Article about Linux in K-12 Schools

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Don

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Sep 30, 2010, 1:05:26 AM9/30/10
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Hi

Obviously a hobby horse of mine, but a nice post nonetheless:

http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/09/linux_in_schools.php

The references to super computers and Weta Digital are interesting.

Cheers
Don

nathan parker

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Sep 30, 2010, 3:12:39 AM9/30/10
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Thanks Don - this is a huge score.
I followed the link to the 50 Places GNU/Linux you might not expect.
US Department of Defence, US Navy Submarine Fleet and Cuba.
The juxtaposition of it all is superb!
Thanks
Nathan



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Patrick

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Oct 1, 2010, 9:48:33 PM10/1/10
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"One of the arguments frequently presented in favour of Windows is
that students should learn on the systems they will be using after
they graduate. But the computer world is changing rapidly, and it is
difficult to determine if Windows will still dominate computer
desktops to the extent it does today."

The same argument holds true for any operating system that exists
today. Other arguments have less validity because many of the OSS
packages are also available for Windows. If there was no MS Schools
agreements schools could still buy their PCs at the shop and run OSS
packages on them for similar cost to a PC running Linux.

Furthermore, the cost of both the OS licenses and the software running
on them is dropping, especially with the change to cloud based
systems. You can run many of these on a thin client or a handheld
device, most of which come with a vendor provided embedded OS.

We are buying a new Windows 7 suite shortly. The cost is mostly
hardware. The old PCs are unreliable and parts are not available any
more. The software we run on them does not cost enough that we would
save much by switching OS. Most of the cost is in support which is
similar regardless of the OS.

On Sep 30, 8:12 pm, nathan parker <rekrapena...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Thanks Don - this is a huge
> score<http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/09/linux_in_schools.php>
> .
> I followed the link to the 50 Places GNU/Linux you might not
> expect.<http://www.focus.com/fyi/information-technology/50-places-linux-runni...>
> US Department of Defence, US Navy Submarine Fleet and Cuba.
> The juxtaposition of it all is superb!
> Thanks
> Nathan
>
> <http://www.focus.com/fyi/information-technology/50-places-linux-runni...>
> On 30 September 2010 18:05, Don <d...@catalyst.net.nz> wrote:
>
>
>
> > Hi
>
> > Obviously a hobby horse of mine, but a nice post nonetheless:
>
> >http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/09/linux_in_schools.php
>
> > The references to super computers and Weta Digital are interesting.
>
> > Cheers
> > Don
>
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Mark Osborne

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Oct 4, 2010, 8:32:14 PM10/4/10
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Nice to note the Finland and South Korea (who regularly feature at the top of international education rankings: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7126562.stm) are both big in open source. Finland has over 100 open source schools and South Korea began rolling out a national education information system build only using open source tools in 2006- both of which are paying serious dividends in education. At its core, this is about getting a huge number of the best tools to every student and getting them use them for learning.
Mark

On 30 September 2010 18:05, Don <d...@catalyst.net.nz> wrote:
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Patrick

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Oct 4, 2010, 10:01:35 PM10/4/10
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The type of license or development model aren't relevant to what is a
good or bad software package.

On Oct 5, 1:32 pm, Mark Osborne <mosbo...@ashs.school.nz> wrote:
> Nice to note the Finland and South Korea (who regularly feature at the top
> of international education rankings:http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7126562.stm)
> are both big in open source. Finland has over 100 open source schools and
> South Korea began rolling out a national education information system build
> only using open source tools in 2006- both of which are paying serious
> dividends in education. At its core, this is about getting a huge number of
> the best tools to every student and getting them use them for learning.
> Mark
>
> On 30 September 2010 18:05, Don <d...@catalyst.net.nz> wrote:
>
>
>
> > Hi
>
> > Obviously a hobby horse of mine, but a nice post nonetheless:
>
> >http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/09/linux_in_schools.php
>
> > The references to super computers and Weta Digital are interesting.
>
> > Cheers
> > Don
>
> > --
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> Hei konā mai,
>
> Mark Osborne
> Deputy Principal,
> Albany Senior High School.
> 536 Albany Highway, North Shore City.
> Find us on Open Street
> Map<http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=-36.730128&lon=174.696304&zoom=18&l...>
> Our Wikieducator Portal <http://wikieducator.org/Albany_Senior_High_School>,
> e-learning@ASHS<http://wikieducator.org/Albany_Senior_High_School/e-learning>

Mark Osborne

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Oct 4, 2010, 10:41:43 PM10/4/10
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Correct but it's great to see Finland and South Korea making great use of great free software to help them reach the top of the education ladder. Quite an inspiring story.

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Andy Gorton

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Oct 5, 2010, 3:26:07 AM10/5/10
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I may have missed something here but not sure how you've drawn the
conclusion (from that article at least) that "making
>great use of great free software to help them reach the top of the
>education ladder
" .

What is to say that open source is helping them at all ? Perhaps they
simply are using ICT better ? Perhaps the OECD didn't even consider ICT
(haven't read the report) ?

I am not against OS BTW but if someone posted that NZ schools were at top
of ranking and isn't it great to see that MS tools are helping them reach
the top there would be an outcry from OS enthusiasts!

As I say, may have missed something though

cheers

Andy

mle-refer...@googlegroups.com writes:
>Correct but it's great to see Finland and South Korea making great use of
>great free software to help them reach the top of the education ladder.
>Quite an inspiring story.
>
>

>On 5 Oct 2010 15:01, "Patrick" <[ mailto:nzscho...@gmail.com


>]nzscho...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> The type of license or development model aren't relevant to what is a
>> good or bad software package.
>>

>> On Oct 5, 1:32 pm, Mark Osborne <[ mailto:mosbo...@ashs.school.nz


>]mosbo...@ashs.school.nz> wrote:
>>> Nice to note the Finland and South Korea (who regularly feature at the
>top
>>> of international education rankings:[
>http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7126562.stm

>]http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7126562.stm)


>>> are both big in open source. Finland has over 100 open source schools
>and
>>> South Korea began rolling out a national education information system
>build
>>> only using open source tools in 2006- both of which are paying serious
>>> dividends in education. At its core, this is about getting a huge
>number of
>>> the best tools to every student and getting them use them for learning.
>>> Mark
>>>

>>> On 30 September 2010 18:05, Don <[ mailto:d...@catalyst.net.nz
>]d...@catalyst.net.nz> wrote:
>>>
>>>

Patrick

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Oct 8, 2010, 6:33:03 PM10/8/10
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I am sure the lack of responses so far is purely busyness not lack of
interest so I am sure we will see some more specific replies in due
course, right now I am going to give a response and try to keep it to
the point from the way I see it as a end user and also decisionmaker
in terms of what we will actually use in our school. As far the
supposed claimed benefits go you can easily google that and I have no
further intention to comment on it for the moment. My viewpoint is
essentially pragmatic and we are a school community that runs on
pragmatism. The Open Source community is essentially divided into two
camps, one of pragmatism in which comes much of the commercial support
for open source, as a business opportunity or flavour of the month,
and the other of ideologism in which we are supposedly changing the
world and striking a political blow against commercialism and
proprietary development in the computing field. In general the
pragmatists have developed their software for a variety of hardware or
OS platforms while the ideologists insist everything must be open
whether it is the OS or hardware etc, it is a fair point of contention
which camp is actually the most "open" as I see the pragmatists have
at least an open mind about which approach is best.

