Linuxtopia: OSS in the Classroom

[ Thanks to Lucy
for this link. ]

“The continuing rise of development of Open Source Software is
perhaps one of the most powerful movements in the software industry
today. Open source software has impacted the computing world by
producing successful applications such as the Linux OS and the
Apache Web Server. The Apache Web Server runs on more than 57
percent of the world’s Web sites….”

One area that is bound to benefit greatly from open source
software, is the Education field. With nearly 50 million students
enrolled in US public and private schools nationwide and huge
demand for adult and continuing education is there not a market for
low cost, reliable and efficient software? (RAND Report) Who better
to meet this need than the open source industry?
To date,
schools have had to rely on commercial software companies for their
software and with budget cutbacks, there are many schools who just
cannot afford to offer their students up to date technology. The
economics of the school market do not work for software developers,
for a variety of reasons. Schools spend very little on software.
Schools continue to rely on traditional texts and the textbook
market differs profoundly from the software market. Home
“edutainment” materials do not always or readily translate to the
classroom, although some crossover is evident.”

“As a teacher I have been in some schools that could afford to
have a fully equipped computer room with all the latest software
and I have also been in others that had an old Macintosh in the
corner of each classroom that was only good to run a selection of
games. There are already a number of efforts underway in an attempt
to deliver Linux to the schools. The four projects that I have come
across are OSES, SEUL-EDU, OpenClassroom and LITC.”


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