Justification in using Edubuntu instead of Windows

Jim Kronebusch jim at winonacotter.org
Thu Oct 4 03:30:15 UTC 2007

I won't go on a long winded rant like I initially wanted to :-)  Ditto to everything
Scott says below.  

Just to back up why the operating system or specific application isn't important and
that concepts are all that matter, I'll post a quick example.

I grew up learning computers and software from Tandy or Texas instruments stuff with
external tape drives for storage (literally) and Word processing from a command line, to
DOS, Win 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Win XP, Win Vista, Mac OS 7-9, Mac
OS X, Linux from many different flavors such as Redhat 2 or something to Ubuntu Gutsy
all running word processing from dos based WP to Gui based Word Perfect, Lotus, MS Word,
AbiWord/Gnumeric, Star Office, OpenOffice, etc, etc.  Point being, things change, and
rapidly.  The fact that I focused on learning concepts instead of memorizing keystrokes
and menus is what allows me to move freely and adapt.  And as far as being "prepared"
for the future, this haphazard mixture of operating systems and word processing suites
somehow still manage to educate me enough to where I now own my own computer company and
am the network manager for a dozen schools or so.  

And my kids (ages 4 and 7) have already used OSX, OS9, Linux (Fedora and Ubuntu), and
Windows (XP and Vista), Firefox..Internet Explorer...Safari (my 4 year old loves
youtube), and the 7 year old used MS Office and OpenOffice (switching daily between all
of these), and never once have either asked or even noticed a difference between any of
them...why?  Because in reality, the concepts are all the same and kids embrace change
and don't care about "branding". (side note, for my main "family" computer at home I
actually switch every couple days between Vista and Feisty just to force the learning of
concepts and the adaptation to change)

Ask those same now brain washed adults what they learned on, and ask how they managed
when they switched to that crazy new Microsoft stuff what it came around :-)  And ask
them how all their Microsoft Office knowledge will help them in a future connected via
this world wide web thing controlled by 85% Linux machines.  Show them the difference
between MS Office 2003 and 2007 and ask why that change is easier than from MS Office
2003 to OpenOffice....further proving Scott's point about version changes screwing with
memorized keystrokes and not concepts (OpenOffice is now more like MS Office than MS

Maybe that was a rant.... :-)


On Wed, 03 Oct 2007 15:37:42 -0500, Scott Balneaves wrote
> Isaiah wrote:
> Snip...
> > Their
> > main complaint is that Edubuntu is not a good tool for the children to use
> > because it is not what is being used in the corporate world and everyday
> > life.
> Well, I for one use it in my everyday life at home, and we use Ubuntu here
> at work for all our 165+ desktops.
> > They are under the impression that the children will be at a
> > disadvantage if they ever have to use a Windows environment.
> Couple of problems with this reasoning, especially for an elementary school:
> 1) These kids are, at a bare minimum, at least 6 years away from graduating
> high school.  Chances are, any program they learn will have a new version out
> by the time they get to the "corporate world".  So learning version X of
> program Y really isn't going to provide them with too many advantages.
> 2) For grade school kids, they're probably not sitting down learning Word
> Macro Programming, but rather reading, math, comprehension skills, etc.  So,
> whether they learn these things on Linux or on a Windows box makes no real
> difference.
> 3) Learning should focus on skills, imho, rather than rote memorization of
> feature sets.  Our users here who understood the *concepts* of word processing
> (i.e. indenting, styles, treating information in a structured manner, etc)
> had no problem converting from WordPerfect to OpenOffice.org.  They knew
> what they wanted to do, and just had to look up the corresponding function
> in OO.o.  Users who knew that if they wanted to do task X, they pressed
> ctl-alt-key y, on the other hand, had no end of trouble, because they
> didn't really understand what they were doing.  They had memorized keystrokes,
> not concepts.
> 4) Most, if not all, of the "corporate" programs within Edubuntu can be
> downloaded for Windows as well.  Firefox, OpenOffice.org, the Gimp, etc, are
> all available for Windows.  For free, I might add.  Legally free.
> 5) Linux use is on the rise around the world.  What's "non standard" today
> will be tomorrow's "commonplace".
> Cheers,
> Scott
> -- 
> Scott L. Balneaves | "Eternity is a very long time,
> Systems Department |  especially towards the end."
> Legal Aid Manitoba |    -- Woody Allen
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Jim Kronebusch
Cotter Tech Department

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