Sunday, March 1, 2009

Is There Anyone Out There?

I have been scouring the internet unsuccessfully this week looking for other schools who are using Linux, Ubuntu or Edubuntu. I have had a lot of open source software evangelists and techies wishing me luck and saying how important the project is but it appears that most schools seem to think it is too much of a brave new world to move to Ubuntu in preference to Windows. A couple of computer support staff in schools have told me their bosses have let them load Ubuntu onto an old standalone computer or two just to show them how it works but nobody out there seems to have taken up Ubuntu across their school. This has created more feelings of excitment for me but also the feeling that I am travelling on my own.

In other news about the project, the jury is out on which netbook we are going to use for the trial. I have been playing with the Intel Classmate 3 . One teacher asked me, "Are you going to choose the Bob the Builder laptops?" The classmate has some good features such as a handle but I get the feeling it is not as robust as the HP Minibook. I didn't like the twisting hinge and the Classmate's keyboard and felt it wouldn't last more than a year in the hands of primary students. I tried out the classmates touch screen and tablet PC features also but thought they were a bit of a gimic and wouldn't be supported by Linux software anyway. We will have to make a decision soon as to which device to adopt. I have also been waiting to hear which devise the NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) decide to buy for High School Students as the sheer numbers they order will reduce the price greatly I imagine.

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