As a user I believe that while there are some very good open source
projects (for example the LAMPS platform which we don't use but which
powers many websites including a hobby website I used to run myself)
there are also those which are well behind commercial equivalents and
this spread is typical of all software development models and
therefore I do not accept that an open development model is
automatically superior. For example when I started at my school the
server ran Samba on Linux, over a period of time as I looked into what
Samba could do I concluded that at best it was up to about an
equivalence of Windows 2000 in parts and NT in others thus limiting
the many centralised management capabilities available in Windows
Server at the time and since and that is why we shut down the Linux
servers and now run Windows Server. We could have just as easily gone
over to Netware, another proprietary package at the time with an
excellent reputation and available on similar pricing. It's useful to
note there is a WAMPS equivalent as all of the LAMPS packages are also
available on Windows while the OS has steadily improved to be as
stable as the Linux equivalent. When people quote that Linux is
running on many high performance systems, Linux would have in many
cases replaced a proprietary or perhaps open (BSD) Unix on those
systems, not Windows which has historical low penetration that is
slowly increasing due to it being a relative latecomer.

Our decisions about OS choice are mainly driven by the fact that
Windows by far has the widest range of software products released for
it due to its high utilisation, also it is implemented on a relatively
open generic hardware platform which keeps the hardware costs down. We
have some open source packages in use in our school but are using
commercial software where a clear advantage exists at a modest cost. I
would guess that no individual license costs more than $100 per seat.
The OS cost is relatively minor compared to the hardware. Also in our
parent community we have two parents who have each given hundreds of
hours of their own time, one is a MCSE in business in that line of
work and the other is a system architect for one of NZ's biggest
software companies, both are supportive of our general direction and
their involvement is significant in our choices. The same is true of
choosing a NZ proprietary SMS which has excellent local resourcing and
support.

The changing hardware environment as such seems to be heading to a
large extent now in the direction of embedded devices like the iPad
that move much of the processing power to the cloud. The OSs these
devices use are largely fixed and not intended to be user selected and
it is impractical to do so, so I think that a large part of the open
source debate will be left behind as the devices are largely being
deployed as a complete package rather than individual component like
PCs are today. In this context I see the OLPC as an embedded device,
although in part this is due to the ideological resistance of its
development community to opening up the platform to other OSs. The
next OLPC model is a tablet and it will be interesting to see whether
it really offers the educational and other communities (NZ as well as
other countries) a low cost alternative to the iPad and other
commercial tablet products or whether it actually restricts the
choices by locking down end users and solutions developers to a fixed
deployment model.

Wayne Mackintosh

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Oct 8, 2010, 7:25:39 PM10/8/10
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Hi Patrick,

On Sat, Oct 9, 2010 at 11:33 AM, Patrick <nzscho...@gmail.com> wrote:
the other of ideologism in which we are supposedly changing the
world and striking a political blow against commercialism and
proprietary development in the computing field.

 Just a brief reflection as a free culture advocate and user.

I agree that the free software community has a strong philosophy based on the essential freedoms (in particular freedom of choice that we would expect from any modern democracy.)  -- However I must stress that we are NOT opposed to commercialism and the rights of individuals to earn a living in accordance with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. With particular reference to the open content movement -- you will have seen numerous posts on this list arguing against the non-commercial restriction.

Just wanted to point out that your notion of "striking a political blow against commercialism" is incorrect. The free culture uses alternative models for both economic and social sustainability. Just wanting to correct this misconception :-)

Cheers
Wayne






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Patrick

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Oct 8, 2010, 9:09:26 PM10/8/10
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So essentially you would say that the free software or free content
movement is about the ownership of intellectual property rather than
the means by which that intellectual property is developed?

On Oct 9, 12:25 pm, Wayne Mackintosh <mackintosh.wa...@gmail.com>
wrote:
> Hi Patrick,
>
> On Sat, Oct 9, 2010 at 11:33 AM, Patrick <nzschoolt...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > the other of ideologism in which we are supposedly changing the
> > world and striking a political blow against commercialism and
> > proprietary development in the computing field.
>
>  Just a brief reflection as a free culture advocate and user.
>
> I agree that the free software community has a strong philosophy based on
> the essential freedoms (in particular freedom of choice that we would expect
> from any modern democracy.)  -- However I must stress that we are NOT
> opposed to commercialism and the rights of individuals to earn a living in
> accordance with the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. With
> particular reference to the open content movement -- you will have seen
> numerous posts on this list arguing against the non-commercial restriction.
>
> Just wanted to point out that your notion of "striking a political blow
> against commercialism" is incorrect. The free culture uses alternative
> models for both economic and social sustainability. Just wanting to correct
> this misconception :-)
>
> Cheers
> Wayne
>
> --
> Wayne Mackintosh <http://wikieducator.org/User:Mackiwg>, Ph.D.
> Director OER Foundation <http://www.oerfoundation.org>
> Director, International Centre for Open Education,
> Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand.
> Founder and elected Community Council Member,
> Wikieducator<http://www.wikieducator.org%20>

Wayne Mackintosh

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Oct 8, 2010, 9:56:44 PM10/8/10
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Hi Patrick,

That's a good question.

Other than the ethics of acknowledging and referencing your sources, I would say, from a free culture perspective, that the ownership of intellectual property is less important than than the means by which the outputs are produced.

Irrespective of ownership of IP (in both closed and open models) acknowledging and attributing our sources is about doing the right thing. We all stand on the shoulders of giants and speaking ethically, I think we should always attribute our sources (even if there is no legal requirement to do so e.g. as in the case of the public domain declaration).

Open licensing is based on a culture of permissions (as opposed to licensing restrictions) as a mechanism to promote creativity, innovation and more effective use of scarce resources by sharing source code or open content materials. Open development approaches reduce redundancy and the risk of reinventing wheels.

With regards to your question -- I think the means of production is very important in open models.  Open production models are based on recognising that collaborative development can produce high quality results with the added advantage of providing permissions and freedoms for anyone to make derivative works for the benefit of the communities they serve.

Therefore, open content licensing regimes provide the legal mechanism for using intellectual property to support open collaboration for the benefit of all.

Cheers
Wayne




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Founder and elected Community Council Member, Wikieducator

Wayne Mackintosh

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Oct 8, 2010, 10:22:28 PM10/8/10
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Hi Patrick,

Brief follow up on the ideology / philosophy of the free culture.  In a previous post I reference the essential freedoms and omitted to  list these.  I include these below for anyone interested (with apology to readers who are familiar with the essential freedoms.)

