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Educational Software Thread, Open Source Schools: Getting technical staff on board in Technical; Originally Posted by SimpleSi ...All you need to do is lock down Linux sufficiently so that the more advanced students ...
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    p858snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    ...All you need to do is lock down Linux sufficiently so that the more advanced students can't access things they shouldn't....
    The theory in Linux is the reserve, you have no permissions to run as a basis and you have all allow and add stuff on to allow them, compared to windows where you have to disallow and remove stuff to make it secure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    ...The problem is, as has been said already, getting the teachers to teach with it. They need a real incentive to use $obscureSoftware rather than the usual paid-for stuff.

    I'm going to be a little controversial here... teachers are inherently lazy. There's nothing wrong with that... I'm lazy... I don't like manually installing software on 300 computers or even walking to the other side of the site unless I really have to. However, this laziness coule work in favour of open source software. If a community were to produce guides on using software (videos, etc.) and also produce example lesson plans that included open source software for a variety of subjects, teachers would then be inclined to try it out.

    I know lots of teachers that 'borrow' lesson ideas from others so why not use it to benefit the good cause that is open source software? These lessons could even be pre-packaged for easy import into Moodle or other learning platforms (since they should all be SCORM compliant).
    It's not always the teachers fault, some schools (or techs) are simply like "from now on you have X instead of Y on the systems" without advanced warnings or help afterwards so they are stuck in the middle with no idea of how to do things, theres also the issues of teachers being told that they have to teach X and can't deviant from said plan.

    There are also other factors like external agencies that want stuff in specific formats (eg: Word 2003 instead of Word 2007 or PDF format).

    And some teachers will arrive at a new school and be given the work/text books and be told to teach out them and then be handed more classes on a subject they know nothing about and have to spend all their time reviewing work for that so they know what to teach and won't have time to create their own equipment.
    Last edited by p858snake; 18th February 2009 at 01:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by p858snake View Post
    It's not always the teachers fault, some schools (or techs) are simply like "from now on you have X instead of Y on the systems" without advanced warnings or help afterwards so they are stuck in the middle with no idea of how to do things, theres also the issues of teachers being told that they have to teach X and can't deviant from said plan.

    There are also other factors like external agencies that want stuff in specific formats (eg: Word 2003 instead of Word 2007 or PDF format).
    I don't think that anyone is saying to take away the choice of software. I would always advocate installing open source software in addition to the existing software (at least initially). For instance I install MS Office and OpenOffice, Photoshop/Fireworks and GIMP, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by p858snake View Post
    And some teachers will arrive at a new school and be given the work/text books and be told to teach out them and then be handed more classes on a subject they know nothing about and have to spend all their time reviewing work for that so they know what to teach and won't have time to create their own equipment.
    This gets back to my point... provide an easy route for the teaching staff and they will take it. Nobody wants to spend 25 hours a day preparing lessons so give them examples that they can tailor to meet their own needs and they will use them.

    Remember that all their lesson plans and materials are already geared around $payedForSoftware so you need to provide an alternative so that teachers are not doing all their work again.

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    Bezwick's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    All you need to do is lock down Linux sufficiently so that the more advanced students can't access things they shouldn't.

    Simon
    Here in lies the problem. I am the NM here at this school and i would love to do this. However i have been using Windows since NT 3.51 and know how to lock down all the versions up to 2003 (Still learning 2008). There are several kids here who are very into linux and know far more about it than me. If i was to implement this solution how could i be sure if I had done it wrong until it was too late.
    I am confident with Windows as i have been using it so long, but would be worried it could be a disaster if i tried to move to a Linux solution.
    So i would love to learn how to do it, but i dont have the time nor could i risk it, on such a potentially volatile network.
    Would imagine i am not the only one in this predicament either. Linux is very complex, very different to what i am used to and comes in so many flavours.
    How would i know what version to use, let alone whether i had implimented it properly?
    Dont get me wrong, for those of you who do know what you are doing i am slightly envious, wish i could. But would need to hire an external company to ensure i was doing it right. All this complexity, time and cost make it a very difficult option.
    *goes onto Amazon looking for Linux for Dummies*

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    dalsoth's Avatar
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    This is where i believe that there would need to be real technical manuals like the MS certification books as i mentioned earlier that would allow you to learn this stuff in a relatively easy format. Everything i see with Linux involves whipping out the terminal and typing sudo this apt get that blabla.

    I can go online find a fix for something in Linux and paste it into the terminal but i don't really know what i am doing. I have dabbled with Linux many times since RedHat 5 and forget everything each time i stop using it for a while. Ubuntu is fantastic but if you asked me how i could lock down a user on Linux i would wet myself. If you asked me to unlock some system settings i would wet myself

    We need a school network administrators guide for the complete planning, installation, maintenance of Linux servers and clients to make it work. How would i patch my systems? Like you guys mentioned, would i use a WSUS system if i wanted to preserve bandwidth? How do i actually set that up? Roll out software updates from the Linux server? Is there a GUI? I do avoid the terminal and command prompt whenever i can. I want to try these things and avoid a license model if i can but feel like i don't have the skill-set to try.

