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IT News Thread, Open source can save schools billions in Other News; Hi I agree that any business could save money on software buying but who is going to maintain this new ...
  1. #31
    ricki's Avatar
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    Hi

    I agree that any business could save money on software buying but who is going to maintain this new software and pay for all the training. I find it hard enough getting teachers to use windows and remember how goodness knows what it would be like trying to get them to use new stuff and what would all this cost.

    Also are colleges and it companies about to provide the training.

    Then you go onto the software manufacturers do they have the range of education software on say linux to allow the move. Imagine for a moment teachers reaction when you told them we are say moving to xxxxx os and you loose most of your software.

    Richard

  2. #32

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    As mentioned by myself and others ... I still struggle to see why you want to move away from one OS to purely OSS .... it is not about moving from one to another ... it is about getting a balance of all required software and systems.

  3. #33
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    You'd get greater savings on implementing a thin client environment but only on energy use even taking into consideration the servers needed to run this the 5-10 watts usage for the unit (A normal desktop machine on wake up on lan uses 10watts when switched off) would more than make up for it however even a large school how much of the energy usage is actually IT and not other items? When trying to calculate this myself for our rather modest sized school (700+ students) I think we accounted for around only a 1/3 of electrical energy usage (Including Projectors, Laptops, Desktops, Monitors, Printers, Servers, Switches but not speakers (I doubt this would have counted much toward the other 2/3 though) ) I worked out I could remove around a 1/3 of the cost of power consumption from here. An example would be say a school uses 30,000 of electrical energy per year IT equipment account for around 10,000 So we could bring the price down to 6,666 meaning the cost of electricity for the school would be 26,666 only a saving of 3,334 per year. Look at the cost of bringing in this technology and the fact that not everything would run via Terminal Services? If you needed VDI for some things then the cost escalates greatly and using fat clients for the rest means the savings are much lower than this and it would take many years to recoup the costs. Taking on board everyone else's statements about re-education of teachers for new software this would mean that it wouldn't be a problem but you've got to ask whether or not such investment is actually worth while? Another point though the government are introducing a new energy scheme which will have far reaching consequences for IT and school budgets called CRC (Carbon Reduction Commitment) this will be taking place soon and the idea of reducing energy consumption is valid even if the cost of doing so at first is prohibitive. The one thing I'll admit to with the Thin Client system would be longevity. 25 Years (222,000 hours) the Sun Ray boxes MTBF is. And of course this means reduced replacement costs for the school instead of changing hardware every 3 - 5 years (7 in some cases). You will need to update the servers but this will be much cheaper than entire labs.


    Wes

  4. #34

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    The most important aspect of school ICT is delivering the right applications to the end users to support teaching & learning. This needs to be done in an affordable and sustainable way. Technologies such as operating systems, thin & fat clients, virtualisation are all means of delivering applications BUT the choice is of secondary importance to the applications themselves.

    Now, given that our application base in schools is (for the moment) heavily dependent upon a Windows environment, whether we like it or not we have to provide an infrastructure that supports Windows. I realise more and more media-rich content is being delivered via browsers but it still has a long way to go yet.

    If the exponents of Open Software were to convince all of the education software developers to embrace an open platform maybe schools could consider migrating, but in just my school we would need major vendors such as Adobe, Capita, and Promethean to deliver products that would work in an Open environment, or have serious alternatives available before anybody would seriously consider moving from Windows.

    I cannot this happening anytime soon.

  5. #35

    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    The most important aspect of school ICT is delivering the right applications to the end users to support teaching & learning. This needs to be done in an affordable and sustainable way. Technologies such as operating systems, thin & fat clients, virtualisation are all means of delivering applications BUT the choice is of secondary importance to the applications themselves.

    Now, given that our application base in schools is (for the moment) heavily dependent upon a Windows environment, whether we like it or not we have to provide an infrastructure that supports Windows. I realise more and more media-rich content is being delivered via browsers but it still has a long way to go yet.

