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New to the group

From: Susan Stewart
Subject: New to the group
Date: Thu, 04 Apr 2002 06:38:09 -0600
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:0.9.4) Gecko/20011128 Netscape6/6.2.1

Hello everyone! I'm a little new to the group, so if this is already going on and I missed it let me know...

I was wondering whether or not there's been any attempt to organize a group to help introduce GNU/Linux and GNU educational tools to public schools. One might expect under funded public schools to gravitate immediately toward free software as more and more becomes available to suit their needs. However, at least in the United States, Windows admins are a dime a dozen, but there is a scarcity of people familiar with free software willing to work for what schools are able to pay (which is below the poverty line in some districts around here -- US teachers are among our lowest paid professions).

I would really like to see a push to get schools using free software. I'm sure that we are all aware of the devastating effects of high software licensing costs on schools. However, unless these schools are given the resources to administer GNU/Linux based systems, proprietary software will remain their only option. Making free software a viable option for public schools would involve finding volunteers from local LUGs, universities, businesses, etc. to help with initial setup and with training school staff to use and maintain the systems. Unless teachers know how to use it, and staff is able to maintain the system, all of our development efforts will amount to naught.

In conjunction with this effort, I would like to establish resources for schools interested in beginning computer related extracurricular programs. We could provide schools with a framework from which to build programs that will enrich students not only with added opportunities to acquire computer skills, but with the guiding ideals of free software: freedom and cooperation.

I have put a lot of thought into how these goals could be accomplished, and would be more than happy to make a more complete project proposal if anyone is interested.


Susan Stewart

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