    So many things would stand in the way but that being said i would love it if something actually came of it.

    Linux has fantastic support around the world but it is like a black art to Windows administrators and the technical documentation would have to be geared towards moving from a Windows environment to a Linux one and the like for like differences that you would come across.

    I know i have picked Linux here and the focus as mentioned is not necessarily on Linux but on Open Source and particularly on Windows platforms but i could not resist as it is something i would love to see happen.

    Good ideas on the learning resources that could be used as an incentive to move staff towards OSS. I think we may all be guilty here though when we fail to get OSS in to regular use. I know that if i were to really put in supreme effort and give up some of my free time, be it after school or during break times i may be able to convert more people to OSS and teaching with it. Some would like help full stop but i am sometimes stubborn to work beyond my time.

    It could work but we, as much as the teachers would have to change some of our habits and start to mingle more with teaching staff and help out more in lessons. Some may do this already. I am rarely caught in a classroom unless it's empty of students. If i tried harder perhaps things would happen, maybe that is the same for others here.

    Just a thought.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Professional Linux training and certification has been avalible for a while now from Redhat, the skills are transferable between distributions:
    https://www.redhat.com/training/
    https://www.redhat.com/certification/rhce/

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    dalsoth's Avatar
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    I was aware of the certification for Linux but i don't think that is what i was hinting towards here.

    I was talking a Linux school system that could be applied anywhere by Edugeek users. Perhaps on test labs at first.

    Is Red Hat the best Linux flavour for schools to use? No idea. Would we all need to spend a long time getting certified on Linux before we would be able to roll out such as system? I hope not. I would expect the Red Hat certification would explain generic commands for all flavours but i really don't wish to learn tons and tons of programming code such as you get with many of the Linux courses and training manuals.

    I was talking more a transition route from a school network using purely Windows to Linux. I know some here have Linux certs and I'm sure they are invaluable. Some of us are certified on MS some are not. It helps but ultimately this could be done without going down that route provided the school specific needs and requirements were catered for.

    I have seen a few Linux for schools systems before. EduBuntu i think is one OS designed for education. How i would go about using that in my school with Linux servers or Windows servers i do not know. Seen Karoshi mentioned too. Even checked out the website and was hit with a wall of..... nothing. Could not even find a decent screenshot or guide or any real info on what it was about. Not a good start.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dalsoth View Post
    I was talking a Linux school system that could be applied anywhere by Edugeek users. Perhaps on test labs at first.
    You mean a custom edugeek distro? (say modified edubuntu)

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    dalsoth's Avatar
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    Yes, it would be a great project but the administration guides and set up documentation would need to be immense and aimed at all technical levels. Remember we have those that are not too hot on Windows let alone Linux. There are also those that are highly skilled with Windows but would be left typing dos commands in terminal if it was placed in front of them.

    To be honest i think it would be very hard to put into practice. There are political and technical reasons why it would fail in many schools.

    It's a nice idea though. A real resource for real school techies based on school environments brought up on these forums a thousand times over.

    What antivirus would i need? Would i need any? How do i apply roaming profiles? How do i lock down Firefox from the Linux server?

    All these things would need to be addressed before a school with no Linux knowledge would be able to try this out. This is why i think it would be extremely difficult. Others have tried but then others did not have a community such as this with specialist knowledge on the problems that would need to be addressed and overcome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by somabc View Post
    You mean a custom edugeek distro? (say modified edubuntu)
    +1 for that idea

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    Quote Originally Posted by SimpleSi View Post
    All you need to do is lock down Linux sufficiently so that the more advanced students can't access things they shouldn't.
    KIOSK could do that without a problem. Infact on KDE 4.2 we have a suite running with that, and using KIOSK. Some of the teachers were not even aware that they were using linux!

    Look into it. As for the opendisc, an excellent resource, downloaded and handed out to the staff via there inboxes at work

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    dalsoth's Avatar
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    Just need some enterprising souls to use their Linux smarts and gather all of these useful things into one set of guides and one set of packages for servers and clients

    EduGeekBuntuNixForSchoolsWhoKnowNaffAllBoutLinux project is born

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    Quote Originally Posted by somabc View Post
    You mean a custom edugeek distro? (say modified edubuntu)
    Karoshi is already out there. Perhaps there needs to be more support for Jo and co from within the community?

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    OT post alert: anyone got an example / experience / case study of a mixed Linux / XP network implementation?

    PM me with any details / experiences etc

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    Good point, a linux Distro tailored specifically for (UK) Schools could definitely make inroads.

    Why is it named from the Japanese "death from overwork"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by somabc View Post
    You mean a custom edugeek distro? (say modified edubuntu)
    BTW if you want to customise a distro, OPENSuse is the way to go. We modified it (KDE 4.2 version) and have successfully used it. We have 1 suite dual boot linux and XP, 1 suite XP, and works well. Soon to be fully crossing over. I am a massive advocate of Linux in schools and if all goes well here, I would like to help other schools introduce the framework in my area

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