    If the exponents of Open Software were to convince all of the education software developers to embrace an open platform maybe schools could consider migrating, but in just my school we would need major vendors such as Adobe, Capita, and Promethean to deliver products that would work in an Open environment, or have serious alternatives available before anybody would seriously consider moving from Windows.

    I cannot this happening anytime soon.
    Quit thinking in the past. Educational transformation means we should be trying new things. If that means taking away things that's been tried & tested then so be it

  6. #36

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Quit thinking in the past. Educational transformation means we should be trying new things. If that means taking away things that's been tried & tested then so be it
    But it doesn't mean throwing the baby out with the bath-water. Looking for change is good, and there are lots of good web 2.0 based tools out there that can really move things on, but there are also lots of good resources prepared locally, run locally and hosted locally.

    Of course ... the wonderful world of thin client and cloud hosting does nothing for graphics editing, audio editing (and production) and video editing ... and more and more of this is going across the curriculum. I'm all for the point and click generation of video then upload to youtube, but that doesn't teach the full extent of storyboarding, and the planning that often needs to to into this.

    The same way we shouldn't throw out handwriting just because we have computers, having the cloud doesn't mean we throw out local applications. I know there was a smiley ... but there are some people that would actually use this as an arguement which they think is unbeatable!

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Quit thinking in the past. Educational transformation means we should be trying new things. If that means taking away things that's been tried & tested then so be it
    Stop thinking like a narrow minded technologist

    Think about what the end user needs ..... School ICT needs to be solutions led, not technology led. By this I mean 'the school' decides what is best for the student & then we worry about what technology we need to deliver the solution.

    If the 'Education ICT industry marketplace' only develops solutions based upon the Windows platform don't get hung up about the technology ....... the end user should not have to worry about what platform his solution runs on, as long as it delivers what he needs.
    Last edited by broc; 1st October 2009 at 02:21 PM.

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    Red face General reply

    Gosh, a lot of posts to read through.

    I do have a few general comments so forgive me not taking the trouble to do the @soandso bit. If it does not apply to do please don't be offended.

    1) No I'm not trolling this forum, let alone without the boss' knowledge..I was told to sign up to join in the debate.
    2) Really really surprised at the general level of hostility to FOSS and lack of knowledge about it. The thread seems dominated by a few 'great and the good' opinion setters.
    3) I really do know exactly how school ICT support works, having been a Windows SysAdmin even until quite recently so I know what a lock in looks like, I know what fear of change looks like, and I know when edu-discounting amounts to bribery

    For the record the stuff I write is meant in general to be provocative, but not in nasty way, more to stimulate debate and raise some tough points in what I hope is a humorous way.

    Nor, am I scaremongering.

    It was us at Sirius that got the BBC to back off from a Windows only I-player, we also got the Cabinet Office to admit they were planning a Microsoft Only fully outsourced G-Cloud and forced them to change direction (which is why you are getting a Private Cloud rather than US/Dublin version)

    Trust me I am not making stuff up about loss of jobs but you have to write in non-straightforward way or the lawyers turn up ..and they do.

    Finally of course we are FOSS evangelists so are RM PLC, they for example only supply Windows Exchange E-Mail if it is specifically requested !

    And lastly I do not negate/ spoil my arguments with a bad tone or a few inaccuracies..be easy on that just hear the general message..all is about to change are you folk ready?

  9. #39

    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    2) Really really surprised at the general level of hostility to FOSS and lack of knowledge about it.
    There is no general hostility towards or lack of knowledge regarding FOSS here. We're simply stating it has to be used correctly; not just for the sake of using FOSS so you can turn around and say, "Look at me, I'm using FOSS."

    The investment that has been made into (usually Windows-only) educational software over the years cannot just be written off on a whim because "FOSS is cheaper." As already pointed out by many in this thread, there is a cost (time and money) when moving from one to the other (FOSS to proprietary or vice-versa).