Cheers
Wayne

Essential freedoms

With reference to open content the essential freedoms include:
  • The freedom to use and perform the work
  • The freedom to study the work and apply the information
  • The freedom to redistribute copies
  • The freedom to distribute derivative works (see: http://tinyurl.com/2desspa)
These are derived from Stallman's essential freedoms for free software specifically the freedom to:
  • Use, that is the freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
  • Help yourself which is the freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • Help your neighbour that is, the freedom to redistribute copies without restriction (freedom 2).
  • Help your community referring to the freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this. (See: http://tinyurl.com/26a92wk)
If any of these freedoms is substantially missing, then it is not free software. So for example, so called freeware, which is copyright software that you can download without cost but without access to the source code is not free software. Note that the essential freedoms do not restrict commercial activity.

Tim McNamara

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Oct 9, 2010, 4:42:06 PM10/9/10
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On Oct 5, 8:26 pm, "Andy Gorton" <g...@hagley.school.nz> wrote:
> I may have missed something here but not sure how you've drawn the
> conclusion (from that article at least) that "making
> great use of great free software to help them reach the top of the
> education ladder
>
> What is to say that open source is helping them at all ? Perhaps they
> simply are using ICT better ? Perhaps the OECD didn't even consider ICT
> (haven't read the report) ?
>
> I am not against OS BTW but if someone posted that NZ schools were at top
> of ranking and isn't it great to see that MS tools are helping them reach
> the top there would be an outcry from OS enthusiasts!
>
> As I say, may have missed something though
>
> cheers
>
> Andy

This is a fair point. It's always going to epistemologically difficult
to distinguish causation from correlation.

Here is one way that I can think that that open source benefits
learners, based only on my own experience however. What I've witnessed
from many computer uses is a sense of frustration and helplessness
when something doesn't work as they think it should. People who buy
software are trained to wait for automatic updates, or worse they are
forced onto purchasing the next version. Processes inside
organisations say, "If you're having problems, call the helpdesk."*
The feedback loop might be an automated report that is generated and
sent to an anonymous server.

I would like to think that open source software would enable a sense
of critical analysis, exploration and problem solving. For me, when I
have a problem with a piece of software that I use, I tend to go
through a process of reflection:

"Is this issue something other people might be having?"
"Can I reproduce the problem?"
"Why is the system built like this, there must be a reason? It must
be useful for something."
"Is the hassle of the computer problem larger than the hassle of my
time to send feedback?"
"How can I word a report to developers that explains what's going
wrong?"

In short, I have the impression that users of paid software feel like
they don't have the skills to contribute. They don't see themselves as
a participant in a computer system. By computer system, I mean a
system that includes software, hardware and the user to generate some
useful output.

Open source software has helped me by creating a sense of empowerment
and discovery. I use the software that I want to run. When there's a
problem, my involvement forms part of the solution.



Regards

Tim McNamara
OLPC Aotearoa
Masters Candidate in Public Policy, VUW


* This is conceivably also the case for open source software that is
inside an organisation too.

nathan parker

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Oct 9, 2010, 8:13:20 PM10/9/10
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Kia ora,

From the article of GNU/Linux users, I also added our own Air NZ.
Here are a few examples again.....Weta Digital, U.S. Department of Defence and Navy Submarine Fleet, The City of Munich - Germany, Federal Aviation Administration, Cuba, Spain,  French Parliament, State-Owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Pakistani Schools & Colleges, Macedonia's Ministry of Education and Science, U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Federal Courts, Government of Mexico City, Garden Grove -  California,  German Universities, Panasonic, Swiss Schools,  London and New York Stock Exchanges, Amazon, Peugeot.

There are some disparate users here but I would say the commonality amongst them is price, reliability and security.

The debate over the effectiveness of the GNU/Linux OS will continue to rage but having seen Mark Osbourne's presentation at uLearn about Albany Senior High and knowing what Warrington School pupils are doing leads me to believe that our pupils are "advantaged" by our Open Source use. If you want to see for yourselves - our doors are OPEN!

So much of this debate is based around defending corners - proprietary or non-proprietary software in NZ schools, but what would happen if NZ schools were allowed to test out the theories using a level playing field.

If the MOE continued to pay out license fees for choosers of proprietary software but offered $62 per computer per year
(current value) for those schools who wanted to go it alone - that would be equity and allow choice.

The money I already save on license fees for a school SMS ($500+), Library software $700+ and copyright fees ($400) = 20% of Warrington School's annual budget.
The $62 per computer with our 35 computers could give us another 20% boost to our operational grant - I wonder how Warrington and other schools wishing to use this model of Open Source would fare????

The $62 could pay for local expertise - technicians or teacher aides - money that is staying within the NZ and probably local economy.

If GNU/Linux works for Cuba, German Universities and Swiss Schools then I would imagine given equal funding by the MOE as that of proprietary software users; Open Source will work very well in NZ Schools.

The outdated handbrake models of learning are being challenged by educators throughout the world (thanks again uLearn).
Why should the questioning of outmoded systems stop in the classroom, surely as educators it is our right to ask those who are working for us in the MOE to check their models too - I am trying to do this politely.

Through digital technology we are more aware of the growing consumption of Fair Trade products. We didn't previously know that our consumption of coffee etc was disadvantaging or harmful to some people.

Open source is like Fair Trade,
Worm Farms and buy NZ made for the digital age!
It has only recently surfaced on most peoples horizons in the last year.

I also believe its time
for some research on the Open Source model; lets put the debate to the test on NZ schools now. That is before and after we Open Source Schools are equitably funded.

Cheers,
Nathan.


PS - Sorry but I am not talking about being supplied with Open Source by Novell - that is a model that I feel needs a rethink.
 
 


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Andy Gorton

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Oct 10, 2010, 12:12:24 AM10/10/10
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>
>In short, I have the impression that users of paid software feel like
>they don't have the skills to contribute. They don't see themselves as
>a participant in a computer system. By computer system, I mean a
>system that includes software, hardware and the user to generate some
>useful output.
>
>Open source software has helped me by creating a sense of empowerment
>and discovery. I use the software that I want to run. When there's a
>problem, my involvement forms part of the solution.
<
>

I am glad that oss gives you that empowerment feeling and I like your
questions (which could be equally applied to any SW IMO). However, I think
that you are confusing the issue a little here. If you are referring to
the lack of empowerment with e.g. MSOffice then I'd agree with you. The
comparison with MSOffice though would be something like OpenOffice which I
would argue you would have a similar lack of empowerment to influence as
MS Office.

If you take small proprietary SW companies (especially ones with a single
product as is the case with many oss developments) then I think you can
influence change and then have a feeling of empowerment. The main
difference I would suggest is that proprietary SW is often released with
less regularity than oss developments so you may feel more frustrated at
waiting for a change to take place. There are often several clear
commercial reasons for this delay of course.

