[ubuntu-uk] ubunto in college, was Re: Women, LinuxWorld, Stuff

Matthew Saunders me3ohm at gmail.com
Thu Sep 21 19:44:13 BST 2006

> I think this is a major different between higher education and further
> education colleges. My college is a deprived area of south east London
> and has all new, shiny equipment. I'm guessing they got grants etc for
> it all and the suppliers have photos for marketing purposes.
> Also the qualifications people do there require windows - even the CCNA
> I'm doing requires access to windows and I get tested on MSDOS commands
> etc.
> Computer science students in higher education are a different group with
> a different set of abilities and needs - many of our full time students
> are doing 2 year courses to prepare them to enter University. We don't
> do any programming here afaik.
> Caroline

The College I work at is quite near Carolines (Essex).  We have
started embracing open source as much as we can because the money
isn't there to fund all this proprietary software.  I am deploying
Linux as far as I can and I am succeeding with servers and kiosks, but
I have a boundry that stops before the end user.  This is due to
politics mainly and is a shame.  The argument is that the students
should learn what is out there in industry, which is a valid point,
but the value of open source is just as important.

A problem is that a lot of people don't want to learn something new,
as they either have a lot invested in the Microsoft based systems like
training and knowledge for example, or they just feel that what they
are doing works for them so why bother changing.

I am not an academic, but I think a possible reason for the shiny new
computers is due to a few factors.  The birth rate has been decreasing
over the years, so there are starting to be fewer people that are
around to enrole.  The student fees have been increased, so students
want what they pay for or are put off studying for this reason.  A lot
of academia is short of money, and some are in serious financial
difficulties and without an attraction to study at the College or
university, the end for that organsiation could be in sight not too
far away.

With regards to the locking down of the PCs: That's my job :)  and it
is getting harder to block the stuff students can do (even if they
only surf the net with IE, that causes so many problems!).  Linux
would actually be an easier platform to support for a lot of users.


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