[ubuntu-uk] Help get Windows out of schools

Rob Beard rob at esdelle.co.uk
Tue Feb 10 11:15:46 GMT 2009

On 10/02/2009 00:18, David King wrote:
> I signed the petition as well.
> I am thinking that the schools'/education system's thinking is a bit out
> of date. Why teach the children just one OS when there are many choices
> now in the real world? Not all companies use the same OS. Some use
> Windows XP, some use Windows Vista, and on servers they have Windows
> Server. And sometimes even earlier versions of Windows. Plus some use
> Mac OS X or earlier Mac OS versions. And some use Linux, including in
> many places on servers. So limiting children's education to just one OS
> will leave them greatly disadvantaged when they reach the real world.
> Especially as whatever system they are taught in their early school
> years may well be completely obsolete by the time they become adults.
That's true, when I was at school we had Windows 3.0 and Word 1.0, how 
things have changed.  I get lost on Office 2007 even though I can quite 
comfortably find my way around Office 2003.  At my kids school they have 
Windows XP and Office 2003 so if my kids were introduced to Office 2007 
they wouldn't know where ot start.
> If I had children, I would encourage them to experiment with different
> operating systems and tell them that they need to learn a variety in
> order to be better prepared for the future. Just as it is worthwhile for
> children to learn more than one language, although the way languages are
> taught is probably really nowhere near good enough. I learnt French and
> German at school but cannot fluently use either. In computing, I learnt
> the BBC Micro, with its card reader. I wrote programs in BASIC and
> transferred those to filling in boxes for each character on special
> cards which went into the card reader to feed the program into the
> computer. By the time I left school and went to university such systems
> were obsolete and I used a PC with DOS. Now DOS is obsolete, and so on.
My kids PC is running Ubuntu 8.10, as long as they have been using a PC 
at home they have been using Ubuntu.  They use Windows XP at school (and 
on their mum's PC) and they can get on well with both.  At the moment 
they have been tinkering with Google Earth and Tuxpaint.  I have also 
recently given them access to Firefox (albeit running through 
DansGuardian and with me sat helping them).  Today I started telloing 
them about Logo, I'm hoping that I can introduce them to it at an early 
age so they get more interested and then hopefully maybe introduce them 
to Basic (maybe using Gambas).  I doubt they'd be introduced to Logo at 
Primary School, more likely Secondary School if they're lucky.

It seems to me that these days the kids who are only exposed to Windows 
and proprietory softare are at a disadvantage.  It's not like the olden 
days when you had something like Basic built into your computer so you 
could start tinkering, at least with FLOSS (on Linux, Mac or Windows) 
you can get the software for free and start playing.


> It is far better to teach the children the fundamentals of computing,
> and how to use any computer system regardless of which interface is
> used, so that in the future, when it is all different, they will still
> be able to use a computer.
> David King
> Paul Sutton wrote:
>> Hash: SHA1
>> Aparently primnary schools are forced to use MS office so the children
>> are ready for what is used in Secondary schools which is I guess a fair
>> argument i guess.  And i guess secondaries feel obliged to use MS office
>> as they see it as "industry standard."
>> However looking at what happen at the exwick community centre where they
>> children/ Young people and adults there seemed to have little problem
>> finding their way around ubuntu (which looks a lot different to
>> windows),  it proves that the children would have no problems going from
>> say open office to Ms office in the secondary school,  ( I am only going
>> from what has been said in the e-mails since)
>> I am not an expert, but it seems no matter what justification people try
>> and use for using Windows, there is a way round it,  Kids / young people
>> can simply adapt,  I am 33 and having used KDE for years,  installed
>> ubuntu (using gnome) had no problem with it,  ok it take a while to find
>> what I need, but I have 3 menus, applications, places, adn system, so
>> its pretty obvious what each one is for,
>> When we have more write ups, we should have more observations and
>> evidence to back the above up,
>> Paul
>> David King wrote:
>>> The other way to get windows out of schools is to remove the glass and
>>> replace with bricks  :-)
>>> David King
>>> Vinothan Shankar wrote:
>>>> I've created a petition to the Prime Minister to make the primary OS in
>>>> schools free and open source - it can be found at
>>>> http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/nonMSschools.  To anyone that points
>>>> out I should have suggested Ubuntu for Education, the first submission
>>>> did, but was rejected on the grounds that it was "promoting commercial
>>>> products or services".  The petition should probably also have pointed
>>>> out that schools could keep the same hardware, but petitions there are
>>>> restricted to 1000 characters including spaces.
>>>> Please sign.
>> - --
>> Paul Sutton
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