I use MacOSx, Windows and Ubuntu. I use them when either I feel one is
better than the other for something, a SW package works better or only one
one particular OS or even when I fancy a change. My allegiance is to SW
that works for me personally (whether an OS or application SW). If I can
find it for free then great, if I can't I pay for it as long as I think it
is reasonably priced. I do the same for my school- if it works for the end
user and is what they want and need to drive ICT forwards then oss or
proprietary doesn't come in to it. How it works and interoperates with
other SW is far more important.

cheers

Andy

Andy Gorton

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Oct 10, 2010, 12:35:42 AM10/10/10
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Isn't it already a level playing field in terms of SW? You can choose to
move to Linux for free (at least as far as the OS is concerned) or you can
pay for MS. I can see an argument that people feel hard done to that they
have chosen Linux and don't get the $62 but this is concerning equity of
funding not equity of SW surely?

If NZ schools all went to Linux overnight I would put a fairly hefty bet
that for quite a period of time we would be in a mess. The numbers of
technicians trained to help with Linux are not there as far as I can tell.
The fees paid to OSS consultants and those that are trained would go
through the roof IMO. (I realise that I have used extreme example here!)

>So much of this debate is based around defending corners - proprietary or
>non-proprietary software in NZ schools, but what would happen if NZ
>schools were allowed to test out the theories using a level playing field.
>
>If the MOE continued to pay out license fees for choosers of proprietary
>software but offered $62 per computer per year (current value) for those
>schools who wanted to go it alone - that would be equity and allow choice.

Open source is like Fair Trade, Worm Farms and buy NZ made for the digital


age!
It has only recently surfaced on most peoples horizons in the last year.

Perhaps this was expressed a bit tongue in cheek but OSS is not like Fair
trade, no livelihoods are being ruined as in the coffee trade. People are
not struggling to live because many support MS and Apple etc. Few NZ
companies/developers will gain monies from us changing to OSS as most OSS
is developed elsewhere. What we would have to consider though is how many
tertiary companies (ICT resellers) who in the main are not cowboys or
moneygrabbers IMO would die out or struggle. Again, I am not arguing for
not using OSS - I use it myself but I think we need to take a more rounded
view of the effects of allk NZ schools moving. I know this happened in
Spain for example but I would be interested to know if there were any
after effects and how they dealt with them - e.g. training, availability
of technicians, what happened to resellers reliant on school business etc
etc etc

I am going to try and visit some NZ schools commited to OSS as I would
like to see how others are being disadvantaged (I am not disagreeing that
we might be, just that I need to see for myself). However, I saw a few
schools in UK commited and using OSS brilliantly. They were certainly not
achieving any better (and I refer to ICT use and experiences for learners
here) than other schools who were ahead in ICT but using propriertary SW.
Perhaps, what they were achieving was better VFM though ??

cheers

Andy


nathan parker

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Oct 10, 2010, 1:52:09 AM10/10/10
to mle-refer...@googlegroups.com
Firstly apologies for % error on previous post should read 2% not 20% :)

On 10 October 2010 17:35, Andy Gorton <g...@hagley.school.nz> wrote:
Isn't it already a level playing field in terms of SW? You can choose to
move to Linux for free (at least as far as the OS is concerned) or you can
pay for MS. I can see an argument that people feel hard done to that they
have chosen Linux and don't get the $62 but this is concerning equity of
funding not equity of SW surely?
Equitable funding - whatever your option we now have a per computer figure of $62 approx,  surely schools should be allowed to make the decision best for them. I am would imagine initially it will be a mixture of proprietary and Open Source - that would be great. This is not bulk funding but just allows schools to self govern.

If NZ schools all went to Linux overnight I would put a fairly hefty bet
that for quite a period of time we would be in a mess. The numbers of
technicians trained to help with Linux are not there as far as I can tell.
The fees paid to OSS consultants and those that are trained would go
through the roof IMO. (I realise that I have used extreme example here!)

I agree move directly to GNU/Linux - that would be a mess. I am just a primary school teacher with no technical background yet we maintain 35ish computers (we keep giving and receiving computers) so technical assistance is minimal once the computers are installed with Ubuntu or Debian or GNU/Sense or with KIWIBuntu. 

>So much of this debate is based around defending corners - proprietary or
>non-proprietary software in NZ schools, but what would happen if NZ
>schools were allowed to test out the theories using a level playing field.
>
>If the MOE continued to pay out license fees for choosers of proprietary
>software but offered $62 per computer per year (current value) for those
>schools who wanted to go it alone - that would be equity and allow choice.

Open source is like Fair Trade, Worm Farms and buy NZ made for the digital
age!
It has only recently surfaced on most peoples horizons in the last year.

Perhaps this was expressed a bit tongue in cheek but OSS is not like Fair
trade, no livelihoods are being ruined as in the coffee trade.
Tongue in cheek - but we share our knowledge/ideas/resources through Open Licenses, giving away code to projects that can be used by developing nations for free eg Koha and we can wring more life out of old dog computers that can then be given to our neediest families instead of overseas for dubious recycling.

People are
not struggling to live because many support MS and Apple etc. Few NZ
companies/developers will gain monies from us changing to OSS as most OSS
is developed elsewhere. What we would have to consider though is how many
tertiary companies (ICT resellers) who in the main are not cowboys or
moneygrabbers IMO would die out or struggle. Again, I am not arguing for
not using OSS - I use it myself but I think we need to take a more rounded
view of the effects of allk NZ schools moving. I know this happened in
Spain for example but I would be interested to know if there were any
after effects and how they dealt with them - e.g. training, availability
of technicians, what happened to resellers reliant on school business etc
etc etc

Again a gradual move is fine - not everyone switched to using a worm farm or buying fair trade coffee allowing producers time to switch as peoples options and opinions changed. The option of fund equitably is the option I see as being important - we could install our 35 computers with MS and then expect the government to fund this - we don't but at the same time we miss out on the $62 that the MOE is willing to give away for licenses.
Also our NZ Curriculum values fit very well with Open Source philosophy....
Equity, through fairness and social justice;
Community and participation for the common good;
Ecological sustainability, which includes care for the environment;
Integrity, which involves being honest, responsible, and accountable and acting ethically; and to respect themselves, others, and human rights.

 
I am going to try and visit some NZ schools commited to OSS as I would
like to see how others are being disadvantaged (I am not disagreeing that
we might be, just that I need to see for myself). However, I saw a few
schools in UK commited and using OSS brilliantly. They were certainly not
achieving any better (and I refer to ICT use and experiences for learners
here) than other schools who were ahead in ICT but using propriertary SW.
Perhaps, what they were achieving was better VFM though ??
A 2% increase in our ICT budget would be significant for the learning of our pupils - it will also help our local economy.
Only with digital equity will we truly find the answers to our questions :)
Cheers
Nathan




cheers

Andy



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Andy Gorton

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Oct 10, 2010, 2:15:37 AM10/10/10
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I said my bit on the previous post but I must bite at the following:

>Also our NZ Curriculum values fit very well with Open Source
>philosophy....
>Equity, through fairness and social justice;
>Community and participation for the common good;
>Ecological sustainability, which includes care for the environment;
>Integrity, which involves being honest, responsible, and accountable and
>acting ethically; and to respect themselves, others, and human rights.

