PDA

View Full Version : BBC article on why there isnot more open source in uk schools



bryncoles
January 26th, 2009, 12:43 PM
hows THAT for a catchy thread title?!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7847377.stm


With Open Source Software (OSS) freely available, covering almost every requirement in the national curriculum, a question has to be asked why schools do not back it more fully, possibly saving millions of pounds.


When many people hear OSS they think Linux - the alternative operating system that comes in many flavours such as Ubuntu, openSUSE or Fedora.


Critics say Becta - the government agency which oversees the procurement of all technology for schools - has not done enough to promote OSS.


"We want teachers to realise that they can be and should be considering OSS as a viable alternative," said Mr Hughes.

"That said, schools still need to do their homework. There can be just as many caveats with open source as there are with proprietary solutions."

Swagman
January 26th, 2009, 01:23 PM
So...

We have been pushing the snowball along the flat plateau. Many lumps & bumps in the way.

Now the plateau is starting to tilt in our favour. The snowball is gaining self sustaining momentum.

And it's getting BIGGER !!

:D

Johnsie
January 26th, 2009, 01:48 PM
Teachers should be teaching them what they need to get jobs, not trying to push their personal preference on students.

A simple fact is that most companies are looking for people with basic understanding of Microsoft Office and Windows because most companies have those applications on their work stations.

Teaching children irrelevant software packages that most companies don't even use wont help them get jobs, it will alienate them and prevent them from having the key skills needed for basic desk jobs.

Children are not some tool for you to use to push your own personal software preferences.

Swagman
January 26th, 2009, 02:04 PM
People are welcome to "King Canute" themselves if they wish.

But the tide is turning

Good Ennit

Adapt and prosper.

Johnsie
January 26th, 2009, 02:16 PM
I've been using Ubuntu since 2005. The tide sure seems to be taking a long time to turn ;-) I wonder if this year will be the illusive year of Linux on the desktop :-)

speedwell68
January 26th, 2009, 02:17 PM
Teachers should be teaching them what they need to get jobs, not trying to push their personal preference on students.

A simple fact is that most companies are looking for people with basic understanding of Microsoft Office and Windows because most companies have those applications on their work stations.

Teaching children irrelevant software packages that most companies don't even use wont help them get jobs, it will alienate them and prevent them from having the key skills needed for basic desk jobs.

Children are not some tool for you to use to push your own personal software preferences.

Kids adapt pretty quickly. When I went to college we used Unix, Dos, Windows 2.11 on some PCs and Windows 3.0 on other PCs. I used different wordpros Word 2, Word 3, Word 5, Wordperfect 4, Wordperfect 5.1 and Wordstar. When I got into my first Job they used Word for Windows 1.1, I had never used this application in my life, yet had to get on with it. The question here is about saving education money.

nothingspecial
January 26th, 2009, 02:20 PM
A simple fact is that most companies are looking for people with basic understanding of Microsoft Office and Windows because most companies have those applications on their work stations


Teaching kids how to use a computer is the important thing, not teaching them how to use a product. If my staff can get things done, I don`t care which application they use.

Educating business as to the alternatives to microsoft is another important step.

In my opinion the millions spent on microsoft (and other companies) products could be better spent - on playing fields, decent food, teaching resources etc.

I`d rather the kids use a free OS and had access to better education and health. Something like Ubuntu is perfect for schools. Yes, it will involve training but the savings could be immense.

After all, a computer just computes doesn`t it. It doesn`t matter how it computes whatever it`s computing.

mihai.ile
January 26th, 2009, 02:46 PM
In my opinion the millions spent on microsoft (and other companies) products could be better spent - on playing fields, decent food, teaching resources etc.

Well it's not that easy.. I mean software comes with licenses, support, and you can't say that linux will be the ultimate tool that will fix everything. Linux will take the license fees, but you can't say that ok, now the school has much more money for the playing field. Support for software is still needed, maybe even more now with Linux, not everyone knows what to do when they can't finish a task because some sort of bug or whatever. Money will still be spent.

