I really agree with David Trask... My presentation is not full of FOSS
evangelism. That is NOT why I use an open source solution. I use it
because it works the best. What OTHER solution is there to use old
iMacs as thin clients? you tell me! We could setup a Windows terminal
server, as suggested by our School Division Director of IT, but then we
would have to buy clients. We use this solution because it works with
our existing workstations. AND because it is economical to "license"
AND it does all we need it to do.|
One of the things that really scews the MS vs Linux comparison here in Alberta is that the the Alberta government has entered into a site license agreement for all computers in all schools. Thus it costs us nothing!! to install MS Office. IF that were not the case, then the OpenOffice and Linux desktop debate would be much more interesting. As it is the cost comparison is not nearly as crass as it otherwise would be. But regardless of that, I use the LTSP because it is a just plain great solution to the problems we faced in our division.
David Trask wrote:
Maine has their annual big tech conference this Friday and there are several Open Source offerings for folks to attend....and guess what? This year I am not presenting! Why is this important? It shows how far we've come....the movement has spread beyond just a select few....and has now reached the others. The biggest thing I have learned over the past few years is "Just do it". Don't spend too much time making a big deal about it....or pontificating about the value of FOSS or projecting a "holier than thou" attitude about FOSS. Simply start using it as if it were any other piece of software. Conduct workshops on how to use it...just like anything else....and then when folks ask about how much it costs or how to get it....then explain briefly a little bit about FOSS and so forth, but not too much....as it's human nature to assume "Free" is substandard. WE as linux geeks...understand the concept, many do not. They can be won over, but it's a slow process. Once you understand that....then and only then can you begin "winning" them over. You'll eventually see things get to a point where there will be a paradigm shift in thinking and suddenly there will be more widespread adoption. Maine has a one-to-one laptop program that is now in it's second round (5th year). We have Apple iBooks for every 7th and 8th grader in the entire state. It's a program that has worked wonders for us here in Maine. Not every state or district has had the same success, but I attribute some of the success to the attitude behind technology in our state in the first place. The image that was created for the laptop project this time around (we are on our second full-scale deployment...as the laptops are part of a 4 year lease program...we are in our 5th year...so this year we have all new laptops) has a number of Open Source titles on it. NeoOffice, GIMP, Cyberduck, and a bunch more. Now think about this...the image was created by the project team (Apple folks and state DOE folks) based on input and lessons learned from the past. We have come a long way. Now every 7th and 8th grader in Maine is using FOSS on a daily basis....no one made a big deal out of it....it just happened. This is cool....now kids are downloading and installing OpenOffice on their home computers to be more compatible with NeoOffice (mac version of OO). When I present at conferences about LTSP....I tell folks...don't ask for permission and go before the school board etc.....just do it....roll out an LTSP lab....let it show everyone how it works and saves money and build on that success. If you make a big deal out of it...folks will become naturally defensive, but if you install it with little fanfare and simply show that it works without interfering with the general flow of things....you'll turn heads....slowly, but they'll start to see...."hey, this can work". As for the vendors and the sour looks....in Maine...more and more vendors are realizing that if they don't develop Linux versions....they're going to get left behind. It's amazing how many vendors each year show up at this conference with a new attitude and a new product line geared toward Linux. Just like in Field of Dreams....build it and they will come (or come around). "Support list for open source software in schools." <k12osn redhat com> writes:I'd like to add what Robert has said. I just came from ITEC (Iowa Technology and Education Connection). I looked and looked for open source seminars there, and really only heard 3 where open source software was mentioned, Moodle being the only FOSS project to have its own seminar. The rest only had open source mentioned in passing. Most vendors got a sour look on their face when I mentioned open source, with the exception of the people selling the web/mail/spam/virus filter appliances. Of course their stuff was built on open source, but they packaged it all together to work nicely. In one seminar, entitled "The Great OS War of 2007", the speaker mentioned Linux at the very tail end of his seminar, saying that it was "still in development" and "comparable to Mac OS8 or Windows 95 in its development stage". I really didn't agree with that last comment, but here's the "expert" (actually, this guy was a Mac fanatic) giving his opinion as fact to everyone that Linux "may be ready by 2009". It discouraged me so much that I intend to do 2 presentations, one on FOSS in general (with an emphasis on mostly cross-platform applications), and another on K12LTSP. [my turn on the soapbox] While I know shame isn't always the best motivator, I intend to share my opinion that any district that DOESN'T adopt open source software obviously has too much money to waste. Most of those here in Iowa are rather pragmatic, and if you can get something that does what you want for a good price, you get it. If it's free, even better. To me, its like a smoker who complains about not having enough money for rent/gas/food/children's