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Community: Italian Province Schools Migrate to Linux

Aug 31, 2005, 16:45 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Antonio J. Russo)

[ Thanks to Antonio J. Russo for this article. ]

During the months of July and August 2005, the computer infrastructure of all public and private schools in the Autonomous Province of Bozen in Italy have been upgraded to the free operating system FUSS Soledad GNU/Linux. This operating system is a customization made by a team of experts for the South Tyrol schools, based on the wiodely-used Debian GNU/Linux distribution with a GNOME desktop environment.

This initiative is supported and funded by the Italian Scholastic Intendancy of the Province of Bozen, the European Social Fund, and the Center for Professional Formation (CTS "Luigi Einaudi" in Italian).

With the participation of all the public and private schools, all the students, families, teachers, and operators from the educational world will gain the opportunity to easily use a entirely free operating system, both at school and at home.

Besides the the multi-language software added into the distribution, about 20,000 LiveCDs will be delivered to students and teachers, with the help of Alpikom. All students and families will have, free of charge, the same software environment and applications available in the computer classes at school.

This process of migrating and training users about the new operating system--and to free software in general--within several educational programs will be supported by a specialized team during the entire academic year 2005/2006. The main task to be accomplished by this team will be to offer support and to develop reaserch tasks, both on the technical and the educational arenas for all the educational units.

The switch to the new operating system will be facilitated, beginning in September 2005, by several courses for all the schools' operators, and almost 40 installfests. This approach will allow all educators in the schools learn about this peculiar version of the GNU/Linux operating system. The installfests will let everyone to have their computer system installed with the FUSS Soledad distribution.

Along with the great didactic and pedagogical research effort made by the Intendacy, the project will offer schools an important choice towards knowledge freedom and sharing free software solutions. It also delivers a full-life right to learn and increased freedom for all the users to use, copy, redistribute, and modify the software and the operating system without any restrictions.

The project is coordinated by Paolo Zilotti and Antonio J. Russo and supported by the excellent technical staff guided by Christopher R. Gabriel of Truelite srl, which completed the deployment of 2,460 PCs in 23 working days, guaranteeing a high-quality standard defined in the analsys phase of the project.

For the Province Council Member for Italian schools Luisa Gnecchi and the Scholastic Intendant Prof. Bruna Rauzi Visintin, this project will introduce a higher level of pedagogical impact and a fundamental choice towards a more dynamic and distributed use of information technologies.

Free Software is a cultural and professional enrichment that can't be excluded from the education world, a philosophy strongly supported by the department director Dott. Barbara Repetto and the director of the CTS "Luigi Einaudi" Dott. Giandomenico Sbop.

For more information:
http://www.fuss.bz.it
info@fuss.bz.it

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