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*nix Thread, Bringing Linux To The Students in Technical; I've read through most of this forum and it appears that no one is running linux desktop system for students ...
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    Bringing Linux To The Students

    I've read through most of this forum and it appears that no one is running linux desktop system for students in high schools/colleges. Yes there is allsorts of different software running on servers but I have seen no instance of KDE or GNOME mentioned in relation to the students.

    The thing is, I was hoping to implement a switch over from Windows during the summer. I know this would not be a problem in a primary school and even lower school up to the end of KS3. However when the students get on to designing relational databases and possibly creating their own flash animations with DiDA then I do start to wonder. I also wonder about all the ELC software purchased which is never used but you know that the teachers will want to run it when you least suspect. I know of WINE and other products which should hopefully run this but it is it a reliable system that will keep up with the new ELC software ?

    DiDA is at least 2 years away in this school so a Linux trial could be rolled out (I said we can always go to Windows if we have to, but its harder to go from Windows to Linux once you have the licences). If you have any answers or just thoughts then please post them.

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    @Pear: There are several schools using thin client linux, keeping a single Windows terminal server for the 'legacy' apps. Try trawling the net for things like LTSP and you'll come up with stuff.

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    I believe linuxgirlie has linux on desktops at her place what every os you choose it has to be looked at all angles and decide what is best for the school.

    Also like most things a switch of system be that from managed network to plain vanilla network or to new os needs to be done in phased and well planned.

    Russ

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    Openhgs has a linux thin client network at his secondary school which covers the ICT Suite and a number of classrooms. He is very experienced with linux and openly encourages as many schools as possible to follow on using open source software.

    You should get in contact with him, i'm sure he would be willing to help. I am told it has saved their school an awful lot of money (not having to pay for 99% of their software due to being open source) so they can spend more on the hardware. I've seen pictures of their equipment, it looks brilliant

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    Why not compromise and set up a couple of suites using thin clients just to let the students get a feel for Linux. Then after a while see what the outcome is as to which desktop client they prefer and which fits in best with the school as a whole. This way you get the best of both worlds.

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    Yes, you are right to worry about the compatability of Educational software, but as usual there are ways around that. As suggested, terminal services to a Windows 2003 server with all your Windows apps on could work. Or you could set up dual-boot machines for the first instance and just see how it runs for a year or so, then take it from there.

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    Yes I think LTSP server + Windows Terminal Server + thin clients is the route to go down.

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    Quote Originally Posted by bossman
    Why not compromise and set up a couple of suites using thin clients just to let the students get a feel for Linux. Then after a while see what the outcome is as to which desktop client they prefer and which fits in best with the school as a whole. This way you get the best of both worlds.
    I'm not sure I entirely agree. The students will usually prefer what they are used to (windows). They don't seem to notice that they can do everything on linux that they can do on windows. They usually just cannot be bothered to learn how to use a new OS, so opt for windows back.

    I believe Openhgs's school forced linux on the students, they protested at first, but eventually realised that it is just as useful as windows is, if not better.

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    So there is nothing stopping you from having dual boot PC's

    i.e.

    Linux Thin Client booting PXE and a Windows desktop as well.

    Then you configure a boot menu, that allows users to select which one they want to boot into.

    As long a the windows boxes can connect to a windows domain(prolly samba on your LTSP server)

    Etc, etc.

    Regards

    Martin

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    The students will usually prefer what they are used to (windows). They don't seem to notice that they can do everything on linux that they can do on windows.
    I thought the aim of the game was to teach transferable skills, not how to use Microsoft software.

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    I thought the aim of the game was to teach transferable skills, not how to use Microsoft software.
    Exactly. But the students don't think like this. My point is that I wouldn't base the final decision on student input, because they will go with what is easiest for them and not what is best for them.

    IMHO, I think linux is a great thing for schools, homes and businesses. We just need more hardware and software companies to show support for it.

    I also think in the majority of cases, with a dual boot system, most students will boot into windows without even considering linux. Therefore they don't really get the hang on it. Humans -hate- change, it's natural

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    DiDA doesn't need windows.
    The accepted file formats for DiDA are:
    html, htm, xml, txt ,pdf, swf, mov, avi, wmv, wav, midi, mp3, jpg, png, gif, tif, pps, ppt

    The only thing your *required* to use windows for is KS3 ICT testing.

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    For most schools Adobe apps will mean using Windows. If you have Macs then even better.

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    Quote Originally Posted by _Bat_
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff
    I thought the aim of the game was to teach transferable skills, not how to use Microsoft software.
    Exactly. But the students don't think like this. My point is that I wouldn't base the final decision on student input, because they will go with what is easiest for them and not what is best for them.
    I think you might not be giving credit it's possibly due. I would think it would be the teachers who be most resistant due to "change". In the recent KS3 testing, I'm not sure that many of the students even noticed they weren't using Microsoft. Unfortunately they struggled with the rest of the test(!) but I'm quite certain it wasn't the interface that put them off.



    Andy

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    Re: Bringing Linux To The Students

    Thanks for the feedback. From my perspective I don't see the students having a problem with changing from Windows to Linux. When Internet Explorer had a password on it, they just started using Firefox which had no password as I expected them to.

    The change would be forced on the students but I do agree with those of you saying the teachers might not be able to cope with it.



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