[Techtalk] improving computer usage in schools

sara neuroticia at neuroticia.net
Tue Feb 11 21:02:38 EST 2003

Depending on the school (Some schools are so rigid it feels like you're
trying to invade a small country every time you offer a suggestion) the
board and parents might be extremely open to having dual-boot computer
labs, or a dedicated Linux workstation. Especially if you offer to teach
a quick lab or host an after-school educational club. Some schools might
even be willing to consider migrating entirely over to Linux/BSD or
another alternative OS somewhere down the line if you point out gently
that it's gaining popularity very quickly, and that it will save the
school a lot of money, and provide the children with a wonderful
learning environment. 

As for the rest of the question... "Fun and useful"--check out some of
the projects on sourceforge, see if there are any educational games or
things of that sort. Suggest installing OpenOffice, and having the kids
use to powerpoint-like component to create slideshows oral reports. 

I vaguely remember hearing about an application that was like
"battlebots", but that involved very minor programming--that would be
fun and educational if the parents didn't object too much to it. =] 

One of the things I remember most fondly about my own schooldays (not
too long ago!) was a project that my teacher involved us in--building a
3 dimensional city out of cardboard. It taught us about geometric
shapes, and things like that. Maybe the kids would be interested in
learning basic 3D on an application like Blender? Or in learning how to
create art with Gimp? I know my friends' children who are of that age
group LOVE these activities--and some are even surprisingly good at

Hmm.. If the school is networked, the kids could even use some HTML
editing program to create a series of websites, and have their own
"internet". It would be a great learning experience, that's for sure. =]
a basic $30 quickcam would be a cool addition to the computer lab if you
could get them to go for that. =]


> -----Original Message-----
> From: techtalk-admin at linuxchix.org [mailto:techtalk-
> admin at linuxchix.org] On Behalf Of Aguido Horatio Davis
> Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 7:30 PM
> To: TechTalk -- LinuxChix
> Subject: Re: [Techtalk] improving computer usage in schools
> On Wed, 12 Feb 2003, Lea de Groot wrote:
> > I was wondering who here has experience in making this sort of
> proposal to
> > their kid's school, and if anyone can think up anything else that
> would be
> > fun and useful in using their resources?
> Zope. Runs on Windows, supports Zwikis and Squishdots and other fun
> stuff
> out of the box, lets you use collaborative learning environments like
> Fle3
> (http://fle3.uiah.fi/) and for the truly ambitious gives you a context
> to
> teach the kids Python
> (http://www.inetarena.com/~pdx4d/ocn/overcome.html).
> Cheers,
> Horatio
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