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RE: Mission Statement

> >
> > The move world-wide is pretty much toward Life Long
> Learning - I suggest you
> > use something like learners of all ages.
> The world is moving that way (I guess...?), but that doesn't mean
> that Seul-edu should move that way (I guess...?).

I think it has to, but there is probably an argument to suggest that it
would be better to focus on one specific area to start with so that a
specific part of the educational comunity can see real benefits.

  Anyone who
> uses Linux will have a lot to learn -- but it's not a
> learning platform
> as such.  You learn because you have to, and if that's not reason
> enough than you'll probably stay with Windows or Mac.

So, under what circumstances would you see people as /having/ to move to
Linux. The only one I can really see is if there are activities available
there that are not available elsewhere. OTOH, people might /want/ to because
the OS is more stable and thus more accessable by the computer-warey.


 But I don't think Seul-edu is trying to be on the
> forefront of
> education (at least not this front).  If Seul-edu succedes then
> maybe there will be a good environment for those who *do* want to
> do this, but one thing at a time.

So what is it trying to do? I suppose my enthusiasm for it is the fact it
gives a potential new start - my own educational adgenda obviously informs
this. There was an interesting split for a while in the UK between packages
written on the BBC machines, which tended to be open and creative, and the
pre-PC RM machines which tended to be more formal and closed. I'm suddenly
interested in why that might have been. I think maybe there was a parrallel
split between Apple and IBMs in the US.

 Drill is
> overdone, but not worthless.

Agreed - I found that the major use of Drill and Kill was that /teachers/
felt more comfortable with it, it got them using the machines after which
more open-ended packages (logo, art packages, music composition, word
processors, simulations etc.) could be introduced.

> But another aspect of what I was talking about is that glitz really
> isn't all that necessary.

Too right, but try telling a publisher (or even a reviewer) that :-/

  A good, flexible, challenging, interesting
> program without glitz is better than a lousy program with lots of
> cartoon characters running around and dancing.  After the first 30
> minutes kids realize this too.

Yes, very true, but by that time the cheque's been banked :)


> Another issue is whether it's the Linux way, so to speak.  Many
> people (mostly Slashdot trollers and journalists with a desire to
> spread FUD)

Wow! some words new to me :)

 say Linux is all old technology.  I deride them, but
> they are right.  It's old, it's conservative, it's almost
> boring.  And it
> isn't by accident.

  Real tools that real people use is what computers are for
> and there's no reason children can't use them too (perhaps with a
> little work).  In my opinion, this is the sort of pedagogical
> focus and
> achievable project that Linux is best suited for.

I agree about the real tools - though attempts to shoe-horn spreadsheets
into the curriculum have been a bit painfull :) However - if all Linux will
do is provide a more stable environment for basic tools I don't really see
where we go from here.

> I'd be interested in some of your more concrete opinions on
> educational software.  I don't know any of the programs you
> mentioned in the article -- I suppose since I'm in the US -- so I
> couldn't ascertain your opinions from that.

OK - to sum up:

Closed software bad (well, not actually bad, just a rather uninspiring use
of the technology) Open software good (when it's good open software).