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Re: [suse-linux-uk-schools] Open Source in Schools: Meeting 12th March 2001

>i hope that this meeting will be extremely useful in moving towards a more
>collective approach for open source in schools.

seconded ;-)

>a couple of points to consider before and the during the meeting:
>1. Should it be an open source or a Linux umbrella? i'm think here of a)
>FreeBSD (esp given Chris Dawkins presencs) b) educational content, much of
>which is becoming web-based, not Linux-based, but not in the main open
>source. Its been given the Open Source title and Linux is the cornerstone,
>and this leads into...

"Should it be an open source or a Linux umbrella?"
Well, *just* promoting Linux may well be seen to be precluding, say, freeBSD. Promoting Free Software (or OSS) in general, one can still focus on Linux (In my project I have used GNU/Linux as the focus, but also pushed the *principle* of Free Software).
Pragmatically, the issue is to a certain extent that Linux has the publicity (and the developers). The Free Software Foundation Europe, for example, is very interested in [all] Free Software in education, but in considering some sort of Europe-wide campaign for later in the year, they will (probably) be pushing GNU/Linux for schools.

>2. That despite the best efforts of some, the current Open Source / Linux
>schools audience is not mainstream and we are at times a small group
>preaching to the converted, perhaps what we should be looking at it lobby the
>wider audience, including Governement, LEAs, manufacturers and professional
>organisations, rather than each other. Some strategy for that would be
>interesting, including the publication of case studies etc

It surely goes without saying that this is the prime target for our efforts. As far as government is concerned, Malcolm, I would hope that you could give us a few hints about how we should approach this. Manufacturers: I'd like to think of a growing market in schools for PCs pre-installed with a free Unix, but expect that most demand would be for dual boot machines - and MS will not allow Windows to be pre-installed alongside another OS. As to professional associations, yes - case studies would be useful here, but most people in education still look to the government (and becta) before going off on their own and changing their OS, so we'd have to make a convincing case 8-).

> All those with an interest in the use of Linux and Open Source in
> education are welcome to attend - please let me know if you are planning
> to be there.

Count me in

- Richard Smedley

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