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3 Reasons Linux Doesn't Star In U.S. Schools
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moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
5/30/2013 | 10:19:38 PM
re: 3 Reasons Linux Doesn't Star In U.S. Schools
While I somewhat agree I wonder how then Android became the #1 mobile OS. Android is just another *nix flavor and there was nobody that showed anyone with their Samsung phones or Kindle tabs on how to use that system.
It is a people issue in the sense that nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft and for most that is reason enough to do just that.
TreeInMyCube
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TreeInMyCube,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/30/2013 | 7:41:10 PM
re: 3 Reasons Linux Doesn't Star In U.S. Schools
I have to agree w/ Mr. Booker, and would generalize his points 1 and 3 -- it's about the people. Having a sales rep (and possibly a technical sales support person) who can talk to the people at your school or school district is important. Each of the commenters are self-supporting, and so Mr. Booker's point #2 (unfamiliarity) is just not applicable to you. Unfamiliarity -- especially in the areas of system configuration and trouble-shooting -- is a fact of life, and a hurdle to be overcome for further adoption of FOSS in K-12 education. I am certain that there are K-12 success stories, which have been catalyzed by knowledgeable parents and teachers, who have already crossed the unfamilarity barrier. I am certain that there are many school districts where the entire IT team consists of one teacher in each building, doing this task on top of lesson plans and grading papers. If that person doesn't already know Linux, it is a non-trivial even to ask him (and it usually is "him") to get trained up. Ignore the people issues, and you've missed the boat.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
5/30/2013 | 6:31:42 PM
re: 3 Reasons Linux Doesn't Star In U.S. Schools
I think it is solely because there is no multibillion Dollar business giant behind a Linux flavor that pushes this to the masses with sleazy deals...and it isn't from Microsoft, so many IT leaders already say 'No' to it even if that is the only reason.
Ellis Booker
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Ellis Booker,
User Rank: Strategist
5/30/2013 | 4:35:29 PM
re: 3 Reasons Linux Doesn't Star In U.S. Schools
kmcowan, you should know that I'm a Linux user myself, and I was trying to parse out why--why, for heavens sake!--open-source isn't more common in U.S. education. To your point, discounts from MS and Apple aren't the reason people don't use free software. Rather, the discounts are an answer to this competitive threat (growing out of an effort to stave off illegal copies).

I completely agree with you, by the way, about the inherent benefits of "greater security, reliability and stability." So, why isn't Linux more common in K-12? If I had to pick one thing, it'd be lack of familiarity, followed by the understandably fractured nature of this platform, which has lots of flavors (one of reasons I love it).

Another excellent point raised in the comments above concerns the impact of browsers and cloud services. Once everything happens using a browser front-end, switching OS horses becomes a much more trivial issue. --Ellis Booker
marcus777
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marcus777,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/30/2013 | 6:00:49 AM
re: 3 Reasons Linux Doesn't Star In U.S. Schools
@davidfcarr:disqus

kmcowan is correct. My young people used primarily firefox. Chrome has come into the picture for them (although I don't like it, its not free software [spyware, handcuffs]) and LibreOffice (formerly they used OpenOffice) is not only open&free it also supports all common formats including docx... so they have had no real hassle.

I will be completely open and honest with you on this point because we did have one tiny baby snag... in physics class. The prof wants the kids to signon to Minds On Physics to run their mops exercises. This requires a special flash plugin that is proprietary (and doesn't really work right under the best conditions on either IE or Safari either for that matter. So, for that one exercise they used a library computer tweaked just for them.... Yes, the MOPS people heard from me big time. time will tell.

There is no such thing as a non-standard browser. That's the point of a browser period. *ANY* browser should do the trick, and all browsers should be supporting HTML(5) with no DRM (no SWF no Flash, no Quicktime.... We must all insist on open file and document formats and refuse to use anything proprietary. Our freedoms in the future depend on it !

Cheers
kmcowan
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kmcowan,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/30/2013 | 3:16:48 AM
re: 3 Reasons Linux Doesn't Star In U.S. Schools
I have to agree with Marcus777 and take issue with your thesis, Mr. Booker. The primary mission of your article appears to be to try and obscure the reality of the situation, and at the same time propagate tired, old myths. The truth is that these 'educational discounts' you mention come with strings attached that translate to a proprietary lock on the software environments, and to billions in profits for the aforementioned companies. The truth is that Linux offers greater security, reliability and stability, hands down. The open-source community provides a wealth of supporting applications for user and network administration. And all for far, far less than any of these discounts.
kmcowan
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kmcowan,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/30/2013 | 3:04:34 AM
re: 3 Reasons Linux Doesn't Star In U.S. Schools
If a child learns on Linux, Windows and Mac are no problem. As for non-standard browsers, you need to check out current distributions. Chrome and Firefox, etc are available for all platforms. A child learning on Linux will be far better prepared for the future than a child learning on Windows or Mac.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
5/30/2013 | 1:07:57 AM
re: 3 Reasons Linux Doesn't Star In U.S. Schools
I'd be curious how often your kids ran into extra hassles because they weren't on the standard/expected platform. With more online distribution of content, I'd think using non-standard browsers or file formats could be an even bigger issue.
marcus777
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marcus777,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/29/2013 | 7:01:06 PM
re: 3 Reasons Linux Doesn't Star In U.S. Schools
The only reason gnu/linux has not been widely adopted in the classroom is one(1): capitalist oligarchy. <===== the reason

The Win-Tel and Apple iSlave marketing engines (and dollars) are the sole reason for late adopters in the public schools. (see reason one above)

The good news is that gnu/linux is being used widely by students @home. I have raised two teens on the gnu/linux challenge (one is a senior next season, the other is a sophomore in college next season) whereby they used only free (as in freedom) software : ie, they did not use mac or win products... ever.

My kids pushed hard into FOSS, and did all of their class research and school projects using gnu/linux and LibreOffice (everything in our home from the cable modem to the print servers are gnu/linux based... as are all of our client machines which are mostly AMD based notebooks )

Education of course is the key to education! My kids are advocates too. More of their friends are leaning into the FOSS movement and the power and freedom of gnu/linux systems. Many of their teachers are now using gnu/linux @home and that means only 'time' before we see it in our neighborhood in the classroom.

Dream big, work hard, think smart.

Cheers
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