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[seul-edu] [Fwd: BOUNCE seul-edu@seul.org: Non-member submission from [Jim Thomas <jthomas@bittware.com>]]

From: Jim Thomas <jthomas@bittware.com>
Organization: Bittware, Inc
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Subject: In service advice sought
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Two years ago I installed a 20 PC linux lab (RH6.2) in a small private
K12 school.  So far, only a small portion of the school population has
used the lab, but the principal has asked me to teach an in service this
coming Monday to seven teachers), with an eye towards making the rest of
the staff aware of what's available in the lab.

Right now, "what's available" includes Netscape, StarOffice, and a
handful of other applications (xplns, ktouch, kalcul, simutrans,

Up until now, "in service" always meant "day off from school" (since I'm
not an educator ;-) and I'm a little worried about how this is going to
come off.  I have the feeling that my presentation will have an enormous
impact on the acceptance of Linux by the staff - for good or for ill.

So, I'm asking for some advice.  As I look at what's available for the
3-6th grade, I haven't come across anything I feel is very compelling -
especially in the Math department.  Can anyone make a recommendation on
a package I should pitch to these teachers?  Perhaps it's folly to try
to install a new package and demo it for a possibly critical audience on
such short notice.

Here's my game plan:
Show them how to log in.
Show them how to launch StarOffice
Show them how to launch Netscape
Explain the web filtering policies, and that they can be custom tailored
to each teacher's requirements (see footnote [1]).
Point them to The Never-ending Tale (
http://www.coder.com/creations/tale ).
Show them how to add applications to the KDE desktop/menu
Point them to the seul-edu applications index, with instructions to
browse for something they might want to try.

Any advice on this approach will be greatly appreciated!

[1] Last year a student was busted for attempting (unsuccessfully) to
visit an inappropriate web site from one of the Windows PC's in the
library.  I recently found out that his teacher decided the best way to
prevent this behavior was to not allow her students to use the
internet.  When I told her that the web filter could be adjusted to
disallow access to all but a specific list of sites, she was suprised,
and indicated that had she known that, she would have responded

Jim Thomas      **    Principal Applications Engineer ** Bittware, Inc
703.779.7770    **    jthomas@bittware.com **  http://www.bittware.com
The secret to enjoying your job is to have a hobby that is even worse.
 - Calvin's dad