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Re: Introducing My (Future) High School into Free Software

From: Paul Sutton
Subject: Re: Introducing My (Future) High School into Free Software
Date: Mon, 16 May 2022 19:14:03 +0100

On 15/05/2022 17:57, andrew via libreplanet-discuss wrote:
I have been recently accepted into a good high school in Shanghai.
They're one of the best international schools in my opinion, and are
generally welcoming to new ideas.  I would like to take this oppurtunity
to spread the ideas of the free software movement (and free computing in

Great idea :)

Currently they have a sad situation of requiring students to have a
2018-or-later MacBook "with macOS, not Windows" for compatibility
concerns.  My family indeed has a 2018-or-later-macOS-MacBook which I
could bring there, and from most sources I've heard that there is no
problem whatsoever in bringing a "secondary" laptop with no such

I want to emphasize the importance of free software and free computing
to them.  I am working on an article to submit to them, and I wold love
some ideas on this topic.

1. Think about what local industry is using, I am sure it has been mentioned that the Chinese government are making their own GNU/Linux distribution. But if there are local companies using free software, they will be looking for people with those skills if hiring.

2. Not sure what the situation is with Huawei, I know their networking (or some) kit is banned here in the UK and Donald Trump banned in the US. One reason is that it is suspected of having spyware or something.

Surely if the hardware / firmware & software is all free software, then this suspicion can be mitigated by the fact the source is available to examine, study etc. Software has bugs, so releasing as free software would help the community fix them.

A good reason to switch to devices running free software

What local jobs are available using Free software, schools / training providers here in the UK teach Microsoft, because it is 'industry standard' which is at least one of their arguments, problem is it doesn't promote choice for people. But it is about demand.

3. Myself and Ron (Noisytoot) were working on this

Which is an attempt to address what is covered in the UK digital skills curriculum but using free software.

Just a few ideas. The software and materials to help teach is out there, it is going to be a case of bringing all this together so non technical people can find and teach it.

Find out what people use software for and help people find / learn the free software replacement / alternatives.

I think most people are not programmers, so please remember we are not all really good with git, programming, compiling and installing operating systems, it HAS to be easy to use, maybe target one or two subject faculties with this, at least to begin with.

Hope this helps


Andrew Yu

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Paul Sutton, Cert Cont Sci (Open)
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