:
On Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 3:23 PM, Christopher Whittum <cdwhittum@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Charles, this unfortunate and expensive venture by the UN is that kind of
thing that we're that leaves us shaking our heads, wondering "Why?".  I am
frankly appalled  at how many bureaucracies on all levels steer away from
open source in lieu of proprietary technology.  This mentality wastes money
and is shockingly shortsighted.
I seem to run across these types of decisions a lot where I work.
When I ask why we're going with "brand names" over free alternatives,
I'm told the main issue is support.  They're trying to get a computer
for every student and are still a long way from that goal.  I
mentioned the idea of using Raspberry PIs or similar inexpensive
devices so that each student could experiment with them and have their
own device.  They didn't like the idea because there wasn't a large
company to back supporting every device in case anything went wrong or
had to be maintained.  They're using a lot of Apple ipads in the
district and they're only now finally going to start using Chomebooks
as well because they're working out a contract with Google to support
them.  (I mentioned less expensive alternatives like Chromebooks or
Ubuntu tablets a few years ago.)  Unfortunately, it's the same
mentality that leads to out-sourcing.  They'd rather have someone else
be responsible than do it themselves.  Unless an Open Source product
is backed by a large stable company like Google or Red Hat, they don't
want to use it.  That means they miss out on all the wonderful
programs and products that don't have a large support force or do you
require some DIY work.  Cost isn't the main issue in these cases, it's
who's responsible if something goes wrong.
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