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Linux Journal: Freeing Computers in Schools

Sep 22, 2003, 13:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Frederick Noronha)

"Riza is a four-year-old Indian girl who thinks of computers as toys. Instead of adding one more difficult subject to her already tiring school day, she occasionally plays educational games on the PC. When her friends come over, they end up learning without being aware of it. One girl her age, who's never handled computers before, drags the mouse. As she moves it across the mouse pad, the image of a furry bear jerkily is unveiled on the monitor. Another younger child dances to the music that a program called Bump and Jump plays, a piece of software written by a team of Swedish students. The best part is nobody paid for the CD the children are using; it's not pirated either. It can be run from any computer, simply by booting from the CD-ROM drive. The CD comes in a distribution called FreEDUC.

"So, what's the point of this example? The point is free software is opening up a whole new world, and education is one of its major global beneficiaries. Free software tool are being used to help students from kindergarten through graduate school, but how much attention is being paid to this topic...?"

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