[adrian.mowrey at gmail.com: Hello,]

Scott Balneaves sbalneav at legalaid.mb.ca
Fri Oct 17 18:33:01 UTC 2008

On Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 01:05:56PM -0500, Scott Balneaves wrote:

> When I was saying "we," I was referring to the Edubuntu community. I wanted
> the Edubuntu community to try and take "my" idea farther.

The best way to lead is from the front.  I think if you want these ideas to go
forward, you need to be spearheading them.  Since is is "Your" idea, then "You"
need to work on it, and the rest of us can pitch in where we can.

> we have to build a system that is very user-friendly, very easy for the
> children and adults that need a primary education to learn from their own
> homes.

Well, we need 2 things to push that forward:

1) A wide variety of applications that fulfill subject areas (music, chemistry,
physics, math, early education, etc)
2) Translations for all those applications.

We've currently got several applications that have some bugs in them, or
haven't even been triaged yet.  Maybe you can help out there.

> Also we'll hire specialists from the different subjects that are
> taught in primary schooling to build those unique learning materials, and
> all we can do (programmers) is to develop different things (a game that
> relates to different things of each subject, an audio-video recording, the
> books themselves, etc.) that will actually make it really easy for the
> students of any country and of any knowledge to understand even without a
> teacher being next to them. Do you understand?

Yes, I understand.  It's a grand idea.  My question is: what do you plan to do
to move us forward on it?  Got any content?

> What we can do to offer a
> little bit of training, is to teach the schools how to use the materials
> (hardware and software) and then have sessions of teaching about them every
> other month. Once they learn, they will show to their brothers, sisters,
> parents, neighbors, etc.

Well, we have an Edubuntu handbook that continues to need some love.  Kick in!

> Or even making audio-video recordings of how to use
> the hardware and software for every language. It's pretty hard to be on your
> own without a teacher, but we have to make it happen no matter what it
> takes. Even if we aren't able to build schools without funds, or offer free
> transportation, I'm sure that we can build an information system that will
> make it happen.

Look, I'm not meaning to put a damper on your ideas, far from it.  They're
laudable goals.  But your ideas have been put forward before, many times, by
many people.  People tell us: "What Edubuntu needs is content!! Lessons!!
Data!! Videos!! Manuals!!", we say, "Fantastic! Give us what you've got!",
and all that comes back is the sound of crickets.

We recently had a bit of a blow up on the lists about some bugs in Edubuntu.
So, I took a day off of my regular job, at my expense, with the idea of having
these people show up, and help with triaging bugs, and getting things
quantified, so we could address the bugs.  Not one person showed up to help.
I've sorted out a couple of bugs in the LTSP side of things, but there's still
a ton of bugs left to go in qcad, denaemo, etc., etc.

Edubuntu is like any Free Software project.  Lots of great ideas from lots of
people, but usually a very small number of people implementing those ideas.

If you want content, why not start a campaign to have every educator using
Edubuntu give us one lesson plan, or one training video, or add one section to
the manual.  We can certainly help you co-ordinate it, and get actual
code/content up onto the disks/website etc.

But *doing something concrete* is the most important part of the equation.
I've had this fantastic idea since I was 5 that all people had to do was stop
fighting, and work together, and world peace would result.  So far, though, no
one's taken my great idea and implemented it :)


Scott L. Balneaves | "There are many causes I am prepared to die for,
Systems Department |  but no causes I am prepared to kill for."
Legal Aid Manitoba |    -- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

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