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Re: SEUL: Education

EAMorical@aol.com wrote:
> In the case of Mexico, it is much easier to
> start with behind the state of the art applications and go for the long term
> benefit of free software. For the short term, we could put together a list of
> free applications that would make sense for these projects to use. For the
> longer term, we could put together a list of applications which should be
> developed and see if we could make it a goal of the free software
> community (Software in the Public Interest, Free Software Foundation or
> whoever). A key idea to get across is for these projects to give back
> something to the Linux community for what they are getting.
I think that is a very good idea.  I'm seeing a lot of interest building
very quickly for Linux in the K12 (that's Kindergarten through Grade 12,
non-university education for anyone not familiar with the US education
system) arena.  This is a place where we might be able to have an
immediate, tangible effect on the Linux world.  In my contacts over the
past few months I've come up with about a dozen individuals who want to
work on such things.  I think it may be time to start seul-dev-edu as a
mailing list/project with some specified goals of its own.

> As soon as I get the chance, I will pull together from the archieves the key
> ideas of what Doug and Pete have already said on education to see where
> we can go from there.
How about if we work with edos, the lxk12 mailing list, and Scholar Net
to define what tools and programs would be required/desired in a
specifically school-targeted Linux distro?  We could then consider
approaching RedHat/SuSE/Caldera/Debian/whoever about putting it all
together into a useable package and making it available to the
educational community.  And where we can define needs that aren't being
met by any currently-available program we'll have ready-made
mini-projects to develop.  I'm already thinking about drill-and-practice
software for spelling and arithmetic that could interface with Micah's
menu system (note: I probably won't have any time to personally develop
anything like this before the new year).

Finally, a bit more news.  I've been using the techniques I wrote about
in the CPAH to contact educational software companies.  I contacted 44
companies, of which 4 responded (that's a pretty good return).  Of those
4, at least 2 are actively considering Linux ports of their software. 
Those two are Purple Moon (they make programs aimed at young girls) and
Gizmo Gypsies.  The other two companies that I haven't heard from in a
few weeks are Soleil Software and Video Discovery.  When last I heard
from them Soleil was talking internally about Linux; Video Discovery, I
don't know.  So if any of you have young daughters you might send a
polite email to Purple Moon saying that you heard a rumor that they
might be considering Linux ports and that if they did some you'd buy
them.  A similar message to Gizmo Gypsies wouldn't hurt either.

Doug Loss                 It is impossible to imagine Goethe
Data Network Coordinator  or Beethoven being good at billiards
Bloomsburg University     or golf.
dloss@bloomu.edu                H. L. Mencken