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[Dfey-general-discuss] Re: [Dfey-nw-discuss] Government response to peti

From: Tim Dobson
Subject: [Dfey-general-discuss] Re: [Dfey-nw-discuss] Government response to petition 'nonMSschools'
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2009 21:51:37 +0100
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20090817)

Isabell Long wrote:
2009/9/25 Paul Sutton <address@hidden>:
Hash: SHA1

Government response below


How rubbish was that response?!

As Paul pointed out, opensourceschools.org.uk does exist thanks to Becta.

The procurement process of that project raises a considerable number of questions but that was a considerable time ago and so we'll just leave it be.

opensourceschools.org.uk is currently primarily run by Miles Berry with some assistance from Ian Lynch as far as I can understand.

Back in June or July, you may remember I went to the Becta sponsored Open Source Schools unconference where I gave a talk about DFEY. There's a terrible video of me (I was mostly obscured by a cuddly penguin!) but to infer Becta does "nothing" about F/LOSS is wrong.

This isn't to say we should take the pressure off - just it's worth knowing what you are talking about.

One thing worth taking into consideration is that Becta is, in actual fact, fairly uninfluential. It's a high profile granted, but no school will deploy purely their suggestion - they will deploy what their sysadmin/consultant suggests.
Becta are solely a bureaucratic quango.

At the Open Source Schools Unconference I met gentlemen from Edugeek.net - Edugeek is basically a big forum based around School Sysadmins and Edu-ICT engineers (no focus on technologies used).

These are the people who will be suggesting to their governors and head teachers what they will be rolling out in the next upgrade.

These are the real technical people who need to be convinced that they can interact with young people and with technology in different ways.

These are the people who need to be made aware of business who can help them deploy Firefox & OO.o with MS Group Policy, who can help them roll out LTSP, who can help train them to administer LTSP.

Interesting, I think Edugeek, or the guy I met at least, seemed reasonably willing to engage with us. In fact, you may be aware of the big Educationalist conference in London in January (I've forgotten it's name at this moment), where all the big technology companies will have a presence. I think Edugeek might be willing for us to help them out on their stand - that was the impression I got.
I think this is a great opportunity that we should really follow up.

Another organisation worth interacting with is NAACE (naace.org. NAACE is a trade body of IT educationlists (teachers) or something. Again, at the OpenSourceUnconference I met the chairman of NAACE - again these are the people we need to be explaining how they can help their technologically adept students get the most out of their schooling and not have their learning adversely affected by superficial barriers.

OpenSourceSchools project is running a day event at Bletchly Park sometime in October. It's a weekday so it probably isn't too convenient for most people here. I'm going to try and go to it. I've never been to Bletchly so it should be interesting.

We should be referring all the time to:
* Schoolsforge UK - a group of businesses who have experience deploying and promoting free software, specifically in schools and educational establishments.

* The Open Source Consortiuum - I hate the name, but this is a group of FOSS orientated businesses including all the major players in educational free software as well as the small ones.

* OSSWatch - a UK HE advisory body, there to advise Universities and 6th form colleges how best to interact with F/LOSS. Unfortunately doesn't have "Lower Education" in it's remit, but is generally sympathetic towards us

Since this is not region specific, I've crossposted to dfey-general-discuss
If you haven't joined it yet, I sincerely recommend joining.

Hope this provokes some thought and discussion,



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