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MIS Systems Thread, Open Source software in UK schools in Technical; Oh.. you were referring to previous posts in this thread being nonsense etc. I made a couple of frustrated hissy ...
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    Oh.. you were referring to previous posts in this thread being nonsense etc. I made a couple of frustrated hissy ones a week or two ago where training/costs did feature and I was explaining why I was "overstating".

    80% is roughly the percentage of schools that are Primary or similar (very few of the points made by anyone in these debates are ever tailored for them). Numbers refers to: a) The ones in the doc you linked at the very start of this thread, b) Any vague claim that OSS stuff will automagically be much, much cheaper.

  2. Thanks to PiqueABoo from:

    GrumbleDook (5th October 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    Oh.. you were referring to previous posts in this thread being nonsense etc. I made a couple of frustrated hissy ones a week or two ago where training/costs did feature and I was explaining why I was "overstating".

    80% is roughly the percentage of schools that are Primary or similar (very few of the points made by anyone in these debates are ever tailored for them). Numbers refers to: a) The ones in the doc you linked at the very start of this thread, b) Any vague claim that OSS stuff will automagically be much, much cheaper.
    I wasn't singling out any post in particular, more that the thread seemed to be turning into another tit for tat without any common ground between the two opinions. I'm sure Gary can back his numbers up well enough though. We've already conceded that cost savings aren't going to be huge at first, but that it's the long (3-5 year) term that is where cost savings appear. So it's not a vague claim if you have case studies all saying the same thing. Anyway, regardless of cost, you only have to read a few implementation write ups, or look at the article webman posted and the comments therein, too see other benefits too - improved stability, wider perspective of computer science for keener students (and teachers!) = different job opportunities, reduced electricity using thin clients, yada yada..and the one I found amusing:

    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchColonel
    "Moving from Microsoft XP to Vista would not have brought us many advantages and Microsoft said it would require training of users," said Lt. Col. Guimard. "Moving from XP to Ubuntu, however, proved very easy. The two biggest differences are the icons and the games. Games are not our priority.
    Now I spent a summer internship at a French town council once, and if they can get to grips with it, anyone can..

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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Interesting article - Linux in Schools:

    Linux in Schools : Greg Laden's Blog
    Thanks for that. One of the schools mentioned is this one.

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    I'm sure Gary can back his numbers up well enough though.
    The numbers in the Exec Summary unconditionally say a typical UK Primary, for instance, can achieve a 6,300 per annum saving...

    We've already conceded that cost savings aren't going to be huge at first
    ..but assuming the reader actually gets as far as page 8 we then get "there are costs to implementing licence free applications that will quickly eat into these savings." But since no one ever seriously attempts to enumerate these costs, that pretty much renders all the previous figures entirely worthless.

    Burried on page 8! Is this really what counts as a thoughtful, credibly presented case these days? If I hid a cost relevant factor like that from a school they would be screaming blue murder.

    So it's not a vague claim if you have case studies all saying the same thing.
    But all I ever see are broad vague assertions and most based on a handful of schools somewhere in other countries. I have yet, but would love to see, a case study for schools here that properly: a) enumerates what they had before with the commissioning + full annual running costs amortised over say 5 years, b) enumerates what they had afterwards with the same costs. Both to include actual training and take at least a honest guess at the cost in terms of informal self-training user time.

    improved stability
    That is of course relative to what you had before. There are Windows systems and then there are Windows systems. Ditto for Linux - some people, in fact lots of people who swear by it, are perfectly capable of making a complete pigs ear of that. Where are all these very cheap, quick hit-the-ground-running experts going to come from again, especially when I keep reading that Linux admins typically cost 20% more than their Windows equivalents?

    wider perspective of computer science for keener students
    Not notoriously relevant to 80% of schools, unlike say the apps you can run on an OS that is largely an irrelevant background. A VM will work for the keener students in the rest surely?

    reduced electricity using thin clients
    So Windows doesn't do thin-client then? Oh hang on it does coz I spend 90% of my time working via one.

    --

    Overall this entire debate, wherever it happens, reminds me so much of Jehovahs/Mormons/WhichEverItIs on the door-step: Ask them any serious question and they will inevitably ignore it and respond with irrelevant pre-programmed waffle. "What's 2+2?" "Ah well you see in the book of revelations the number of the beast..."

    You folk are trying to persuade me, but this is public money not mine so I want a proper business case. Answer the questions that are put to you, not least because I put serious thought/effort into asking them and get annoyed when they are ignored. In particular find out what the requirements are, and for most of those that means talking to my users, before giving me the technical solutions. I'm persuadable, but certainly not by lightweight misdirection and assertions.
    Last edited by PiqueABoo; 6th October 2010 at 08:14 PM. Reason: minor typo

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    This is an interesting thread with some VERY interesting thought patterns being displayed. Particularly interesting to me as I am now an IT Trainer by trade, and have to agree 100% with grumbledook, training for general day to day staff or even the key users can never ever be understated or, as frequently happens, overlooked. At the end of the day these are the boys and girls who have to use a system, and it is not about what they know, it is about how confident they are with a system and how reliable it is.

    Brings me back to a post I made somewhere a few weeks ago, and I think has been touched upon here again, is that certain nameless systems that schools love (or hate) to use are just that popular because it is reliable (no laughing please!), has years of experience and market clout, and is relatively easy to pick up and use. It looks robust and professional. Moving onto deeper issues which I made 2 years ago on this forum, that certain company gets shot down because it is the best in the market (lets ignore the over charging part for a moment), and there are individuals and companies who, because they cannot offer the same because they don't have the technological know-how, the market nous, or the 'prestiege'/ customer knowability, everyone gets on very high horses. End of the day that company has worked hard over the decades to get to where it is now and continues to develop easy link software to its paying customers. If I were still paying them, I would want software that does everything, links to everything i need in a fraction of a second... not having to sit and open a third party or... god-forbid.. open-source add-on to get the same result.

    Sorry - off topic rant there...

    Anyway, training is never ever overrated regardless of the software, and especially when change management is involved, and especially if that change management involves the education sector.

    OFFICIAL IT TRAINING PROFESSIONAL STAMP!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeMarchand View Post
    Thirded. I'm going to try Edubuntu in Reception at my main school. The current machines are really struggling and abused; my thinking is that E/u should run better, and it has analogues for the two main programs they need: Dazzle (Tux Paint) and MyWorld (that Potato Man thing). I'll bet that the teachers whinge until they manage to get machines from other classes that run XP better rather than even try to use E/u.

    I will post back if they surprise me!
    Well, much to my surprise the Reception Teacher I showed the proposed setup to was actually impressed. Went with QIMO in the end for various reasons. It's been in there for a month or more without complaints, which I found suspicious, so I went to check up. Apart from the machines being left permanently on, one teacher said "all they use is Tux Paint as there's no Maths Games or other suitable software"; the other claimed "there's nothing for them to do" (before leaving as the children had just left). I showed the one who was staying that there is in fact plenty of educational content, but as it wasn't a "day out" training trip with a free buffet lunch I don't hold out too much hope.

    Feeling quite disheartened.


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