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General Chat Thread, [USA: Article] Why Aren't Schools Adopting Open Source? in General; Although this is written from the US perspective I thought it interesting and asked questions which I feel are just ...
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    DaveP's Avatar
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    [USA: Article] Why Aren't Schools Adopting Open Source?

    Although this is written from the US perspective I thought it interesting and asked questions which I feel are just as valid in the UK.

    TechRepublic Article: Why aren't schools adopting open source?

    Includes mini survey and comments entry field.

  2. 2 Thanks to DaveP:

    JJonas (29th July 2009), nephilim (27th July 2009)

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    Ric_'s Avatar
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    An intresting quote form the article...

    Educational institutions are supposed to be a pillar of learning and intellegent decisions
    Can you in all honestly say that is 100% true of your establishment?

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    Diello's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric_ View Post
    "Educational institutions are supposed to be a pillar of learning and intellegent decisions " Can you in all honestly say that is 100% true of your establishment?
    Well, it's true in the sense that our establishments ARE supposed to be a "pillar of learning and intelligent decisions", the truth of course is that in the majority of cases, they're not.

    A good article, and some valid points. The trap he does fall into though is the same as many Open Source evangelists - Thinking that the decision is a total no-brainer because the software is free. If that were the only consideration, I'm sure everyone would be using it!

    The truth is, just as with the PC vs. Mac debate, that software choice is a gray area. The old question of support costs comes into play, Windows IT pros come cheaper than Linux IT pros, a balance needs to be done on the cost differentials there. Yes, there is some great educational Open Source software, is there a comparable OSS software package for everything the school does? Are the teaching materials for Open Source available? etc. etc.

    I standby my belief that, as with most things in life, a middle approach is needed. Students here are subjected to Windows and Mac (granted not Linux directly, but some backroom services run on it), Office and OpenOffice, and some other OSS for good measure as well. It doesn't have to be, neither should it be, one of the other.

  5. Thanks to Diello from:

    webman (28th July 2009)

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    " No longer would schools be using out of date and unsupported operating systems ... Every school would have the latest-and-greatest software and the students would be somewhat closer to the cutting edge."
    I really doubt that this would happen completely even if schools were forced to move away from Microsoft or other proprietary software. There are always going to be people who want to stay with a particular version of the software - it does what they need, the new version might not do something which they want/like/need - and there's a cost to changing (even if you don't pay for the software) which can't always be justified.

    It would certainly be good to see software like Open Office installed in all schools - pupils should have the chance to use it. I think the best teaching will allow students to experience a range of software on a range of platforms. This helps to make students more adventurous, more able to say "why" at the right times and competition should drive forward software development in all areas.

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srochford View Post
    I really doubt that this would happen completely even if schools were forced to move away from Microsoft or other proprietary software....
    I did not see this as forcing schools to go in one direction or another but rather highlighting a choice which is currently available: A choice which few seem to have opted to exercise or even investigate as an option.

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    DaveP's Avatar
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    'GNU/Linux is Communism...'

    GNU/Linux is Communism....

    [Be sure to read to the article to the end]

    One of the comments posted below the article: "The sad thing is there are people that think like this."

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveP View Post
    I did not see this as forcing schools to go in one direction or another but rather highlighting a choice which is currently available: A choice which few seem to have opted to exercise or even investigate as an option.
    Agreed but the article referred to is saying "in schools now we don't have the latest software because it costs too much money; if we go OSS then we will have the latest software" (paraphrasing a bit!)

    I think that there are lots of reasons why schools (and companies, universities, etc etc) don't have the latest software and cost is just one of the factors.

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    russdev's Avatar
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    One of the major problems is the community itself in fact that so many people in the community can't see pass anyway other than using opensource (they do exact same as they accuse the closed source community etc). So until that element is sorted people to certain degree will be warey of people touting opensource software.

    As Marc said I am for choice so people get the choice . Also as other people pointed out not just money their are issues of training etc..

    Russ
    Last edited by russdev; 29th July 2009 at 06:45 AM.

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    I have to admit that the idea of constantly changing software *all the time* fills me with dread, no matter whether it is open source or proprietary, commercial stuff.

    Heck, many schools truggle to deal with the change management involved with SIMS upgrades for a small proportion of their users (ie teachers) so imagine doing it numerous times throughout the year with many changes.

    How many of us have restrained from updating versions of IE or FireFox until a summer break to allow for people to get used to the change in browsers via other means (ie mainlt at home), or have to carefully plan for any significant changes involved in service packs for MS Office, or updated versions of iLife?

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    Our school shool is trying to deploy Open office accross our networ but cannot get rid of its stupid registration process.

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