But now comes the good part: while with proprietary software you pay the company for support (ex. Microsoft), with open source you could pay a local Linux company that maybe was founded by some students of the same school (Linux is open source it is easy to get to the school and fix the wrong bits from the software) and now you help the local economy instead of giving the money to the large bank accounts of Microsoft or any other big company that could be even outside the country!

bryncoles
January 26th, 2009, 03:44 PM
and while businesses may want Microsoft skills NOW, the more people are turning up with alternative skills, the more these alternative skills will begin to permeate the work place. it isnt about teaching pupils irrelevant computing skills (propitiatory or otherwise). its about achieving educational requirements.


With Open Source Software (OSS) freely available, covering almost every requirement in the national curriculum, a question has to be asked why schools do not back it more fully, possibly saving millions of pounds.

the oft quoted phrase 'use what works bets for you' applies, and OSS might just work best, or at least not any worse than software you pay for.

and again, todays business might want microsoft skills, but if tomorrows businessmen are used to using F/OSS, than tomorrows businesses might start to find themsleves also wanting F/OSS skills, as these little tykes grow up, and rise the corporate ranks.

MikeTheC
January 26th, 2009, 04:26 PM
I'm very glad to hear that some government somewhere is finally showing some sense of feduciary responsibility.

Also, I could not more strenuously disagree with the prior poster who thinks technology education itself should be tied up around one single, proprietary software maker. A multidisciplinary approach is far superior to a myopic one.

How can you be a poster here of all places and yet say that only teaching our children about Microsort products constitutes a valid education?

sydbat
January 26th, 2009, 04:27 PM
I'm very glad to hear that some government somewhere is finally showing some sense of feduciary responsibility.

Also, I could not more strenuously disagree with the prior poster who thinks technology education itself should be tied up around one single, proprietary software maker. A multidisciplinary approach is far superior to a myopic one.

How can you be a poster here of all places and yet say that only teaching our children about Microsort products constitutes a valid education?You just beat me to the same point...A HUGE +1!!

bryncoles
January 26th, 2009, 05:16 PM
I'm very glad to hear that some government somewhere is finally showing some sense of feduciary responsibility.

Also, I could not more strenuously disagree with the prior poster who thinks technology education itself should be tied up around one single, proprietary software maker. A multidisciplinary approach is far superior to a myopic one.

How can you be a poster here of all places and yet say that only teaching our children about Microsort products constitutes a valid education?

i hope im not the prior poster you're referring to ;-) i was responding (ineloquently) to an earlier post which said something to the effect that companies want microsoft skills, so teaching pupils to use F/OSS is tantamount to de-skilling them for the workplace.

mu basic point is that if they can word-process on linux, they can word-process on any OS. teach them how to use a computer, not how to use a certain corporations software!

also: when these kids grow up, they'll be in charge of these corporations that currently want microsoft skills. which means the people in charge of these corporations will have linux skills, and will understand the value of F/OSS. microsoft might not be such a monolithic, ubiquitous company then.

times they are a changing...

Swagman
January 26th, 2009, 05:33 PM
I don't think he was referring to your comments.

You are the OP

PhoenixMaster00
January 26th, 2009, 06:54 PM
I think using FOSS is a great idea maybe they should gradualy move over like say openoffice on windows and such then gradually introduce linux into their lives using livecds

mcduck
January 26th, 2009, 07:00 PM
Perhaps this would fit in this thread: City of Lappeenranta (here in Finland) just announced that they have calculated that using Linux in the area's schools costs 70% less than using Windows.

Their calculations include licenses, hardware, servers, maintenance, support and setting up the whole environment. For Windows they'd need to pay 400€/workstation/year, while Linux costs 140€/workstation/year.

Interestingly they have also noticed that Linux-based environment uses less electricity. ;)

Link to original article, although in Finnish :) (http://www.itviikko.fi/ratkaisut/2009/01/22/linux-laskettiin-windowsia-edullisemmaksi-koulukaytossa/20091916/7?rss=8)

edit: Almost readable Google translation.. (http://translate.google.com/translate?prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.itviikko.fi%2Fratkaisut%2F2009% 2F01%2F22%2Flinux-laskettiin-windowsia-edullisemmaksi-koulukaytossa%2F20091916%2F7%3Frss%3D8&sl=fi&tl=en&history_state0=)

MikeTheC
January 26th, 2009, 07:06 PM
You just beat me to the same point...A HUGE +1!!

