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Re: RFC: Debian an die Schule

On Sun, 13 Feb 2000, Torsten Landschoff wrote:

> On Sun, Feb 13, 2000 at 10:55:24AM +0100, Roland Bauerschmidt wrote:
> > This excatly is the problem. The teachers want a lot of education software
> > for training voculary or spelling. If they want such software they don't go
> > to freshmeat or something like that, but they take offers from firms
> > distributing such software. They don't even get the idea that something like
> > this could be free. And in fact I think there is much more commercial than
> > free software in that field.
> Come on, it was like this for all types of software a few years ago. We 
> only need to get something developed. And writing a vocabulary trainer 
> does not seem very complicated. Well, getting the vocabulary in there 
> might be a problem. And there is already the official software of the 
> school book publishers to accompany their books...
I would really like to be as optimistic as you but we have to accept the
fact that most of the people who have influence on decisions in schools
even could not imagine what Linux might be good for.  So they naturally
choose what the know and I have to admit that this makes sense.
Maintaining computers is more easy if you have a homgenous software
basis and so Win? and Office? makes sense for such a project, if we
want to hear that or not.
I have heard from several people that at many schools noone is able
to seriousely maintain a computerpool.  Teachers are dependend from
firms which installed the box.
Moreover I was in a situation that someone wanted me to email a
text in "The format 7.0".  I', really sure that he wouldn't understand
the joke if I had said, that I only work with "The version 2e".
Many people in the position we target not even know that there other
things than those from MS exist.

How could we cope with that problem in my opinion?
I noticed that many people coming from the university have some
experiences with Linux.  To say the truth, they often use
"Linux 6.2" (meaning the Suse Distribution which is wide spread in
Germany).  They also seldom get the joke if they ask them if they
have a time machine because in my time slice is 2.2.14 the current
version.  If we could make those people more sensible for the
possibilities of free software we could get the door open a small
slit.  In my opinion it does not necessarily to be Debian.  I don't
want to flamewar other distributions.

In my opinion it is best enable those young teachers to maintain
a box themself and let them see that they can gain profit for
themself and their pupils.  These teachers will find some clever
kids which could catch the idea and convince others.  It is a
bottom up strategy in my opinion.  For a top down strategy beginning
with the school leaders we are to week in "politics/marketing"
and in technology as well.  The best way to build a better technology
is in my humble opinion the evolving debian-kids (debian-jr?)
project which was started by Ben Armstrong.  He was sane enough
to inlcude a topic marketing, too.

Personally I would try to hold a kind of lecture in some of the
schools of my little town.  This might be successful.  Once I did
a slide show about the nature of Iceland in one school and I think
I could find a way to make the boys and girls interested.  May
be some of us could do the same or has other ideas.

Kind regards


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