What on earth has proprietary SW done to be not included in being ethical
and what is any educational SW got to do with human rights! There may be a
few cases of unethical practices (MSoft shoving a 600 page document re
ooxml under our noses in Europe and giving us 2 weeks to review before it
being ratified could possibly be taken as unethical) but in the main I can
only think of lack of VFM as main problem in cases with paid for SW and we
have a choice about that.

cheers

Andy

Patrick

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Oct 11, 2010, 2:45:26 AM10/11/10
to MLE Reference Group
It may be within your choice not to have an SMS in your school because
it is quite a small school. However it is not a realistic option for
most schools because of the amount of work they can save by using
their SMS. For a school of 550 considering they have to send out at
least one report on every student every year, the reporting capability
of the SMS is one of a number of substantial benefits with the ability
to automate substantial elements of report generation.

Our library package is locally developed in Christchurch, and it runs
on a software platform that was and still is developed in Christchurch
and is bringing a lot of revenue into New Zealand because of being
developed for the international market and employs hundreds of New
Zealanders. The fact that it is proprietary is essentially irrelevant
from that viewpoint. Same goes for our SMS which is produced by a New
Zealand educational developer, all the money on these two packages
goes into New Zealand so the license is irrelevant. The difference
being I suppose that they run professional helpdesks and that is what
you expect to get from that money. If this professional support was
not available we would have to pay someone else to provide it so there
is no free lunch or something for nothing equation.

We can have discussions about the amount of local content in all
development solutions - key components of many open source solutions
are developed overseas and I do not think anyone can claim there is a
major differentiation on this grounds because there are also large
companies overseas developing software to run on Linux - and some of
that software is proprietary.

Not sure what the question is over Novell - OES/Netware is a
proprietary license running on top of open source Linux.
> > mle-reference-g...@googlegroups.com<mle-reference-group%2Bunsu...@googlegroups.com>
> > .
> > For more options, visit this group at
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nathan parker

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Oct 11, 2010, 8:03:50 AM10/11/10
to mle-refer...@googlegroups.com
Patrick - yes the one cap model will not fit all.

At ulearn I listened to teaching and learning experts in IT talk about the need to shift  from the top down, handbrake applied model to using  bottom up, throttle on approaches.

The MOE have set a benchmark figure of what they are willing to pay to support (some) computers in NZ Schools at $62 per computer per year (approx).

A modern Selwyn Toogood working for the MOE and using a bottom up, throttle on approach would be offering the money or the bag!

I am saying "let me at have the money because the bag may contain a lemon or a manky washing machine".

Equal funding, will let us all see what effect the $62 will have on our classrooms and local economy?

Open Source - think Worm Farms, Fair Trade and Buy NZ made for the digital age.
N
 
PS the Novell/MOE Open Source deal that we keep getting offered as meeting our Open Source computing needs is a top down model and as you say with a "proprietary license".
I will stick to the money option thanks.



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Patrick

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Oct 11, 2010, 5:29:57 PM10/11/10
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You are offered Netware, which is a proprietary license, and openSuse/
SLED/SLES, which is a FOSS license. And I assume that the Ministry
helpdesk will give free support on all of them, so they would support
SLED/SLES as operating systems in NZ schools.



On Oct 12, 1:03 am, nathan parker <rekrapena...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Patrick - yes the one cap model will not fit all.
>
> At ulearn I listened to teaching and learning experts in IT talk about the
> need to shift  from the top down, handbrake applied model to using  bottom
> up, throttle on approaches.
>
> The MOE have set a benchmark figure of what they are willing to pay to
> support *(some) *computers in NZ Schools at $62 per computer per year
> (approx).
>
> A modern Selwyn Toogood working for the MOE and using a bottom up, throttle
> on approach would be offering the money or the bag!
>
> I am saying "let me at have the money because the bag may contain a lemon or
> a manky washing machine".
>
> Equal funding, will let us all see what effect the $62 will have on our
> classrooms and local economy?
>
> Open Source - think Worm Farms, Fair Trade and Buy NZ made for the digital
> age.
> N
>
> PS the Novell/MOE Open Source deal that we keep getting offered as meeting
> our Open Source computing needs is a top down model and as you say with a
> "proprietary license".
> I will stick to the money option thanks.
>
> > <mle-reference-group%2Bunsu...@googlegroups.com<mle-reference-group%252Buns...@googlegroups.com>

Alan Pugh

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Oct 11, 2010, 7:17:41 PM10/11/10
to MLE Reference Group
Patrick,

I think you are right on the money with this post. Here's my two cents
worth:

------------------------------------------------------
windows server compared to samba:
------------------------------------------------------
At the school where I work we run windows server with AD. It works
well. The group policy features in particular are handy and powerful.
At my other workplace (a SME) we run samba and OpenLDAP. These do the
basics flawlessly but I really miss the extras like Group Policy and
WSUS. We are now looking at changing to windows server. The SAMBA
project seems to have some brilliant people involved but they will
always be playing catch-up to windows server due to the inherent
nature of what they are doing.

------------------------------
open source zealotry:
------------------------------
In my experience many linux enthusiasts seem, unfortunately, to equate
Microsoft with both evil and uselessness and suffer a kind of blind
fundamentalism that prevents them from seeing any value in microsoft's
offering. I find this attitude unhelpful and wrong-headed.

Alan

Julian Davison

unread,
Oct 11, 2010, 7:31:07 PM10/11/10
to mle-refer...@googlegroups.com
On 12/10/2010 12:17 p.m., Alan Pugh wrote:
> Patrick,
>
> I think you are right on the money with this post. Here's my two cents
> worth:
>
> ------------------------------------------------------
> windows server compared to samba:
> ------------------------------------------------------
> At the school where I work we run windows server with AD. It works
> well. The group policy features in particular are handy and powerful.
> At my other workplace (a SME) we run samba and OpenLDAP. These do the
> basics flawlessly but I really miss the extras like Group Policy and
> WSUS. We are now looking at changing to windows server. The SAMBA
> project seems to have some brilliant people involved but they will
> always be playing catch-up to windows server due to the inherent
> nature of what they are doing.

Which is why it's good to have options.

> ------------------------------
> open source zealotry:
> ------------------------------
> In my experience many linux enthusiasts seem, unfortunately, to equate
> Microsoft with both evil and uselessness and suffer a kind of blind
> fundamentalism that prevents them from seeing any value in microsoft's
> offering. I find this attitude unhelpful and wrong-headed.

There are plenty of examples of behaviour from the Microsoft company
that people like to quote as proof they are 'evil' and/or 'useless'.
However, it seems to me, you are very nicely describing a 'zealotry'
that exists in a number of camps, including the 'open source' camp,
the 'Microsoft' camp, the 'Apple' camp - indeed most camps you can
think of.
Indeed you will find some of them here on this list.

My experience, particularly when it comes to software, is that there
is seldom a single "right" answer, often there aren't any "right"
answers, just a range of options. Depending on an individual situation
some of the range will be better than others.
The keys are to know of the range and to be able to identify the aspects
of the various solutions that apply to a given situation.

Restricting your possible solutions to only ever include a single
vendor, licence or ethos tends to lead to frustration as you wait
for your pet solution to evolve to fit your situation - or worse
yet you modify your situation to fit the solution, which is almost
never a good idea!

