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How to promote Linux: make schools migrate! (Agenda)

Dear developers, dear supporters, dear users of linux!

There are several reasons why to use linux - this is about how to 
promote its usage.

First, I shall explain, _why_ _schools_ play the key role when we want 
to spread linux to the people. 

The second part suggests, how you can personally 
contribute to this very aim (making schools use linux). 

Before individuals decide to migrate, there must be both "push" and 
"pull" factors, that make them move: E.g. bluescreens, costs, or 
viruses  are well known motives to push you off windows - but what are 
the "pull" factors of linux if you don't know it? Being a 
non-commercial product (or more true: process), there is no ads on the 
TV about it.

Now, imagine pupils getting used to Linux like many of you got to Unix 
at high school! As in many cases (take Estremadura/Spain for instance) 
the decision about what OS to use at schools is made by the local 
administration for entire districts, the corresponding decision makers 
are gate keepers to a usership covering entire generations!

This means: Make schools migrate to Linux and you can sit and watch 
people sticking to it! (Was there ever another OS?)

Depending on your own role -- be it developer, teacher, pupil, parents, 
politician -- the answer on how to make schools migrate will be 

@developers: I am sure, many developers feel their special duty to 
promote linux. Now, what are your options? 
- you could join the debian-edu / skolelinux project that develops a 
school system out of the box (ldap server, terminal server, work 
stations with educational softwrae)
- as a maintainer for a specific package, you could think about its 
usability for schools.
- as a student who loves doning minor programming projects, you should 
think about porting established learing software to linux or inventing 
your own two pence.
- make internationalization as easy as possible with all of your 

@teachers: As a teacher, you should feel obliged to prepare your pupils 
to an open marked instead of training specific projects. 
- Talk to your local system administrator and ask him how he gets along 
with administration? Tell him that there is free solutions that 
restrict the necessary installations to one single terminal server.
- Get informed about educational software for linux (there is plenty of, 
search for freeduc e.g.)
- Ask the publishing houses for school books when they will release the 
linux version of their school book-accompanying software!

@pupils: Tell your teachers, tell your parents: there is a free 
operation system that does not only install without registration; but 
you can take it home from school, use it at home, and you won't even be 
prosecuted by law!

@parents: Your kids are right: if your school uses open software, your 
daughter or son can use it at home - and you won't have to pay any 
bill, nor will you break the law! Viruses farewell, hello future :)

@politicians: You have too much money to spend? Well, spend it on saving 
the environment for our children - instead of einriching the richest 
man of the world. Linux not only saves money, but it reduces the 
disposals of PCs: A 486 will do its service as thin client (diskless, 
noiseless) - you just have to buy one terminal server for each computer 
lab (<2000 $). Don't miss the turn - watch out for other regions that 
decide to migrate, get informed about ltsp-k12 and skolelinux....

act first, then discuss!


read & spread
by rUdi.

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