[ubuntu-us-in] ubuntu for the classroom

Simón Ruiz simon.a.ruiz at gmail.com
Mon Jan 5 16:32:29 GMT 2009

On Sun, Jan 4, 2009 at 5:24 PM, Randy Heiland <heiland at indiana.edu> wrote:
> Hi all,

Hello, Randy,

> Can anyone offer any first-hand experience with using Ubuntu in the
> K-12 public classroom?  I just joined a tech committee for a new
> charter school (grades 7-9) that's suppose to start here in Columbus,
> IN next fall.  I would like to promote the use of Linux for the
> computer lab, etc., but suspect that Windows will win out due to other
> people's pro-Windows stance.  I'd welcome any comments people might
> have and whether or not there are part-time sysadmins to be found.
> And I'm aware of the Indiana Access/Linux program as I talked to some
> of the people behind it, but that's been several years ago and I
> haven't followed its progress.  Anyone know if there's a mailing list,
> etc, for that program?

I work at an independent school in Fort Wayne that uses Ubuntu in the
K-12 private classroom and I *used* to work at a public school in
Bloomington that uses Ubuntu in the K-12 public classroom.

Bloomington High School North received about 9 Language Arts (English)
classrooms full of computers as part of the IN Access program. Other
than that, they were a homogeneously Windows shop when I left a couple
of years ago. I can get you contact information for the Technology
Director over there if you'd like (e-mail me privately about this).

My current employer here in Ft. Wayne modeled one Math classroom after
the IN Access program. We also use Ubuntu in a dual-boot configuration
in our main computer lab at the High School, and all our programming
classes are taught there using Ubuntu. We also use Linux almost
exclusively in the server room (we have one proprietary database app
that requires an MS SQL backend).

You should definitely get a hold of the Michigan City folks that Nate
mentioned, by the way; they've gone through using Open Source in new
schools, as well as switching schools overs.

Nate also mentioned the K-12 Open Minds conference that has occurred
in Indianapolis the past two year; that effort is being pushed and
promoted primarily by the Indiana DOE in parallel with the IN Access
program <http://www.doe.in.gov/inaccess/>, which incidentally is
progressing quite well and growing every year. You may want to get a
hold of Mike Huffman or Forrest Gaston over there (again, e-mail me
privately if you'd like contact info); they might be able to help you
refine your approach, as they've been involved in most every Indiana
public school's move towards Linux in the past several years.

There's no mailing list for the IN Access program, really, but most of
the people involved are on the HECC <http://www.hecc.k12.in.us/>
mailing list.

So, there's plenty of data and case studies, especially here in
Indiana, to help you argue for the consideration of Linux. It
undeniably gets you more bang for your technology buck.

My personal comment is that people hate change, so you've got a lot
better chance of working Linux in as the school is being formed than
switching over later on. You've got the best chance of making a
difference right now.

As for me, I'm at your service if you need anything or have any questions.

Hope this finds you having a lovely day!

> thanks, Randy


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