ICT in Education Conference & Expo - Durban ZA

Mark Shuttleworth mark at canonical.com
Mon Feb 14 02:57:31 CST 2005

Hi Craig

Thanks for this report of what sounds like a very successful event in 
Durban! I'd be interested to hear about the local skills development 
situation - how many people in the region offer IT training at beginner 
and advanced levels, and how many of them offer training on FLOSS. Also, 
how best we could approach those trainers to encourage them to offer 
courses in FLOSS, based on Ubuntu.


Craig Adams wrote:

>Hi All,
>Just a note about the conference and expo which was held last week in
>Durban, South Africa.
>The event was held at the MTN Science Centre at the Gateway Shopping
>Mall and was entitled the ICT & Electronics in Education Conference and
>Expo. It was attended by about 400 Senior Primary and High School
>science and computer studies teachers from the greater Durban area.
>I was representing OpenOffice.org at the event and was accorded the
>opportunity to provide a 20 minute presentation on FLOSS in general.
>This presentation was extended to 40 minutes due to the interest shown
>by the teachers.
>Thomas at the Shuttleworth Foundation kindly sent me 480 Ubuntu CD sets
>to give away at the event, of which I only have 50 left, mainly because
>I was rationing them to one per teacher. Demand from the teachers would
>have seen me easily giving away over 1000 copies.
>I found that the wealthier schools are generally aware of FLOSS and
>GNU/Linux, whilst the poorer and previously disadvantaged schools remain
>largely unenlightened. The level of interest in FLOSS, GNU/Linux and
>specifically Ubuntu (the name was a particular draw card) could only be
>described as overwhelming and, the few of these schools lucky enough to
>have a computer lab, showed particular interest in various LTSP based
>solutions to help bolster their ageing and/or inadequate infrastructure.
>HP were represented at the event by proxy, a local reseller, who were
>showing off the HP 441 (www.hp441.com) which utilises a derivative of
>Mandrake Linux. This solution also gained a lot of attention from the
>smaller, underfunded schools as a low cost option for small computer
>At the OpenOffice.org table I was demonstrating OpenOffice.org (1.1 &
>2.0 developer build) on Warty. Teachers were allowed to sit down and
>work with the computer and the various applications I had installed.
>Those that took advantage of this opportunity commented on the ease of
>use of Warty and were impressed with the capabilities of OpenOffice.org,
>with the Math module being particularly popular.
>In general, the event was entirely successful from a FLOSS perspective.
>Kindest Regards
>Craig A. Adams

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