school supplies. Perhaps if they were smarter about how they spend their money, re-consider what's really necessairy and what isn't, they would have the money to cover necessairy things. If we weren't addicted to commercial software, we can accomplish the job, and still have money for things that are needed like that new roof for the high school, an upgraded electrical system, new plumbing, that new addition to the grade school (all things our district currently needs to pay for). [/end soapbox] So consider any reply you make to this thread as one that I may potentially be discussing at ITEC 2007. I'm always up for more good ways to convince people FOSS is the way. Thanks, Eric On 10/11/06, Robert Arkiletian <robark gmail com> wrote:On 10/11/06, Joe Guenther <jguenther chinooksedge ab ca> wrote:I have been asked to do a 1hr presentation about LTSP to the Alberta Technology Leaders for Education Conference. www.alte.ca I had doneasimilar presentation last year regionally and thus was recommended and now asked to do one for the all Alberta conference. So its neat to see other tech leaders take notice. I will be bringing a small "server," a couple of old PC's and an old tray load iMac as a demonstration on how to use LTSP to "recycle" old workstations. In our school division there are hundreds of old iMacs that are now too slow, too old of an OS to be very useful anymore. But they continue to litter our computer labs. They make GREAT ltsp clients! So for about $110/workstation you can have a modern up2date, blazing fast computer lab again. You thought the $100 laptop was only for poor communities in India and Africa. We can accomplish the same value for your buck with LTSP. I have already done 3 computer labs in my area of the school division. I am working on joining 2 more schools with fibre and then they bothgettheir old iMac labs upgraded to LTSP from a single server. Any presentation ideas & sucess stories & gotcha's are always welcomeDemo FL_TeacherTool and let them know that many others in Canada like myself are using K12LTSP successfully. Remember the number one benefitisnot cost savings on initial systems purchase but on ease/cost of maintenance. *************But be sure to explain FOSS carefully.************** *steps on soapbox* After listening to Steve Hargadon podcast interview of Maddog. k12opensource.com I remembered my conversation with our districts IT admin. I think the main issue holding back adoption is getting people toreallyunderstand and BELIEVE in FOSS. The response I got back was that the "Open Source development modelwas notsomething the district could rely upon". Have you ever tried explaining FOSS to someone who has never heard ofitbefore? After about TEN minutes of explaining they may understand the constructs/rules by which it operates but I would be very surprised iftheyunderstood the implications and consequences. I think part of the reason Cath and Bazzar was so revolutionary was that it was the firstexplanationof this seemingly counter intuitive phenomenon. Problem is most peoplewillnot read it, I haven't even read every word of The C and B. Most peoplewhenthey hear the word "Free" immediatley think "Nothing is free!" or as ESR puts it "It must be cheap/shoddy quality". The first question I usuallygetis "if it's free how do they make money?". Convincing people inpositions ofpower (who are not FOSS savvy) that the development model is reliableandrobust is difficult especially when they are not directly paying moneyforthe software. I've heard comments like "what if the devs decide to stopworkon the project? Then where are we left?" If you already have thoughtaboutthis question (which I don't believe everyone in FOSS has) you can reply that the developers are usually the people who need the software themost sothey have a vested interest in seeing continued development. Also sincethedevs are also (usually) users of the software there is goodcommunicationbetween users and devs. In the FOSS world this close relationshipbetweenusers and devs produces great software as it's in a continual state of improvment directed by user requests/desires. So FOSS development DOEShavedirection: The best kind. In addition the potential to participate in FOSS should not beoverlooked(as it usually is). Imagine if a school district says "we need thisfeature"so they hire a dev (or pay an existing dev in the project) to add itand inthe process provide that feature to everyone else on the planet.Sometimesthis opportunity gets a response of "Why should we pay for somethingotherswill benefit from?" But remind them it also means others improvmentswillbecome your benefits. In the regular business world this IDEA is not something which is not second nature as most businesses work on a "Dogeatdog, everyone for themselves attitude". This doesn't work in FOSS. Bottom line. It's not easy to truly understand and believe in FOSS.It'staken me years to discover it's full potential. THIS is, in my opinion,thebiggest barrier of adoption. *steps off soapbox*Joe Guenther LANtech - Didsbury Schools Chinook's Edge School Div. #73 _______________________________________________ K12OSN mailing list K12OSN redhat com https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>-- Robert Arkiletian Eric Hamber Secondary, Vancouver, Canada Fl_TeacherTool http://www3.telus.net/public/robark/Fl_TeacherTool/ C++ GUI tutorial http://www3.telus.net/public/robark/ _______________________________________________ K12OSN mailing list K12OSN redhat com https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>_______________________________________________ K12OSN mailing list K12OSN redhat com https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>David N. Trask Technology Teacher/Director Vassalboro Community School dtrask vcsvikings org (207)923-3100 _______________________________________________ K12OSN mailing list K12OSN redhat com https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn For more info see <http://www.k12os.org>