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Re: Doubts and question about the merging of LinEx in Debian Edu

On Friday 18 January 2008, Jonas Smedegaard wrote:
> On Thu, Jan 17, 2008 at 06:34:29PM +0100, cobaco (aka Bart Cornelis) 
> >agreed that setting a systemwide default is sensible,
> >but if at all posible there should be no barrier for users to trying out
> > a different desktop
> It might make sense for teachers to force a specific desktop on the
> students in some situations. If a class is being taught a common topic
> (rather than each individually working independently) differences in
> interface could cause too much distraction. 

I can see your point,  but that doesn't stop a school from using Gnome in 
one class, and KDE in another, and XFCE in yet another. (or Gnome one day, 
and KDE the next).

And honestly, if the class is getting bogged down because 'start program X' 
or 'go to site Y', or 'copy file X to Y' is problematic (that's pretty much 
all the interaction you'll have with the DE in a non-computer class). 
You'll save WAY more time in the long run by ensuring your students have 
some basic computer skills before you start using the computer as a routine 

(a one of computer use is a different situation, but if the computer is a 
routine tool used in every class there's no contest)

> An analogy would be that the students do not get to pick the math book to
> read - they all follow the same book for consistency.

as I've said in my reply to Nigel and Andreas, the desktop is more akin to 
the classroom then the textbook (which would be the site/document/program 

> My point here being that if the _teachers_ say they have a need for
> consistency, then it quite possible makes good sense to respect that
> over "freedom of choice" for the students.

I absolutely agree that you have to get the teachers on board, but I'm also 
firmly convinced that this particular issue isn't usually looked at from a 
from a pedagogical perspective, but from a technical support one.

(and in a school environment the pedagogical perspective should have way 
more weight).
Cheers, cobaco (aka Bart Cornelis)

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