[schooltool-dev] Configuration issues for schools

Tim Holy tim.holy at gmail.com
Sun Feb 8 11:03:46 UTC 2009

Hi Tom,

On Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 8:24 PM, Tom Hoffman <tom.hoffman at gmail.com> wrote:

> Well, we've started just importing and exporting everything from
> spreadsheets, because that's what school secretaries and teachers know
> anyhow, so perhaps that would be best of all.
> I'm sure we could dump out whatever you need easily enough.

That sounds promising.

> > 2. A more sophisticated and frequent task would be reporting. Currently,
> > tuxmath saves data about how students do on the lessons. But we don't yet
> > have a GUI yet for visualizing that data. Is that something that we
> should
> > write as a standalone program (and we are considering doing so), or is
> that
> > the kind of thing that might be a module in SchoolTool or other program?
> I
> > can see advantages either way. What are your thoughts?
> This is the part where it would be genuinely advantageous to work
> directly with SchoolTool.  We could work out a way to just get scores
> into a SchoolTool gradebook worksheet and then leverage all the other
> machinery and reports around grading we have (or are working on...).

I think this is well worth exploring further. I understand that you folks
are in the middle of a sprint, and are pushing to finish a large body of
material for your April release. So you can feel free to address these
questions later. But here are my main questions:
1. Suppose a school is using a different (perhaps proprietary) program for
SIS. Suppose further that, as much as I'd like to believe otherwise, neither
TuxMath nor SchoolTool are of themselves enough to convince the district to
dump its proprietary SIS [?]. Can SchoolTool be used as an adjunct, i.e.,
installed largely for the purpose of administering TuxMath and any other
free educational software projects that jump on this bandwagon? Is there any
ability to interact with their main SIS? (If this would work, I would also
imagine that it might be an opportunity for SchoolTool to strut its stuff,
and start getting teachers asking why they're paying for that expensive
2. One of my main concerns is supporting schools that use Macs/Windows.
Could schools get a single server running Edubuntu, and then have teachers
use SchoolTool via a browser no matter what platform they are running? If
not, what would you guess is your timeline for supporting Windows & Macs?
3. Is implementing SchoolTool support for TuxMath the kind of thing you'd
consider getting started as, say, a GSoC project for 2009? Would you be
interested in finding a student to co-mentor? Or is it too soon, i.e., would
it just distract you from the things you really need to be doing?

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