[ubuntu-za] Laerskool Horison Feedback

William Walter Kinghorn williamk at dut.ac.za
Thu Sep 10 10:57:57 BST 2009

Hi All,

Please can the people who have been talking with schools give feed back

This will help the rest of us, not only in the excitement part, but also what we must avoid, etc

Is there someone who can create a Case Study section on Ubuntu-za wiki : http://wiki.ubuntu-za.org/Projects , and also on Schoolforge ZA : http://schoolforge.org.za/index.php?title=Main_Page

Then can you guys, put your "Case Study" there

From: ubuntu-za-bounces at lists.ubuntu.com [ubuntu-za-bounces at lists.ubuntu.com] On Behalf Of Sudhashen Naicker [sudhashen at ixion.co.za]
Sent: 10 September 2009 11:40
To: charl.wentzel at vodamail.co.za; Ubuntu South African Local Community
Subject: Re: [ubuntu-za] Laerskool Horison Feedback

Charl Wentzel wrote:
Hi Guys

Thought you would like some feedback....

I finally had my meeting with the Head master and his deputy today.  I can say, its been a while since I left people this excited!

The new lab they are building is a Gauteng online lab, which is Windows based.  So to steer clear of trouble, we'll them run it their way and won't touch it.  However, they also have an existing lab, which they installed a couple of years ago and just finished pay for.  Here they can do whatever they want.

At the same time they are planning on connecting every classroom to the admin block with its own computer.  So each teacher can upload their data and prepare the work from their classroom.

I suggested a minimal invasive Wubi install in the existing lab running Edubuntu to start off with.  As a parent at the school I offered my time to help install and train teachers for free.  I explained about the software that is available and showed them how it works and explained to them that Linux is far better at teaching indepth computer skills.  So after answering the question "So what does it cost?" a few time to unbelieving ears, the excitement began to show.

Next we spoke about linking up the classrooms, using a LTPS server and thin clients or old pc's or even cheap little netbooks.  Despite the software being enforced by the educational department they wanted to know if they could equip teachers with SchoolTool, centralise data and export data to the official system when necessary.

Many other things were discussed, which is too many to mention here.  They asked me to prepare a small presentation/document which they want to present to the school board next week to get their approval to proceed with a trail in the computer lab.  They not only wanted me to present the benefits of Linux, but also a three year plan on how they could phase in all these things, suggestions on infrastructure implementation, available support, etc.  I'll prepare this and share it with the community shortly.  I might have some questions later.

If this was only their decision to make, we would have started tomorrow!  So it's looking good so far.  Thanks for everyone's help so far.  Thanks Simone for allowing me to visit you and see how your school did it.  I'll keep you posted.  If this is a success, we'll probably have a model with which to approach other schools.


I went through almost the same process with some schools in Alexandre.  The community is gatvol with their labs(gateng-offline) not working at all so they want to take matters into their own hands.  I'm not sure about the legality of it now that you mention it and will need to raise this as a potential hurdle.  However I have six schools interested in implementing on their labs - parents and teachers have agreed in principle that Edubuntu would be more beneficial than having dysfunctional labs.

You mentioned the excitement - I too experienced that and its wonderful!  There were about a 60 people in the meeting and the questions and comments were revealing - more so the comments that they did not know this existed, how could this be free, why didn't someone in the game show this to them sooner etc.

Its just very slow going which is frustrating but at least there is commitment now.



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