J,


nathan parker

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Oct 11, 2010, 7:43:38 PM10/11/10
to mle-refer...@googlegroups.com
It still all comes back to equity - $ame money from the MOE for all systems - let schools choose the right system for their circumstances.
N


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Julian Davison

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Oct 11, 2010, 7:52:40 PM10/11/10
to mle-refer...@googlegroups.com
[Changed subject, seems more appropriate]

The $62-debate has occurred here before. It seems to end up
going in circles each time. I'm not sure that we, ultimately,
make any useful progress, so I'm not sure that there's any point
in going back over the same old ground again.

It feels as though the statement from Nathan, below, is suggesting
that schools do not currently "choose the right system for their
circumstances". Which I believe is incorrect. NZ schools can, and do,
choose systems that they believe best fit their environment.


J,

On 12/10/2010 12:43 p.m., nathan parker wrote:
> It still all comes back to equity - $ame money from the MOE for all
> systems - let schools choose the right system for their circumstances.
> N
>
>
> On 12 October 2010 12:31, Julian Davison <jul...@tech.cbhs.school.nz

> <mailto:mle-refer...@googlegroups.com>.


> To unsubscribe from this group, send email to
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>
>
>
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Allan Wayper

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Oct 11, 2010, 7:55:03 PM10/11/10
to mle-refer...@googlegroups.com

Surely equity includes giving the students a choice – you deny them this if you only offer them OS software…

 

Give them both and see what they choose rather than forcing your ideology on them (we do this)

 

Allan

Wayne Mackintosh

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Oct 11, 2010, 8:00:19 PM10/11/10
to mle-refer...@googlegroups.com
Hi Allan

On Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 12:55 PM, Allan Wayper <al...@gc.ac.nz> wrote:

Surely equity includes giving the students a choice – you deny them this if you only offer them OS software…


The same holds true for parents & children attending schools who do not support free software -- I have first hand experience of homework marked as not-submitted when my children have submitted their work in open file formats :-).

 

Give them both and see what they choose rather than forcing your ideology on them (we do this)

 

I agree --- give learners the choice!
 



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Tim Kong

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Oct 11, 2010, 8:04:21 PM10/11/10
to mle-refer...@googlegroups.com
I think one of the ways that this conversation (which seems to be on a
bit of repeat) gets frustrating is that the lenses through which we view
this issue of open v. closed software/philosophy are very different.

If you view the issue through a technical lens - it will look a certain
way. If you view it through a budget/TCO point of view - it will look
different. And a number of us have years of embedded
knowledge/expertise/ego about a particular system that colours our
thinking about what is the "best way". If you are the IT manager, you
will want certain things, if you are the principal of a school, you will
want other things. Just like we'll each have differing views on the
value and benefit of a public or a private education. These are inherent
in the system, and we should not ignore these lenses or biases.

When I was listening to Mark Osborne's talk at ULearn about how they
developed ASHS - I was struck by the fact that it was a teaching and
learning philosophy and a desire to provide the best learning
environment for their school, that led them to a FOSS model. It was the
ideas about teaching and learning that led to the technology choices -
not the other way around.

Each of us in the education sector, if we are honest about it - should
be wanting to provide our students and teachers the best environments
for learning, sharing and celebrating. That doesn't mean our
environments should be the same, so we should relax and be OK with that.
The NZ curriculum is predicated on a model that not all learning looks
the same, and is a stronger model for it.

I'd challenge you to keep asking - "what's working? if it isn't - why
not? if it is - why? what can we do to make our learning places better?"
That's not a secret way of wanting to impose a FOSS model - that's just
reflective teaching practice. Ultimately, if you can say why/how your
way is making a difference to your students, their learning and their
successes - then that is the way for you and your place of learning. But
don't be afraid of making change happen - amazingly it's often in our
own hands.

I think F. Scott Fitzgerald captures this tension very well:

"The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two
opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to
function."


Cheers,

Tim


On 12/10/10 12:17 PM, Alan Pugh wrote:
> Patrick,
>
> I think you are right on the money with this post. Here's my two cents
> worth:
>
> ------------------------------------------------------
> windows server compared to samba:
> ------------------------------------------------------
> At the school where I work we run windows server with AD. It works
> well. The group policy features in particular are handy and powerful.
> At my other workplace (a SME) we run samba and OpenLDAP. These do the
> basics flawlessly but I really miss the extras like Group Policy and
> WSUS. We are now looking at changing to windows server. The SAMBA
> project seems to have some brilliant people involved but they will
> always be playing catch-up to windows server due to the inherent
> nature of what they are doing.
>
> ------------------------------
> open source zealotry:
> ------------------------------
> In my experience many linux enthusiasts seem, unfortunately, to equate
> Microsoft with both evil and uselessness and suffer a kind of blind
> fundamentalism that prevents them from seeing any value in microsoft's
> offering. I find this attitude unhelpful and wrong-headed.
>
> Alan

--
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www.seatoun.school.nz

nathan parker

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Oct 11, 2010, 8:06:40 PM10/11/10
to mle-refer...@googlegroups.com
Totally agree - schools need to be offering Open Source computing rather than single OS systems - we provide Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Sugar and Debian.
Our pupils choose to run GNU/Linux on their home computers - sorry not "choose" forced by circumstances - many don't have the luxury of purchasing a new computer or paying for software licenses.
We give choice but want the same money that those who choose proprietary receive.
Simple!
It is surely better to have ideology than be a follower of a cracked, expensive  and outdated system.
N
 

Allan Wayper

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Oct 11, 2010, 8:39:31 PM10/11/10
to mle-refer...@googlegroups.com

So how do you support any of your students who do choose the MS way?

Julian Davison

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Oct 11, 2010, 8:41:26 PM10/11/10
to mle-refer...@googlegroups.com
On 12/10/2010 12:55 p.m., Allan Wayper wrote:
> Give them both and see what they choose rather than forcing your
> ideology on them (we do this)

Do you have dual-booting machines, then? Or separate machines for
each?


J,

Patrick

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Oct 11, 2010, 8:47:11 PM10/11/10
to MLE Reference Group
I believe a number of key Windows server protocols have now been
released due to the EC antitrust settlement so there would likely be
an accelerated pace of development possible in the future.

I have often wondered why it is that the Samba people see their
approach as worthwhile, why there aren't any existing networking
protocols on Unix/Linux that they could build onto, with a Windows
client like Netware uses. Surely you don't use the Windows protocols
for a Linux desktop talking to a Linux server.

On Oct 12, 12:17 pm, Alan Pugh <alanjamesp...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Patrick,
>
> I think you are right on the money with this post. Here's my two cents
> worth:
>
> ------------------------------------------------------
> windows server compared to samba:
> ------------------------------------------------------
snip

Patrick

unread,
Oct 11, 2010, 8:55:15 PM10/11/10
to MLE Reference Group
Choose in what circumstances?

