Community: Italian Province Schools Migrate to Linux

[ 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
, 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

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
, 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:

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