[ubuntu-uk] Ubuntu beginners course in North Tyneside

Bea Groves beagroves at gmail.com
Mon May 7 09:51:45 UTC 2012


It looks like you have a really good project going, and I'm most pleased 
to hear there's so much activity. I take your point about adult 
experience of multiple operating systems across devices, and it's a good 
argument for expanding the curriculum in the rather overly-cautious 
FE/ACL system. I must admit that I've had to be very 'conservative' in 
getting my own course off the ground, as the entire curriculum that is 
taught within the local authority is Windows-based; anything else is 
thought of as vaguely 'heretical' (= slightly eccentric) by staff and 
fellow tutors. One of the next things I need to do is get some CPD off 
the ground around Linux, in order to get some enthusiasm going amongst 
those doing ICT teaching etc.

One other thing: officially (at very least) I'm not supposed to favour 
any particular software product (be it FOSS or otherwise) in my job, as 
this is public money we're spending. However, just about anyone who's 
ever worked with me knows where my allegiances lie. I must confess to 
being highly opposed to monopolies and mono-cultures.

As to IfL, if the Institute survives the rest of this year I'll be 
pushing for a national look at how ICT tutor training operates, and will 
write something up for InTuition magazine about the current Ubuntu-based 
course. Should provoke a little argument!

On 06/05/12 18:26, John Bottomley wrote:
> Hi reading your comments on introducing Ubuntu I thought you might be
> interested in our experiences of Ubuntu as a training medium.
> We have been running a project in South Cheshire for 4 years.
> The aim of the project is to support local communities by improving
> access to IT. We run a range of activities including 'drop in help
> sessions, loan of recycled pcs and free internet access at both local
> and neighbourhood levels.
> Central to our activities is use of Ubuntu, we have about 250 Pcs on
> loan all of which are Ubuntu based. Many of our loan PCs are used by
> school children and FE/HE students for their home studies.
> All our workshop PCs/Laptops (about 25) are Ubuntu based.
> We expect to see about 500 people per month in our workshops held at
> community centres and rural village halls.
> So we think we must have over 1000 people in the area regularly using
> Ubuntu from version 8.04 onward
> We adopted Unity at 11.10 - customers liked it - trainers liked it.
> We are currently deploying 12.04 - only comment we are getting is 'this
> is quicker'.
> When we were designing the project we decided that Ubuntu was the OS of
> choice and that we would centre all project activity on this software.
> Our opinion is that we now live in a world where Apple, Android, Google
> plus about 4 versions of Windows are in common circulation at any time;
> therefore users often use 2 or more different operating systems with
> phones tablets and PCs in common use. Users therefore need to have a
> generic understanding and transferable skills rather than the ability to
> use just one software.
> As an organisation with training as on of our primary functions we can
> definitely confirm the customer willingness to use Ubuntu as their
> primary learning medium
> As a voluntary group we are very cost conscious and we are certain that
> without Ubuntu this project would not have been able to develop in the
> way it has.
> Obviously licensing costs has been a factor in this but the savings
> through minimal repair time and no virus problems have been vital.
> Congratulations to the 12.04 team our upgrading to less than 2 hours for
> 25 machines - best yet
> Thanks
> John Bottomley
> On 06/05/12 13:00, ubuntu-uk-request at lists.ubuntu.com wrote:
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>> Today's Topics:
>> 1. Re: Ubuntu beginners course in North Tyneside (Bea Groves)
>> 2. Re: Ubuntu beginners course in North Tyneside (Gareth France)
>> 3. Re: Ubuntu beginners course in North Tyneside (kpb)
>> 4. Re: Error report not working (Colin Law)
>> 5. Re: Ubuntu beginners course in North Tyneside (Alan Pope)
>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Message: 1
>> Date: Sat, 05 May 2012 20:21:35 +0100
>> From: Bea Groves<beagroves at gmail.com>
>> To: UK Ubuntu Talk<ubuntu-uk at lists.ubuntu.com>
>> Subject: Re: [ubuntu-uk] Ubuntu beginners course in North Tyneside
>> Message-ID:<4FA57DBF.7060401 at googlemail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>> Hi!
>> I'm actually the President of IfL -- so it sometimes helps in getting
>> educational bodies to do things they normally wouldn't ;-)
>> I'm not against Unity. I just think I need to get my little bunch of
>> 'pioneers' used to something closer to what they're used to Windows-wise
>> than go with the redesigned (and controversial) UI. I've discussed with
>> my group the possibility of upgrading the memory sticks later in the
>> course, as and when they're feeling confident.
>> On 05/05/12 19:20, kpb wrote:
>>> On 05/05/12 19:00, Gareth France wrote:
>>>> I actually installed 10.10 (staying clear of Unity just for the
>>>> moment until all the controversy dies down a little) onto the 4GB
>>>> sticks using the Windows 'Universal USB installer'. Works like a
>>>> dream! Students plug in the stick, switch on the PC... and hey
>>>> presto! Later when we upgrade to a more recent LTS version we can
>>>> just reformat the sticks.
>>>> It's a shame you feel pushed into ditching Ubuntu's biggest unique
>>>> selling point. What Canonical have done with unity is amazing and I'm
>>>> certain they're on the right path in the long run. It's just
>>>> frustrating that people seem to have so much trouble ditching 20+
>>>> years of UI baggage.
>>> Hello Bea
>>> Really well done.
>>> Your experience has confirmed my resolve to run a couple of workshops at
>>> the FE College where I teach. I'll probably go for freebie/3 GLH type
>>> taster courses to begin with to test the water. FE Colleges get less
>>> 'developmental' funding than adult education centres. I'll offer it as
>>> staff development in June/July to begin with to see what activities work
>>> best.
>>> If the LibreOffice files for any of the resources below would help, just
>>> let me know and I'll pop the dropbox links here. I guess you have lots
>>> already for a 10 week course.
>>> http://dl.dropbox.com/u/8403291/1204-poster-4.pdf
>>> Unity 12.04 poster for those who use 10.04
>>> http://sohcahtoa.org.uk/pages/files/unity2dguide.pdf
>>> Unity 11.10 guide aimed at Windows people
>>> http://sohcahtoa.org.uk/pages/files/live-cd-quick-start.pdf
>>> A Live CD guide.
>>> Gareth:
>>> My teenagers and 19-24 students can sort Unity in a minute or two when I
>>> lend them my little 1024/600px netbook in lessons. The adults struggle a
>>> bit to be honest. Would need an overview/explanation, but a 10 week
>>> course would be great.

Beatrix E. Groves
President, Institute for Learning (IfL)
General Secretary, Association of Part-Time Tutors (APTT)
Email:	beagroves at gmail.com
Email:  bea at beagroves.net
Web:  	http://www.beagroves.net
Blog:	http://beagroves.tumblr.com

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