This has just been posted on tony's site
I've signed but...
How effective are these e-petitions? It seems very easy to collect a huge number of signatures, and I'm guessing the pollies realise this. For example, 1306259 have signed the petition "Scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy". I think the campaign would be a lot more effective if these 1.3 million people wrote letters to their MP about this issue. I bet that more than 95% of these wouldn't write to their MP about this; it's important to people if they can express an opinion easily, but if there is any difficulty involved. then the "I can't be arsed" mentality takes over.
Not wanting to stir the pot, but how can Head Teachers and Principals make decisions on something that they really have no grasp of knowledge of ?Head teachers and principals should be able to make decisions about the goods and services that best suit the needs of their institutions.
Its like making me make a decision for a head master - I have NO experience on this at all and even with people 'guiding' me I doubt I would make a good decision.
Some head teachers and principals will have a good understanding but some won't have a clue and with the wrong advice will make HUGE mistakes.
They already do though, without people like you [ making people aware ], me - [ knocking up various scripts ], and the general OS fan club they would not be doing anything....By allowing free and open source products to compete in the market
I see what you are trying to do, but I think [ IMHO ] that this petition is not really necessary.
Still, it won't hurt.
Call me cynical, but I think there are too many people who are listened to by head teachers and decision-makers, who get paid by said companies offering these so-called 'solutions to their needs'.
You mean 'failed techies' don't you Craig ? Sometimes also refered to as IT Managers....
Between the heads and ict coordinators, most schools i've been into know what they want. They may not know the technical terms etc. But they can work there way around the lingo. We have a standard network build we follow. (east midlands broadband consortium) provide this. As regards to linux (which i personally use alot), most teachers run a mile.
Not sure I understand the point of the petition - there is nothing currently stopping schools from using open source software is there?
@limbo: I'll let the cynic in me answer this ...
First we she go back in time ... and study the creation of man ...
Close your eyes and imagine that you can feel the seasons going backwards, one day at a time ... then a week at a time ... a month ... a term ... a year ...
Can you feel it?
You can? Wow ... you must be overdoing your medication!
Right, we are back when the BBC decided that they were going to honour their charter to provide complementary materials for education ... when they realised that they could get more kids to their website if the tarted up some of the games and made the part of a string of educational resources.
Now imagine that you work for a company that publishes and sells electronic / computer based educational materials and you can see your profits going down the drain. You stamp your feet with a bunch of others and say that you are going to remove you materials from the market ... even though lots of schools are using them at the moment and it would cause serious issues for some schools ... and throw in a little comment and talking with lawyers about it all being anti-competetitive.
Imagine that the Govt then decide to take some money they would have given directly to schools or thrown towards some more research ... and you suddenly get eLCs ...
Then take the Open Source community ... who have suddenly found that some money that would have gone to schools to help cover the staffing costs of schools creating their own resources has become ring-fenced ...
They are not happy because the structure restricts schools to having money to pay companies for commercial content, but not the freedom to experiment and innovate ... to help develop a curriculum in a school that is skills and taks based rather than application based (centred around commercial applications).
Petitions like this can, hopefully, see a swing back to schools not be pressured to go down a commercial route for applications or resources purely because that is where money is ring-fenced.
I can make equally cynical comments *against* Open Source if required ...
mean while we still wait for BBC jam to work ...... elc come to an end ... am I sensing a conspiracy theory here
@ Grumbledook - thanks for the explanation - I can see the argument you are putting forward - and appreciate it is not necessarily your own argument which is why I do not feel too bad about saying what a load of nonsense I think it is (if it turns out that it is something you passionately believe then I appologise for not being more tactful!).
I personally think ELC's are the biggest waste of money - and think the money could be better spent on either staffing or more useful kit. All that has happened here is that staff have gone out and bought software pretty much for the sake of it to use it up - although we did manage to equipe ourselves with a site license of Macromedia and a load of copies of Adobe Schools collection with it.
However, there is just no argument that it is stopping the development of open source - I do not think there is a huge amount of software that is ELC eligible that has an open source equivalent. You cannot spend ELC's on Micosoft OS or office licenses and there are only a few Moodle equivalents that are finished products that you can buy with ELC's. So schools still have to find the money out of a seperate pot for either Microsoft Licenses or Open Source skills on an even footing.
Sorry - I know you had all already wokred that out - but just needed to get it off my chest.
The more I think about the whole open source thing the less the lines get fuzzed. Out staff regularly swap excel spreadsheets and powerpoints between different departments and even different schools to use as resources. And all the development we are working on at the moment is web based asp stuff to create our MLE / VLE / VLP or whatever it should be called. OK - so it needs an expensive(butgettinglessexpensiveish) Microsoft platform to sit on. But the cost of our Microsoft licenses is less than 5% of the cost of the hardware it runs on in many cases. So our mentality is that Microsoft comes as part of the hardware.
There is at this school. Rather than teachers creating lessons on our VLE which can be distributed to others they are spending thousands on ready produced powerpoint lessons. All of the software that can be used with ELC's is windows only, some of it requires and therefore locks schools into MSOffice and most of it saves to proprietary formats that cannot be opened with OSS. This directly inhibits the uptake of OSS.
However, there is just no argument that it is stopping the development of open source -
Actually in the past we have done just that. Certain companies are willing to cook the books'when it comes to what they sell and how you pay - 'buy office with ELC's and get an invoice for some thing else, you know the drill. It's illegal and Becta are aware of it. This is behaviour is directly preventing the uptake of OpenSourceI do not think there is a huge amount of software that is ELC eligible that has an open source equivalent. You cannot spend ELC's on Micosoft OS or office licenses
Pretty much every independent study shows that the latter is more cost effective over time. MS is a very short-term strategy, especially when there are more cost-effective solutions.So schools still have to find the money out of a seperate pot for either Microsoft Licenses or Open Source skills on an even footing.
maybe for a web-server, but not for things like sharepoint,exchange when you look at the combined cost of all the different cals and subtle ways your locked inBut the cost of our Microsoft licenses is less than 5% of the cost of the hardware it runs on in many cases. So our mentality is that Microsoft comes as part of the hardware.
Not really the thread to be going over the opensource / MS argument again I know, but for me it is a straight forward cost comparison - my MS agreement costs me around 12k a year and I cannot get an inexperienced technician for that sort of cost let alone one wth the ablity to develop open souce resources. And I would say that MS group policies and software roll outs save me at least one technician a year of not two.
But back to the point of the thread - the other side of the coin is that in Tony Blair standing up and saying what the petition suggests, and for the reasons that people want him to say it, would be an admission that the ELC initiative was a bad idea. Do you really think that is likely to happen?
If anybody from this thread would like to contribute to this thread, I'd be grateful
OSS is a long term strategy, rather like education itself. I'd bet with a 12K training budget you'd save over a five year plan, and have the teachers develop the resourses themselves. not like schools have five year plans, yetNot really the thread to be going over the opensource / MS argument again I know, but for me it is a straight forward cost comparison - my MS agreement costs me around 12k a year and I cannot get an inexperienced technician for that sort of cost let alone one wth the ablity to develop open souce resources. And I would say that MS group policies and software roll outs save me at least one technician a year of not two.
I don't think it has too much to do with ELC's - see beeswax link.But back to the point of the thread - the other side of the coin is that in Tony Blair standing up and saying what the petition suggests, and for the reasons that people want him to say it, would be an admission that the ELC initiative was a bad idea. Do you really think that is likely to happen?
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