[ubuntu-uk] Is the new UK Computing GCSE any better for FOSS?

oli_kester oli_kester at zoho.com
Tue Jan 27 19:25:33 UTC 2015

 > Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2015 17:17:05 +0000 
 > From: Barry Titterton <titterton.barry at gmail.com> 
 > To: "Talk, UK" <ubuntu-uk at lists.ubuntu.com> 
 > Subject: [ubuntu-uk] Is the new UK Computing GCSE any better for FOSS? 
 > Message-ID: <54BFDF11.8070305 at gmail.com> 
 > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed 
 > Hi All, 
 > Do any members of this list have contact with the UK education system?  
 > My own sons are well past GCSE education but I am still interested what  
 > the schools are teaching today as I am actively trying to evangelise  
 > FOSS in my local area. I am specifically interested in the newly  
 > introduced Computing GCSE. Is it any better at covering FOSS issues? 
 > I am under the impression that the UK education system has, for the last  
 > generation, taught the mantra:- 
 > Microsoft = Computers and visa versa 

I recently (within the last five years or so) went through this education system myself, and I definitely agree with this being the message - especially in the younger stages of education. It was only in the upper stages (into my late teens) that we were given any inclination that other ways of using hardware existed!

 > The new GCSE is, in my understanding, supposed to teach a more rounded  
 > approach to computer science. However a quick look at the BBC Bitesize  
 > revision aid has the following page:- 
 > http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/z6r86sg/revision/4 
 > ...with the graphic at the bottom describing open source software as  
 > having "No guarantees of high quality". Most of us (sarcasm alert) are  
 > well aware about the high quality experience that one gets from some  
 > proprietary software so I found this comment to be rather unfair.  
 > Therefore, returning to my original question, does anyone know if the  
 > new GCSE course content give FOSS a fair review? 

I certainly hope so - there's no excuse given the big usability improvements to Ubuntu and GNU/Linux in general over the past decade - and with recent innovations like the Raspberry Pi. I do remember my school talking of getting some of those for use by students when I was there about three years ago. It would be interesting to know whether they did so in the end. 



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