I agree we should be teaching skills not certain packages... i've just been talking to the Head of ICT about looking into the change seriously. Although she is worried that it will be a huge change for the staff she can see the reasoning with the budget and basically said that as long as the system is stable and does what we want then there is no reason not to look at moving.
Think i'll spend this term looking at changing email/print serving to a linux system... any tips :P
We are looking at switching to OS X fully on the Curriculum side. We are now currently in the process of migrating all software either to dual platform or web-based to support the VLE.
What prompted this move was the fact that we are currently dual platform on our imacs and as a result just costs more than it would running either on its own. Then the AV licensing came up for renewal. I spoke to the Boss and suggested that we investigate a possible move. This is a primary school and so what we are considering is to try and keep things similar (mainly for the teachers) is to install software that is cross platform and start to phase out relying on certain software such as IE being swapped for Firefox, Office being swapped for Open Office.
Personally i don't see a real reason to run MS Office in a primary School. They aren't going to be using Access, there's no VB coding going on, no use of advanced macros and even if they do decide to start using macros we could wait for the next version of MS Office for mac which is said to support VB.
Another couple of years and MS might release a version for Linux :D
Admin staff will be on Windows cuz Capita can't pull the finger out of their butt and make it cross-platform. If sims had a web-based registration facility then we would be in OS X predominantly now anyway. Take a look at Access-it library software for an example of how cross-platform DB apps can work. Great piece of software if you ask me.
I'm another vote for making sure you make sure the students (and staff) have transferable skills rather than just learn and application. They do have to learn applications, but based around common concepts.
The hard part is the fact that if you teach to an application that has courses built around it then you can get quite good exam results and *that* is what your SMT want to know about ... not about ethics of using OSS or so on.
To break this barrier down you should consider talking to Ian Lynch and co at The Learning Machine about INGOTs to get qualifications based around transferable skills rather than just MS Office. You can use most office suites to deliver the courses and it is then quite easy to move onto other courses too.
INGOTs at KS3 seem to make life easier for quals at KS4 / 5.
Thumbs up for NZ :D very good deal was amazed when I found out but I know of a school in Dunedin who didn't know this and were still paying for it:confused: and were thinking of moving to Linux because of this.
Originally Posted by SYNACK
Not sure if they checked in the end
LOADS of schools here mac only (synack do they get deals on apple products to?)because there not cheap but I've seen primary schools running macs (there everywhere here)
Yes, this is a common tale. I have come across schools (managed by large providers) that were still running Office XP and paying for certain software titles as they had no idea that they were entitled and the provider had not informed them. All schools were sent the information though.
Originally Posted by markcuk
As to what is avalible, the MOE offeres for Macs:
Free antivirus and antimalware from CA in the form of CA ITM (eTrust Integrated Threat Management - Register for Your School) which is sent out once appied for and works on Windows, Linux, Mac.
There is also a deal for Macs offered from the MoE which provides the latest version of Mac OS, iWork, iLife and Kidpix (Renaissance Education Division - Ministry of Education Software Agreement) which is again free to schools to sign up to. They used to provide Office for Mac but have moved over to iWork.
There are quite a few primarys that have Macs as they had a really strong foothold here and still have a really strong reality distortion field in effect with regard to teacher training institutions meaning that their personal prefferences are transfered out to the schools.
This post was originally much longer as I had added a basic summary of what was avalible from the ministry but I thought that it would go better in its own thread here:
Which would be worth a read if you are dealing with schools in NZ :D
And that's exactly how it should be!
Originally Posted by SYNACK
Since Flowol was mentioned earlier in this thread, I thought I'd note that Flowol is now available for Mac OS X as well as Windows PCs.