    Just because we aren't all installing Linux on all our workstations does not mean that we have no clue about FOSS. A lot of us are just using it wisely, and to great effect.

  10. #40


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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    1) No I'm not trolling this forum, let alone without the boss' knowledge..I was told to sign up to join in the debate.
    Well you can report back to your boss that Sirius PLC are on atleast one persons blacklisted companies list

  11. #41


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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    Gosh, a lot of posts to read through.

    1) No I'm not trolling this forum, let alone without the boss' knowledge..I was told to sign up to join in the debate.
    2) Really really surprised at the general level of hostility to FOSS and lack of knowledge about it. The thread seems dominated by a few 'great and the good' opinion setters.
    3) I really do know exactly how school ICT support works, having been a Windows SysAdmin even until quite recently so I know what a lock in looks like, I know what fear of change looks like, and I know when edu-discounting amounts to bribery
    Can I just pick you up on point 2. To state that there is a general level of hostility and lack of knowledge is a little short sighted. If you read the posts, and other subjects on this forum you will see that the whole point of this website is so tech people can help each other in progressing and developing skills using ANY technology that is available. Many people work with a very limited budget and will welcome anything that doesn't actually cost to use. Being in the type of job we are in, it would be very stupid of us to resist new technologies, in fact if we did that I'm sure we would be out of a job very quickly.

    What we are asking is for you to validate your points that you are trying to make with a balanced discussion. When you are talking value for money, free isn't always the best value if it doesn't do the job.

  12. #42
    sahmeepee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spannerman2 View Post
    Finally of course we are FOSS evangelists so are RM PLC, they for example only supply Windows Exchange E-Mail if it is specifically requested !
    Ohohohoho.

  13. #43
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    I wish I could get away with posting picardfacepalm.jpg on here.....
    Wake up folks..saving in ICT is the order of the day..we all agree on that..did anyone mention that means no more IT technicians or Network Managers?
    I mean seriously now. Even with cloud computing someone is going to have to be employed somewhere to manage (physically and software wise) all the thin clients in schools and all the other pieces of equipment that IT is expected to manage nowadays (AV equipment) so all your really doing is... shifting the cost.
    So yeah, picardfacepalm.jpg

  14. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gibbo View Post
    Yeah, but in my school, all the apps we use run fine on Celeron 2Ghz machines running XP. They won't take Windows 7 or Vista so I have to either pay a fortune to upgrade them (how much would 100 sticks of 1Gb PC2100 RAM cost?)
    You're certainly right that throwing an extra 1GB of RAM in each one would not be cheap (just over 2,000 for a 100 sticks), but have you tried Windows 7 on the existing hardware? I've run Windows 7 satisfactorily on a 1.6 GHz machine with 512MB of RAM.

  15. #45


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    i dont think almost anyone (theres always 1 or 2) has a problem in using open source WHERE APPROPRIATE so italc/open office/ paint.net ubunto on pcs that are only ever used for say internet and so on. As always with anything its the right tool for the right job and like it or not for most people windows is the right tool as users know and are comfortable with it (main reason users often dont like change where as most techs are quite happy to play round with stuff (thats what makes them tecs to a degree weve all spent silly amounts of time trying to get some piece of junk software/hardware working cos we arnt going to be beaten by it)). Most school i go into dont buy software that often and have libraries of stuff they have been using for years (so textease 5/sherston stuff/ etc) so the cost of software is low (and you get a windows licence with new hardware (yes i know its possible to get hardware without) so cost of staying with windows is actually low whereas to change would require a lot of time in testing and training users and techs (i can get by with linux but at the end of the day ive spent years playing with windows from 3.1 upwards to get that sort of knowledge with another os would possibly be slower as id probably always be looking for things where id expect them in windows as i do a lot of that with my brain turned off) if nothing else

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