+2 can be used for "huge"-er values of +1. :p

MikeTheC
January 26th, 2009, 07:13 PM
i hope im not the prior poster you're referring to ;-)
Not at all. We're in fundamental agreement.


times they are a changing...
They are indeed.

albinootje
January 26th, 2009, 07:17 PM
Perhaps this would fit in this thread: City of Lappeenranta (here in Finland) just announced that they have calculated that using Linux in the area's schools costs 70% less than using Windows.


Very interesting, thanks for the link!
I assume this is a complete or almost complete thin client setup ? Where the lack of hard disks on the clients would save energy costs ?

Can you correct the following sentence ? Thanks.


There was some use of the disfigured thin-client terminals faults.

MikeTheC
January 26th, 2009, 07:42 PM
Not that we should get over-confident -- and perhaps the thing we should most guard against is complacency in our success -- but this can hardly be dismissed, and should be treated as the good news which it is.

So many people in the Linux movement (as well as outside of it) seem to think that Microsoft domination is perpetual and pre-ordained, neither of which are true. Of course, there are also a great many who seemingly are too wrapped up in themselves to see thebigger picture.

What was it that Aragorn said? "Open war is upon you, whether you would have it or not."

For the F/OSS movement to have true worth, it must always be mindful of its responsibility to our increasingly technological society.

mcduck
January 26th, 2009, 07:42 PM
Very interesting, thanks for the link!
I assume this is a complete or almost complete thin client setup ? Where the lack of hard disks on the clients would save energy costs ?

Can you correct the following sentence ? Thanks.
"There has been some disturbances caused by faults in thin clients"

They are using a mixed setup of new thin client machines and old computers converted to clients. The new thin client machines have had some hardware problems.

I found a picture of the new thin client machines they are using: http://www.opinsys.fi/laitemyynti/etc3800.html. They seem to have 800MHz VIA Eden-N processors (no cooling fan), 256MB of DDR266 RAM, integrated VIA Unichrome graphics adapter, 10/100 Ethernet, PS/2, USB, headphone+mic connectors and external 40W power source. So no hard drives. :)

uberdonkey5
January 26th, 2009, 07:44 PM
Schools teach windows cos businesses use windows, businesses managers install windows 'cos thats all they know... educating children is one of the best ways to change the culture in the business computing world.

I think there are two different arguments really... open source, and linux. e.g. open office is available on windows.

Personally I believe opensource IS the future and is inevitable for much of our future software.

I think linux more easily allows children to become 'power users' of computers. Ironically, when I was a child with a sinclair 48k spectrum I used to program games in BASIC. When windows came, I stopped programming. Kids in the future will have and need more capability to be 'power users' and not to just click on pretty icons. Understanding the functioning of a computer will give them a massive advantage in the future of computing that will not change rapidly as new software developments come out.

Our children will not be using windows 7 in work... ok they may be using a microsoft OS, but it will be different. I think its much better to teach them openoffice, programming, linux bash shell at school, then when they get to work they will be running rings around the kid that can 'draw a graph in Excel 2007'. OK, we should keep the field open (and make kids aware of microsoft and apple as well... they may become graphic designers :D)

As far as times changing. I think there is an open-source revolution occuring, but not necessarily a linux revolution. I do believe linux will increase in market share, but it will be many years, if ever, that it seriously threatens microsoft.

bryncoles
January 27th, 2009, 11:21 AM
I don't think he was referring to your comments.

You are the OP

phew! god bless jumping to conclusions (BLUSH!)

bryncoles
January 27th, 2009, 11:33 AM
I think there is an open-source revolution occuring, but not necessarily a linux revolution.

this seems like a safe bet, from what ive read more widely (and seen posted here).

high quality, low TCO (total cost of ownership) software for all! (incidentally, good link to the finland article earlier poster...)