[Gllug] UK schools education and FOSS

Chris Bell chrisbell at chrisbell.org.uk
Fri Oct 21 23:13:18 UTC 2011

On Fri 21 Oct, Martin N Stevens wrote:
> >On 20 October 2011 20:42, Chris Bell <chrisbell at chrisbell.org.uk> wrote:
> > Hello,
> >   I am not an expert, but I feel that the UK is falling far behind the rest
> > of the world at least partly because many teachers and schools are totally
> > ignorant of what is available, so provide little or no help to students.
> Far from it, I think you will find that there is lot of excellent IT
> in schools, with highly skilled ICT Managers and Technicians
> running what amounts to a large networks on very small budgets.

   Agreed, but I have visited almost every BETT show and speaking to people
at random am not convinced that is generally the case.

> The curriculum and examinations are OS agnostic, however it's up to
> the teachers how they teach the curriculum.

   Is the curriculum set by individual examination boards or the government
education department?

> Then you have all the thousands of applications that teachers want to use.

   I have been told that many are web based, so also OS agnostic.

> So from a support point of view I run as much of the backend on OS
> software as I can e.g FOG, Moodle, Zimbra, and offer teachers open
> source alternatives when they want to
> i.e. gimp, audacity.
> > Some stands with individual Open Source packages have appeared in the two
> > main education exhibitions, the BETT show in London and the Education Show
> > in Birmingham in recent years, but would there be any support for a larger
> > FOSS general demonstration area with space for entire distributions, an Open
> > Source Village?
> Distributions don't help, what is required is market leading
> applications, that integrate.
> I have been watching various open source apps for the education market
> for coming up 10 years now, and very few are worth using.
> MIS Systems - Schooltool - a joke for use in the UK. Although I'm sure
> Mark Shuttleworth thinks it's money well spent.
> Library Software - Nothing really worth using.
> What would probably actually make a difference is if
> http://www.openzis.org/ and the SIF format was implemented by all the
> major software suppliers to the education sector.

   I am thinking more about the education gained by the students, and
whether they leave with some knowledge that there is something other than

Chris Bell www.chrisbell.org.uk
Microsoft sells you Windows ... Linux gives you the whole house.

Chris Bell www.chrisbell.org.uk
Microsoft sells you Windows ... Linux gives you the whole house.

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