Slowly, but surely, I have been changing the Linux desktops in the schools I admin from a previous, custom remastered version to opensuse education desktop.
of all the education versions of Linux available, icontinue to find it the better choice for our needs and much easier in terms of administration.
Where other distros require a 2 cd installation process for their edu version, opensuse nails it with more apps, and a complete, student designed presentation in one livecd. So much less work up front for us.
Thanks yet again from me and my school.
Please keep updating on progress. I have been trying to push open source in schools and it is a tough slog.
…it is a tough slog
I know that feeling.
the problem with most Schools and districts is the incumbent bureaucracy. Agreements have been made and and contracts signed primarily based on money and having little to nothing to do with productivity, effectiveness or quality.
However, in smaller school districts and ‘alternative’ schools such as private and /or catholic schools for example, each school has a bit more flexibility as to how they implement resources and spend money. it is in these schools, I find the least resistance to Linux/FOSS.
You’ll notice I said least resistance and not greater acceptance. That’s because that’s the way it is.
Introducing Linux into a school is best done as an experiment.
For example, One of the schools I spend most of my time with had a lot of Windows machines in the classrooms and did not want to replace or dual boot on any of those machines for any reason. Maintain the status quo. Don’t rock the boat, etc…
However, an opportunity arose when a local business donated some workstations to the school with no OS installed. blank HD’s.
I installed a school customized version of PCLOS on them and slipped one or two into each classroom as they were completed. None of these machines replaced a Win machine, these were new additions so the teachers were thrilled to have extra equipment and in short order, no one has a problem with them and some teachers have a preference for them.
it takes opportune timing, patience and persistence to get them to look at it, but once they do, they usually are very happy with the results.
matter of fact, I get more complaints about net speed rather than OS is or software issues ( but that’s another story).
Most school IT groups are up to their neck in work as it is. The idea of trying something “foreign” seems impossible, and I can sympathize with that. Getting out of your comfort zone is never easy. When you’re busy, its harder.
The FOSS light went on around here for two reasons. They fell in love with Moodle. But it was the windows version. Then, they saw how easily OpenOffice replaced MS Office, with a savings potential of tens of thousands in licensing fees.
Like you, I am pushing linux to keep old hardware functioning and useful to students. Wish I understood KIWI-LTSP well enough to be a good advocate.
I too have been championing openSUSE in schools. Windows XP is an incredible maintenance hog. By changing a labs 33 PCs to dual boot with SUSE default, I have saved about 90 maintenance hours per month. It takes about 3 hrs to clean disk, defrag, anti-virus, and spybot the OS. The students took a liking to it. All their work was facilitated by OpenOffice and Firefox and an HP laser printer. Downtime is practically nil. When a student does succeed in destroying the desktop(I work at a charter school - thugs and pregnant creepy kids) I simply delete the user and re-install. A 1 minute job. Now if the documentation for easy-ltsp was better, I would incorporate that into the school to extend our old laptops and PCs life. It is a pain in the butt where documentation is concerned. I just can’t seem to find anything that provides concepts, and step by step directions. This is odd since 4 years ago, I set up a system for a university. Must be getting old I guess…Enjoy!