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[vox] I want to move to Hawaii - Fwd: Speaking at regional ACSIconvention
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[vox] I want to move to Hawaii - Fwd: Speaking at regional ACSIconvention

----- Forwarded message from "R. Scott Belford" <scott@hosef.org> -----

Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2004 20:04:34 -1000
From: "R. Scott Belford" <scott@hosef.org>
Subject: Re: [school-discuss] Speaking at regional ACSI convention
To: schoolforge-discuss@schoolforge.net
Reply-To: schoolforge-discuss@schoolforge.net

Doug Coats wrote:
>Hello all,
>I am speaking at a couple of workshops at our regional ACSI (Association of
>Christian Schools International) convention.  One of them is about using
>Linux in the school.  I assume most of the attendees will have little or no
>experience and probably most just curious.  I have promoted it as using
>Linux as a Microsoft OS and App replacement for the desktop with enough
>power to get the server side of computing done also.
>How would you approach this?  What would you HAVE to include to feel that
>you have done justice?
>Doug Coats

I have been meaning to reply to this question, and having been given the 
incentive again from a similar posting on the k12osn list, I would like 
to offer my humble insight.  For those subscribed to the k12osn list, I 
apologize for the duplicate posting.

We are slowly acquiring a good deal of experience in approaching schools 
with the benefits of an Open Source Software lab.  In a recent 
presentation at an ilearning conference for our Department of Education, 
I think I finally found the zone.

What I like to do first is to demonstrate the software.  Using a donated 
laptop installed with the K12LTSP, I go through these slides:


though earlier in the year I used these Webmin heavy slides (Webmin is 
featured prominently and appropriately in Skolelinux) at our eSchool 



They emphasize that Open Source Software labs provide a vendor neutral, 
standards-compliant learning platform that provides free software tools 
that can be integrated into existing curricula in order to meet or 
exceed NCLB Mandates.  I draw attention to the job creating potential, 
the economic development opportunities, and the education innovation and 
entrepreneurship opportunities (ala Bill Kendrick and his Tux* Suite).

I think that in the future I will not show screen shots of the programs 
but instead actually launch them.  At any rate, I stop halfway through 
and explain that this is all great.  Now all we have to do is to use 
this free software and install it on the computers we have at our 
schools, or we can just get new ones with the money we can save on 
software.  Problem is, there aren't any or many computers in place 
already, and there is really not money to be saved and then spent for 
new ones.

Here begins the magical pitch.  I ask, 'What if I could show you how to 
extend the resources of existing computers and turn previously discarded 
computers into fully functional workstations?'


Out of my bag comes the switch.  Out of my bag comes two network cables. 
 I explain that just as your cable box gets its programs through a 
high-speed cable, the version of Linux that we promote for schools 
enables a central server to power previously discarded computers with 
the speed of today's supercomputer.

Next comes the magical Dell Box.  Seen here already naked


its case cover is removed by pressing two buttons, its cd and floppy are 
quickly released, and I can hold this up and show that, hard drive free, 
 it looks like and borders on being trash.

While removing the parts I explain that this method of setting up a 
computer lab enables the school to use either computers that it 
currently refuses from the community for being too slow or computers 
that HOSEF can donate to it to create a complete computer lab.  I plug 
in the peripherals, I plug it into the switch, I plug the switch into 
the server, and I plug the overhead into the client.  30 seconds later I 
callously pick up the booted client and say that this junk is now treasure.

I log in, and I complete the presentation from there.  I explain how 
using these components from NewEgg


and donated computers from HOSEF we were able to set up a 30-client 
computer lab at Enchanted Lake Elementary that cost the school 3344.17


and that was written about here


Incidentally, our new build list is now this one:


So, I now have the audience enthralled and interested.  This is where we 
have a lot of strength because we already have a laundry list of DOE 
schools running Linux that we can refer them to.  One of those is an 
Adult School where we have donated a lab and now hold weekly workshops 
and classes, for free, as a community service.  By partnering with the 
Honolulu Community College (heavily Debian based for core network 
services) we are able to store hundreds of ready to roll clients.

This is also where we as a community are most exposed.  We still don't 
have out of the box documentation and curricula to make this immediately 
valuable.  The Skolelinux folks have written a bunch of great 
documentation and simplified the install as much as possible, just as 
the K12LTSP folks have.  The fact is, though, without national support, 
without a backbone of easily attained documentation, we are vulnerable. 
 I have to no avail implored IBM, Novell, and HP to get on board with 
this tremendous opportunity to sell software, support, and hardware.

I end the presentation by explaining that we by no means promote the rip 
and replace philosophy for diffusing this OSS innovation.  If a school 
is comfortable with and well-served by a proprietary application, it 
should be left alone.  We do emphasize, though, that there are OSS 
alternatives, as we all know, to many name-brand apps that are worth 
considering.  We propose that Linux labs be used as the workhorse and if 
there is money leftover to spend that it be used for support, training, 
and that delicious Apple hardware so good for multimedia education.

That is how we approach it.  I could say so, so much more, but I'll save 
it for other threads.  If we can serve as a reference, or if our DOE 
success is of value to you, please exploit us.  Below my signature are 
some links to other press.  Soon, very soon, two one-hour videos will be 
put online from my TV appearances on a DOE program in which I install 
and demonstrate the K12LTSP on live TV.  Hosted by a seasoned teacher, 
he asks all the right questions, and I hope that once online this will 
be a valuable resource for all of us.

with aloha


R. Scott Belford
The Hawaii Open Source Education Foundation
PO Box 392
Kailua, HI 96734
808.689.6518 phone/fax







----- End forwarded message -----

bill@newbreedsoftware.com                            New Breed Software
http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/               Tux Paint 0.9.14 is out!
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