On Oct 12, 12:55 pm, "Allan Wayper" <al...@gc.ac.nz> wrote:
> Surely equity includes giving the students a choice - you deny them this if
> you only offer them OS software.

Patrick

unread,
Oct 11, 2010, 8:58:53 PM10/11/10
to MLE Reference Group
Does this include free software that can run on Windows or the Mac
platform.

On Oct 12, 1:00 pm, Wayne Mackintosh <mackintosh.wa...@gmail.com>
wrote:
> Hi Allan
>
> On Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 12:55 PM, Allan Wayper <al...@gc.ac.nz> wrote:
> > Surely equity includes giving the students a choice – you deny them this if
> > you only offer them OS software…
>
> The same holds true for parents & children attending schools who do not
> support free software -- I have first hand experience of homework marked as
> not-submitted when my children have submitted their work in open file
> formats :-).
>
>
>
> > Give them both and see what they choose rather than forcing your ideology
> > on them (we do this)
>
> I agree --- give learners the choice!
>
>
>
> > Allan
>
> > *From:* mle-refer...@googlegroups.com [mailto:
> > mle-refer...@googlegroups.com] *On Behalf Of *nathan parker
> > *Sent:* Tuesday, 12 October 2010 12:44 p.m.
> > *To:* mle-refer...@googlegroups.com
> > *Subject:* Re: [MLE] Re: Article about Linux in K-12 Schools
> > mle-reference-g...@googlegroups.com<mle-reference-group%2Bunsu...@googlegroups.com>
> > .
> > For more options, visit this group at
> >http://groups.google.com/group/mle-reference-group?hl=en.
>
> > --
> > *Warpington
> > Otago
> > NZ
> > 034822605
> > 0272148294*
> > Rekrapenator <http://wikieducator.org/User:Rekrapenator>
>
> > --
> > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
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Mark Osborne

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Oct 11, 2010, 8:58:59 PM10/11/10
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Kia ora,
Should we move this discussion to the techie group? If we deal with any 'non-teacher readable' stuff in the techie group, we'll help keep the MLE group focused on teaching and learning using MLEs.
Mark

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Deputy Principal,
Albany Senior High School.
536 Albany Highway, North Shore City.
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Our Wikieducator Portal, e-learning@ASHS

Allan Wayper

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Oct 11, 2010, 8:59:13 PM10/11/10
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A mixture, all Win machines have OS application software as well as the
MS/Adobe ones, each lab has linux boxes available as well as the (majority
of) MS boxes. Our technician keeps an eye on demand and can adjust
accordingly. So far he has been able to open/convert files that the students
bring in or install appropriate software. The students are our main source
of cool new OS software ("...please can we have 'xxxx' installed?")
The classroom machines will dual boot as will several staff laptops. We use
virtuals quite a bit too.

A

-----Original Message-----
From: mle-refer...@googlegroups.com
[mailto:mle-refer...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Julian Davison
Sent: Tuesday, 12 October 2010 1:41 p.m.
To: mle-refer...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [MLE] Re: Article about Linux in K-12 Schools


J,

--

Allan Wayper

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Oct 11, 2010, 9:08:40 PM10/11/10
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If I understand the question... the students can choose the software that
they use (and some choice of OS) for almost all IT stuff they do at school.
Often what they use at home is dictated by the Family (parents). They are
also welcome to use their own laptops/portable devices although they are
advised to talk to our technician to ensure that we can see the final
product!

We are limited in the Mac support we can offer students although many of the
staff use Mac laptops.

I find that by Y12 when I see them, they have pretty firm ideas about their
preferred platform

Choose in what circumstances?

--

Patrick

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Oct 11, 2010, 9:08:50 PM10/11/10
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How about software choice. Windows has by far the greatest range of
software titles produced for it, including Open Source.

People at home if they use Linux can choose to use a package that is
available on both platforms e.g. OpenOffice.

Patrick

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Oct 11, 2010, 9:34:44 PM10/11/10
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Why bother, it will fizzle out pretty soon.

On Oct 12, 1:58 pm, Mark Osborne <mosbo...@ashs.school.nz> wrote:
> Kia ora,
> Should we move this discussion to the techie group? If we deal with any
> 'non-teacher readable' stuff in the techie group, we'll help keep the MLE
> group focused on teaching and learning using MLEs.
> Mark
>
> On 12 October 2010 13:47, Patrick <nzschoolt...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > I believe a number of key Windows server protocols have now been
> > released due to the EC antitrust settlement so there would likely be
> > an accelerated pace of development possible in the future.
>
> > I have often wondered why it is that the Samba people see their
> > approach as worthwhile, why there aren't any existing networking
> > protocols on Unix/Linux that they could build onto, with a Windows
> > client like Netware uses. Surely you don't use the Windows protocols
> > for a Linux desktop talking to a Linux server.
>
> > On Oct 12, 12:17 pm, Alan Pugh <alanjamesp...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > Patrick,
>
> > > I think you are right on the money with this post. Here's my two cents
> > > worth:
>
> > > ------------------------------------------------------
> > > windows server compared to samba:
> > > ------------------------------------------------------
> > snip
>
> > --
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> > For more options, visit this group at
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>
> --
> Hei konā mai,
>
> Mark Osborne
> Deputy Principal,
> Albany Senior High School.
> 536 Albany Highway, North Shore City.
> Find us on Open Street
> Map<http://www.openstreetmap.org/?lat=-36.730128&lon=174.696304&zoom=18&l...>
> Our Wikieducator Portal <http://wikieducator.org/Albany_Senior_High_School>,
> e-learning@ASHS<http://wikieducator.org/Albany_Senior_High_School/e-learning>

Rob Wood

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Oct 11, 2010, 10:11:56 PM10/11/10
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I endorse the view that this discussion should finish or be moved to
the Tech forum - the forum created specifically for this in response
to complaints about this group being hijacked. Listening to entrenched
views being repeated and repeated and repeated...

I would furture wonder how much teaching/managing is being done by
some folk given there frequent and prompt responses.

Yes, this is a blunt response - I make it the hope that there will be
some change or that Paul will bif some members. Leaving the group
would be a pity, there are some folk providing absolute gems here.

Finally, I teach my students when using the reply tool in an email app
to only include 2-3 lines of quoted text. I get an email digest of
this group each day with screens and screens of quoted text - up to 20
screens long. If we can't get this right how can we expect the same of
the kids some of us are teaching.

Mike Hilliard

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Oct 11, 2010, 10:14:26 PM10/11/10
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Yes, PLEASE move this discussion.

-----Original Message-----
From: mle-refer...@googlegroups.com [mailto:mle-refer...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Rob Wood
Sent: Tuesday, 12 October 2010 3:12 p.m.
To: MLE Reference Group
Subject: [MLE] Re: Article about Linux in K-12 Schools

I endorse the view that this discussion should finish or be moved to
the Tech forum - the forum created specifically for this in response
to complaints about this group being hijacked. Listening to entrenched
views being repeated and repeated and repeated...

