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228 posts

Master Geek


#25562 25-Aug-2008 16:51

Please excuse me if this seems off-topic

I'm trying to find out what, if anything, is being done in Auckland for SFD on 20 Sept.

I think that Hibiscus Coast gLUG chapter is trying to organise something (I've volunteered my services already).
I've written to the Herald to get a bit of a buzz/marketing going, and I'm looking for 'sponsors' or companies willing to part with old hardware, that we can 'liberate' with Edubuntu & donate to a school or something

Though this is not a gLinux-only occasion (trying to cater for win & mac users too scared to migrate), particular focus may very-well be on a Linux distro (probably openSuSE if Novell is the principal sponsor)

Hope to get people exited & on-boeard.

Please, spread the news (Churches, Schools & community meeting will create good word-of-mouth)

Thanks

- Jaco




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186 posts

Master Geek


  #159795 26-Aug-2008 09:43
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There is no web site setup for this at all yet? That's a bummer.

I would be happy to talk about it on my blog, which gets a reasonable readership, if I can post some more concrete information about it.

A question about liberating PCs and giving them to schools: This is of course a very good thing to do, but do you have some experience with that? I get the impression that schools here in New Zealand are not very interested in trying anything besides Windows. Am I wrong with that impression (I really wish I am)?



228 posts

Master Geek


  #159815 26-Aug-2008 10:44

Thanks for the response, foobar

I think schools are receptive to the idea (I may be able to tap a big-wig in "The Loop" network, but I'd like to keep this as a last respost, as it may cost me my job).
Schools, like any business or non-profit orginization, need to keep an eye on their bottom-line. (constant upgrades for M$'s benefit burns them...)
Access to the system's source & other media under GPL will also be a HUGE learning aid.
Throw in Edubuntu in the mix & tell parents you have an free OS tailored to education, in thier native tougue, and you have a winner!

Truth be told, I have little experience in mass-rollout of this configuration, but I've seen numerous individuals on some newsletter that may be able to assist.

But without more players, this idea is dead before it even began...

That's why I've approached the newspaper to get a bit of buzz going.

Will have to wait & see...







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186 posts

Master Geek


  #159902 26-Aug-2008 14:56
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freakalad: I think schools are receptive to the idea .... Schools, like any business or non-profit orginization, need to keep an eye on their bottom-line. (constant upgrades for M$'s benefit burns them...)


But isn't Microsoft subsidising licenses for schools? They love to give stuff for cheap or almost free to schools and universities, don't they? Prime the pump with new 'addicts' (as RMS calls them) to their software. Apple did that with schools very successfully in the early 80s (in the US). So, now I am wondering how much of an issue the license fees really are for schools. Do you have any information about that? I don't have any, but would love to know,

Access to the system's source & other media under GPL will also be a HUGE learning aid.


I know, but I am so disillusioned with schools and even universities who can't resists the tempation of some vendor coming along and graciously sponsoring them ("Uh, how special we must be!") with some of their shiny wares. As I wrote about in the past, I have even seen network security classes in schools tought with a commercial IDS, closed source and all, rather than just going for the industry standard and open source snort IDS. You'd think that for universities (CS courses no less!) free and open source should be an absolute no brainer, but no. So again, I am worried that schools (K-12) have far too little appreciation for what they are getting themselves and their students into when they go for proprietary software and what opportunities they are missing out on.

Throw in Edubuntu in the mix & tell parents you have an free OS tailored to education, in thier native tougue, and you have a winner!


I wish that would be so. I would love to be convinced that this is so (please, if you have any experience approaching parents with this kind of message, please share it), but I'm afraid they will have absolutely no idea at all what you are talking about. For many of them, computers are Windows. They "switch on the Internet" by clicking on that blue "e". And those who know what you are talking about will ask you right back: "Do you mean you don't want to teach our kids the industry standard tools (MS Office) that they will need later in their job?" That argument is of course a red herring, but I'm afraid you will get to hear it.

That's why I've approached the newspaper to get a bit of buzz going.


Did you hear anything back from them?

48 posts

Geek


  #159903 26-Aug-2008 14:58
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I'm a teacher and I can tell you first hand that most NZ schools are not, and don't think they will be receptive to Linux. Many people have ideas and perceptions about the difficultly of maintaining a Linux based system - mostly in terms of the technical support available. There is also alot of educational software which may or may not run on a Linux system. All in all it is more about the ideas and perceptions that certain people  hold that hinders the growth of OS stuff. however, talk to the right person and you'll be set in no time.

Where abouts are you going to donate it to?? Just in the Auckland area or is the rest of NZ eligible?

186 posts

Master Geek


  #159907 26-Aug-2008 15:08
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twophat: I'm a teacher and I can tell you first hand that most NZ schools are not, and don't think they will be receptive to Linux. Many people have ideas and perceptions about the difficultly of maintaining a Linux based system - mostly in terms of the technical support available. There is also alot of educational software which may or may not run on a Linux system. All in all it is more about the ideas and perceptions that certain people  hold that hinders the growth of OS stuff. however, talk to the right person and you'll be set in no time.


Yes, that's what I'm also afraid of. They would actually be willing to learn something new, and that is very hard for people to swallow.

Who are the right people to talk to though? Right people in schools? Would love to know...



228 posts

Master Geek


  #159909 26-Aug-2008 15:10

Thanks for the response, guys

I have absolutely no experience getting this sort of tech into schools, but I'll ask around.

I just think this may be an issue most OSS enthusiasts can rally around; not just gLinux
If they want OSS software on their win machines, so be it. I'l take the minor victories where I can.

If the machine is bust or has no valid key, the gLinux is a go.
We can argue that we will subsidise the software at no less than 100%. Hardware at cost

I've had not feedback from the Herald, but I hardly find this surprising. If more members write to the editor too, the importance of the issue may come to the fore

As for the receiving school, this will either be at the discretion of the principal sponsor (here's hoping), or to the school who is participating the most (or provides the venue) or willing to adopt this approach.

This is a win-win situation. The school may get a free day's worth of tech; SFD gets a PR boost




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228 posts

Master Geek


  #159910 26-Aug-2008 15:11

If you want to do viral marketing & get the word out to ALL schools, talk to the people in "The Loop"; school high-speed circuit.
If you get a few, you'll get them all.




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Geek


  #160053 27-Aug-2008 08:37
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well I can definitaley help you out if the receiving school was in the Manawatu Area (where I work) and might be able to get some publicity with local newspapers & maybe the DOM post. If the school is somewhere else then I'm sure all it would take is a couple of phone calls to local principals and you will find yourself a happy receipent - schools are always looking to save money.




228 posts

Master Geek


  #160070 27-Aug-2008 09:47

Hey, twophat

Thanks for the offer. It's good to see other members picking up the gauntlet, so to speak

Unfortunately, I'm based in Auckland. I suspect that it would be a good idea to 'tap' the local gLUG. I know that WLUG are fairly active (at least more than my local chapter), to there are likely members that would be willing & eager to assist

Look @:
http://softwarefreedomday.org/teams/oceania/nz/

I'm using schools as a rally-point to get all interested parties involved, as this is something that is clear, defined, of interest to all, as would have far-reaching results

If nothing's being done, I'd urge you to get posting, because time's getting short.

I've contacted newspapers, the *.school.nz ("The Loop") network & Canonical for input. Responses pending

I think the more people talk about this, and soon, the better the chances for success

Thanks for the input




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