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RE: [seul-edu] Progress on Linux in Portland Schools

Centre High is a school for 4th & 5th year high school students 
(upgrading or completing diploma requirements not achieved in 3 years). 
  Our students are "adults" between the ages of 17 and 20.

For three years we offered students a CISCO network course as part of 
our course offerings.  Upon completing four CISCO "semesters" bundled 
into two of our courses, students could opt to pay for the CCNA exam and 
take it at an authorized testing site.  Staff changes led to problems 
with always having a CCNA-AI (instructor) available in class.  We had 
several capable and competent staff teaching the course under the 
direction of the certified teacher.  This was often at arms length so as 
to not to undermine any authority or confidence in the teacher.  The 
courses were hugely successful for students by giving them equivalent 
course credit at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and 
at Grant MacEwan College.  Of the 40 or so students who began the 
course, 35 students completed the first two levels of CISCO last year. 
Of this number, 14 students completed all four levels of the CISCO Academy.

The week before school began, our CISCO certified teacher applied for 
and received a leave of absence.  Our other two teachers had been 
involved in teaching the course for a year but had not yet written the 
CCNA exam or done the CCNA-AI training.  As a result, 57 students 
interested in taking CISCO computer networking were hugely disappointed.

The bright side of this story is that we rolled out a Linux OS and
networking course this year and many of these students were able to 
switch. This shift is based on faith and the strength of the Open Source 
movement. Our local Linux support group has offered assistance and there 
is much available online.  The online stuff may not be as glitzy as 
Cisco's online courses, but we do not have the credentialing problems. 
Our students will still receive some form of recognition from NAIT for 
any Linux course we offer here.

-----Original Message-----
From: Leon Brooks [mailto:leon@brooks.fdns.net]
Sent: September 16, 2003 7:46 AM
To: seul-edu@seul.org
Subject: Re: [seul-edu] Progress on Linux in Portland Schools

On Tue, 16 Sep 2003 19:26, Philip Immoos wrote:
> I have asked
> the IT teachers to trial OOo but they keep saying thet industary user
> MSoffice.

> Or is that they are scared or lasy.

Scared. If they do anything different, they might get blamed for it. The
one thing Microsoft was always good for was a blame server.

Ask your IT fellas: "What if my students go to work for Telstra, who are
switching to OpenOffice as we speak, when they graduate?"

If they stagger through that one, try "What about students who can't
afford to buy MS-Office? Won't you be putting them at a disadvantage?"
Magic word, that, "disadvantage".

Here in Perth, West Oz, you can elaborate on that argument: "[pick a
number] of my students use computers at home which were supplied by
Computer Angels [http://www.ca.asn.au/] and they don't run MS-Office,
so they use OpenOffice. If we use OpenOffice here I can at least have
everyone practicing on the same thing."

Think up about a dozen of these (macro viruses, I want to turn their
presentations into Flash for our website, I want to turn their
documents into PDF but don't want to shell out $XXX for Distiller, and
so on) before you go in, so you always have another argument waiting in
the wings.

They may give in when it becomes obvious that you can go right on asking
sticky questions until Australia's galahs all sober up, or we empty
Kiwiland, whichever comes first. (-:

Cheers; Leon