This electronic email and any files transmitted with it are intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. The views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender and may not necessarily reflect the views of the Canterbury Development Corporation. If you are not the correct recipient of this email please advise the sender and delete. Canterbury Development Corporation http://www.cdc.org.nz

Derek Chirnside

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Oct 11, 2010, 10:15:04 PM10/11/10
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I don't mind it being here.
Unless there is seriously enough for a separate group.
Just use good subject lines.

But seriously: whu are we not using a Moodle forum?

-Derek


From Derek Chirnside.


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Tim Harper

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Oct 11, 2010, 10:17:38 PM10/11/10
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Hi Rob,

a good thought about emails.  Here's a wee gem for you ...

Have you considered a "conversation view" approach?  Google Apps supports this now and recently a change was made that even lets you turn it off.  In an attempt to "keep up" Microsoft have just enabled conversation view in the latest version of Outlook - but you have to manually turn it on rather than Google's approach of turning it off.

And, for the record, I love conversation view on the web.   I use Google Apps for email and what ever platform is handy to read it - Windows, OS-X, iToy, multi-flavoured Linux.

(While I've been typing my iToy has gone nuts with email notifications!)


regards,

Tim Harper


Phone 0800 755 966 option 2 then 3 (SchoolZone)
Phone 03 443 5167 (DDI)
Mobile 027 617 9968
Fax 03 443 9900

t...@mtaspiring.school.nz
www.mtaspiring.school.nz



On 12 October 2010 15:11, Rob Wood <rw...@bayfield-high.school.nz> wrote:
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Paul Conroy

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Oct 11, 2010, 10:33:17 PM10/11/10
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Live@EDU and hotmail also have conversation view.  In addition Live@EDU also includes calendar sharing, appointment categorisation, conversation clean up and parental controls for controlling mail flow and multi mailbox search.  With a 10GB mailbox accessible from any browser, Outlook or smart phone it’s a compelling solution for any school.

 

 

From: mle-refer...@googlegroups.com [mailto:mle-refer...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Tim Harper


Sent: Tuesday, 12 October 2010 3:18 p.m.
To: mle-refer...@googlegroups.com

Patrick

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Oct 11, 2010, 10:50:17 PM10/11/10
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I use RSS to keep up with and manage the volume from this and a number
of other groups and blogs etc. It is supported by a wide variety of
software and keeps the messages out of my inbox.
> > mle-reference-g...@googlegroups.com<mle-reference-group%2Bunsu...@googlegroups.com>
> > .

nathan parker

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Oct 12, 2010, 4:07:51 AM10/12/10
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On 12 October 2010 12:52, Julian Davison <jul...@tech.cbhs.school.nz> wrote:
[Changed subject, seems more appropriate]

The $62-debate has occurred here before. It seems to end up
going in circles each time. I'm not sure that we, ultimately,
make any useful progress, so I'm not sure that there's any point
in going back over the same old ground again.

It feels as though the statement from Nathan, below, is suggesting
that schools do not currently "choose the right system for their
circumstances". Which I believe is incorrect. NZ schools can, and do,
choose systems that they believe best fit their environment.


J,

On 12/10/2010 12:43 p.m., nathan parker wrote:
It still all comes back to equity - $ame money from the MOE for all
systems - let schools choose the right system for their circumstances.



Hi J,
Take what you want from the statement - the discussion is about equity.
Same spending from the MOE for your school's computers and the same for my school's,

Thanks
Nathan



Adrian Gray

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Oct 12, 2010, 6:18:05 AM10/12/10
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mle-refer...@googlegroups.com writes:
>Take what you want from the statement - the discussion is about equity.
>Same spending from the MOE for your school's computers and the same for
>my school's,

The Ministry appears quite equitable from my vantage point, as you have
the same opportunity to accept the offer as any other state or integrated
school, your school is making the choice not to accept it. As an
independent school, we are not afforded such generosity and have to pay
for such privilege.

-----------------------------------------------------
Adrian Gray
Teacher - IT Administrator
Phone: NZ (03) 365 0385 Ext 742
Cell: 027 228 1101

Maurice Alford

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Oct 12, 2010, 2:51:21 PM10/12/10
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From the sidelines ...

There are different interpretations of equity. From one perspective it is only equitable if all schools are funded by the same formula. From another perspective Decile ratings attempt to make things more equitable. In the same line of debate there is not a straight line for funding but a recognition that there are economies of scale that mean bigger schools can in some ways be advantaged, so the formula involves school size.

If we think about the history of why the Ministry got into funding the Microsoft licences in the first place, as I understand it, it was to remove any possibility of schools being taken to court for illegal (i.e. unpaid) use of MS products as much as it was to gain cost advantages across the sector.

Funding schools separately did not work, and I see no reason to believe that the pressures of IT funding in schools have dramatically changed and that we should reintroduce the previous system, with the temptation and risk of illegal use.

Meanwhile, therefore, the discussion about equity is perhaps not about equity at all. It could be seen to be about what should be privileged in our schools' provision of ICT across the country. The wide variation in student access to computers and a variety of software could be seen to be far more of an equity issue for learning potential. Likewise, the different speeds of internet access and different types of filtering applied are providing different issues of equity. Another related equity issue is the out-of-school access students have to computers and the internet.

I would be curious to know how the different perspectives on equity can be applied to equitably address all these strands of equity for our student population. To me the issue being debated is coming across as a bit simplistic. While our funding systems are not perfect from anyone's perspective, they represent a reasonable compromise. The latest funding changes to the Operations grants will also be felt more by some schools than others. Is this a move towards or against equity? There are arguments for both sides.

Maurice

Patrick

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Oct 13, 2010, 1:28:03 AM10/13/10
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An interesting question is how much of the total deal price is the $62
paid out by the Ministry in advance for state and integrated schools
(if that is the actual amount).

On Oct 12, 11:18 pm, Adrian Gray <gr...@cathedralgrammar.school.nz>
wrote:

Patrick

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Oct 13, 2010, 1:51:30 AM10/13/10
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I don't have the knowledge of what existed before the MSSAs or how it
worked for schools.

From what I can make out a summary of the benefits delivered by the
MSSA is: see http://www.moe.dsv.co.nz/
- The Ministry funds the membership of all state and integrated
schools based on some fixed amount that it negotiates with MS.
- Independent schools can join by paying the $62 for each computer
that receives the software
- This pricing covers the "core products" of the agreement, which are
currently including
--- Windows 7 volume license
--- Office 2010
--- Windows server CALs
--- Exchange CALs
--- System Center CALs
--- MOSS CALs
--- Work at home rights for staff
- Eligible desktops must already have an approved Windows OEM license
- In addition any school can purchase a subscription for the period of
the agreement for non-core products through the Ministry's agent
(Datacom)
- In addition any school can purchase outright a license for any MS
software that they wish, at academic pricing.

So for example, Windows Server Standard can be bought for three years
for $99, or you can buy it outright at academic pricing for $150.

There used to be an MSSA for the Mac as well, but not any more.

How much cost advantage is obtained by the Ministry paying upfront for
the state and integrated schools rather than an optin/optout scenario
funded directly by each school.
Any scenario for schools to choose their funding brings with it
additional administration costs.
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