[Gllug] open source centric ICT in Schools from Sept 2012 ?

Chris Bell chrisbell at chrisbell.org.uk
Wed Jan 11 23:01:50 UTC 2012

On Wed 11 Jan, John Hearns wrote:
> John,
> why not add a comment to the article and ask why?
> Also, this article is a bit more like it re. hands on education
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16503443

   The recent rush of announcements are timed to coincide with the BETT show
at Olympia. If you care, and are prepared to do something about it, go along
to the show (free entry, finishes Saturday afternoon), and see what
information is made available to teachers, then speak to your MP.
   I have visited BETT almost every year, and have watched the changes. It
began small with mainly BBC / Acorn computers and software, but then
Parent-Governors, often with experience in business, appeared in schools
complaining that students were learning about computers but needed further
training to use Microsoft Word.
   There were plenty of rumours about huge gifts to MPs including a mansion
in Bloomsbury, and the curriculum was changed to mainly competence with
Microsoft applications.
   This year BETT is huge, taking two entire exhibition halls. The
exhibition appears to be mainly about individual applications plus some
hardware. Microsoft have a much smaller stand than usual, with an even
smaller one for Apple, but there is no sign of any information aimed at
teachers about what is available from FOSS other than a few small stands
with applications such as Moodle.
   I have asked around how teachers are expected to find out about anything
other than Microsoft, but there was absolutely no attempt to inform,
although there do seem to be more exhibitors who have heard something about
FOSS and/or Linux. Someone on the Cambridge stand thought it would be
unlikely because they could not sell it.
   I have previously suggested that an area should be made available as a
"FOSS Village", at low cost or free because there is no huge PR budget for
FOSS, saying that volunteers could give information and demonstrations about
what is available.
   Unfortunately most politicians are equally ignorant, although some are
trying to learn.

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

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