Disastrous Donation Of 1800 GNU/Linux Notebooks To Schools May Have A Silver Lining

A business donated 1800 GNU/Linux notebooks to Romanian schools but they remain largely unused. Some have had that other OS installed. According to one principal, “It is impossible for teachers to teach using two different programs.”

That shows a spectacular lack of initiative and planning. It happens. Not every teacher and principal is a hero. Still, there is a silver lining. Having this debacle in the news will educate teachers. Clearly, they don’t understand that proper IT in schools is a powerful tool that should be optimally used regardless of software. If they didn’t know how to use the machines, they should have turned them over to students. Problem solved.

This is a problem from top to bottom in education. If FLOSS is not on the radar for planning, procurement, daily use and future development, schools will continue to have only feeble use of IT for education because M$ and “partners” care only about revenue and profit, not education. That keeps prices high and usability low. Crippled by the EULA and the need to force users to constantly upgrade, M$’s software is far from optimal for schools. GNU/Linux worked for every school where I showed it to folks and the problems of a different user-interface were tiny.

How much training did these teachers require to learn to use their Android/Linux smartphones? A brief introduction? That’s all that was missing here. The rest could easily have been supplied with a bit of imagination and creativity.

See Teachers Romania oblivious about open source.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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2 Responses to Disastrous Donation Of 1800 GNU/Linux Notebooks To Schools May Have A Silver Lining

  1. Mats Hagglund wrote, “Google, Samsung and developers guided mankind to adopt Linux mobiles. Same should happened with pc. You gotta have some force to do it.”

    That’s true but not the whole story. M$ had no way to force mankind to adopt their OS on mobiles. On the desktop M$ has woven a sinful web of deceptions: first the monopoly granted by IBM (single source of supply for IBM PC), then the ISVs were lining up to ship software only for IBM PCs, and finally, OEMs and retailers could not sell/distribute products not able to run what the ISVs produced. In essence, the Independent Software Vendors were not independent but co-conspirators of M$. M$ left no stone unturned even threatening governments at the height of the monopoly. That monopoly power is almost gone. It’s not soon enough.

    On the other hand, Google does not have monopoly power even on smartphones. It’s FLOSS and anyone can tweak it any way they want. It’s a practical and efficient thing to use what Google provides, not a lock-in made by irrelevant factors. OEMs are not locked in at all. They can use GNU/Linux, Tizen, Android/Linux, and even M$’s crapware if they want. They have choice. So do consumers. In the case of mobiles the market has chosen Android/Linux rather than Google having forced it upon the market.

  2. Mats Hagglund says:

    It doesn’t suprise me at all. These kind of things might have happened all around the world. These crucial 10 years of total Windows domination in schools, homes and workplaces has almost decimated the will of try alternatives. The question isn’t that Windows would have been great, stable. The trutht is the opposite. But once you get used to Windows it’s much harder to get out that ecosystem. That’s why – like the in case of Munich – politicy makers should be initiators and FORCED schools to move Linux/FLOSS.

    Shameful but descriptive example why Linux still has small share of tradition pc while dominating mobiles. Google, Samsung and developers guided mankind to adopt Linux mobiles. Same should happened with pc. You gotta have some force to do it.

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