I just finished watching Brandi Caldwell’s session for the K12 Online Conference, Trash to Treasures: Creating Your Own Computer Lab. I could sympathize with her situation. When I first came to my classroom I had 9 year old desktop computers and other “donated” computers that were in some cases being held together with duct tape running on 4 different operating systems. I spent more time troubleshooting that educating. I laid the line with my principal and fortunately I asked at the right time and district leased a new lab of computers. If that hadn’t occurred I probably would have faced the same situation as Brandi of piecing together a new computer lab.
I feel that we are on the verge of a Linux revolution in education. The licensing costs that go with Microsoft and Apple are strangling IT budgets in schools. With Web 2.0 tools like Google Docs and Spreadsheet, Zoho, and other Open Source software out there things are becoming less platform specific leading people to the discovery of operating systems like Edubuntu. Especially when as Brandi found out can run on “older” equipment. I look how the last 2 years Linux systems starting to show up in schools as well as the OLPC project adopting Linux as their operating system that it will become a real solution for schools who can’t or don’t want to pay for Microsoft’s or Apple’s operating systems.
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