View Full Version : Testimonials wanted... students and professors/teachers
July 12th, 2009, 11:30 PM
The New York local team is going to be holding a presentation on Ubuntu at school in August and I would like to include some testimonials from current students and professors/teachers. If you fit in either one of these categories and would like to have your testimonial considered please post it here complete with your name, your status (student or professor/teachers), your major (or department for professors/teachers) and your school.
The best testimonials will be added to our display board (image below: testimonials will go in the black area on the side of the poster)
Thanks in advance for you assistance.
July 13th, 2009, 05:03 AM
One of my professors at San Josť State University praised Ubuntu in this blog post (http://weblogs.java.net/blog/cayhorstmann/archive/2009/02/long_in_coming.html).
July 13th, 2009, 06:03 AM
My name is John Hill and I am an undergraduate at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Computer Engineering with a focus in Control Theory, Robotics, and Artificial Intelligence. I also aspire to earn my master's and PhD, am currently an undergraduate researcher and TA, and teach beginners and intermediate programming. For years, I've been working on Windows machines, and for the purposes of simulation and design, I continue to work on that platform.
Linux, however, is my platform of choice when it comes to experimenting on a low level, such as designing an embedded robotics controller. Recently, a few of my friends wanted me to teach them how to program, and I've been introducing them to Ubuntu. The Desktop edition of Jaunty Jackalope (ver. 9.04) comes complete with a wide number of applications. Best of all, if it's not on the disk, three clicks is all it takes to get whatever you require. It is an excellent enviroment for those who are new to Linux and for those who have been working on it for years.
My department and the Computer Science department actually rely on Ubuntu when it comes to research and OS design. Best of all, there are processor design applications using VLSI and a vast majority of my classmates prefer the Ubuntu machines over the Mac and Windows machines in that lab.
July 13th, 2009, 09:23 PM
Johnny -- excellent job -- thanks for the job well done!!
July 16th, 2009, 06:33 PM
I'm a computer repair / networking instructor at Eastside Technical Center in Lexington, Ky. It is a Technical High School.
My staff workstation and all of my lab machines run 9.04. I built a complete workstation and used Remastersys to duplicate the installation on the other 19 lab machines. This saved a lot of configuration time on the back end.
Currently my students authenticate to AD on a Windows domain using the Likewise Open AD client. I know there are other ways to accomplish authentication but this was the chosen method due to it's similarities with the Mac clients my students also must work with.
I manage my lab using a combination of ClusterSSH, Webmin, and iTalc. ClusterSSH, and Webmin's clustering features are incredibly useful, and iTalc assists me in making sure that my students are on task and not on MySpace.
I use VirtualBox to create and distribute virtual machines of whatever Win32 platform I happen to be teaching them using Azureus and the built in tracker. This obviously allows me to distribute massive files to the lab very very quickly. Some of those Win32 images are over 12GB (read: Vista) and rsync is just a pita. It's much easier to teach the students to download the torrent.
What has this meant to me? Well given that my students are technically inclined to begin with using Windows XP (district standard) on my workstations meant that I was forever dealing with malware on thumb drives, the inability to alter the default district security policies when those policies were counter productive, and the inability to explore and teach new platforms conveniently. With the students using Jaunty for daily work and using Windows for that part of their education that requires it we feel (the students and I) that they have a much higher skill set leaving my class than they otherwise might have.
The flexibility of Linux also meant that I can use ClusterSSH or Webmin to quickly start and stop (if need be) and and all applications that were running in the lab that I didn't want to be running. From an additional lab-management perspective it also meant that my machines would stay running, and stay stable through-out the school year, something I couldn't say running Windows. In fact running Windows often meant a twice yearly reinstall.
While I know that purists would prefer OpenOffice.org I tend to use Google Docs for my assignments. The realtime and anywhere collaboration capabilities are priceless and I don't have to carry around their assignments on paper.
It works. I have documented that last year alone I saved the school district over $2500 in software that the district did not have to purchase with no loss of functionality or variance from the curriculum. Examples range from Adobe Acrobat, to Synchroneyes.
Every year I have students that will leave Windows for Linux, and actually become part of the community. This Saturday (July 18th)I'll be spending an afternoon with my Loco and two already graduated students. It's a good feeling.
There is more that I've done. I've created a custom mandatory policy file that Webmin automagically copies to the workstations every day or on demand that allows me to have an analog to GPOs in the Windows world.
No problems, extremely effective lab management, good stewardship of taxpayer funds, diversified student learning, expanded class time due to decreased management time are just a few of the many reasons why my lab runs Jaunty and will continue to run Linux.
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