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Linux Journal: Linux in Education, Linux Goes to Algebra Class

Jan 29, 2000, 15:44 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Gail Fultz)

"How about automatically generated tests, presented to cover specific material the student has mastered since the last test? Consider the increased teacher productivity that could result from all students working independently on material specific to their needs, and grades being managed by a gradebook feature. How about the luxury of being able to schedule students assigned to Pre-algebra, Algebra I and Algebra II into one computer lab during the same period of time? What about the advantage for students mastering a section of material before they move on, so as to avoid of misunderstanding showing up in a later course? Consider the convenience of having the program automatically download enhancements and additional courseware as they become available. Imagine all this, along with a mechanism for teachers and students to communicate directly with program developers."

"Do these features sound like a math teacher's dream? They're a reality with the development of Learning Logic (L2). A self-paced, computerized algebra program, Learning Logic is currently being used in algebra classrooms in twelve U.S. states and runs on a Red Hat 5.2 Linux platform...."

"Why Linux? For starters, it's a free operating system! The source is freely available, so if there is a need to fix something, it can be done without external assistance. It's also much easier to debug. Linux has message and error logs to indicate specific problems, and if that doesn't work, one can always read the core files. It comes with networking built in, so there is no need for third-party software. Compilers and development libraries already exist, so there is no need to buy expensive libraries."

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