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

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On Fri, Jan 18, 2008 at 06:56:38PM +0100, cobaco (aka Bart Cornelis) wrote:
>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).

I do not want to stop schools from having choice.

I want them to also have the choice of _not_ passing on that choice to 
their students. The school computer system belongs to the school, not 
their students, and the school may have good reasons for locking down 
said choice for their students.

>> 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 used).

I like your analogy better that my own.

Using that analogy, teachers may have a good reason to avoid some 
possible locations to perform their teaching. I remember being taught 
english in a chemistry lab once in primary school, which was quite 

Even if I as a student might have found it "exciting" to receive 
knowledge in that (at that time) exotic place, my teacher might have a 
different opinion - from a _pedagogical_ standpoint.

>> 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 
>(and in a school environment the pedagogical perspective should have 
>way more weight).

Do I understand you correctly, that the feature of removing desktop 
choice for the students should be avoided for Skolelinux because we 
suspect teachers to abuse it for non-pedagogical purposes?

I am not a teacher. But even so I can see pedagogical reasons for 
offering this feature to the school staff.

  - Jonas

- -- 
Jonas Smedegaard   <jonas@jones.dk>   http://www.jones.dk/~jonas/
IT-guide dr. Jones    <dr@jones.dk>   http://dr.jones.dk/    +45 40843136
Debian GNU/Linux    <js@debian.org>   http://www.debian.org/
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