GNU/Linux Thriving In Education

“Open source in the education world is no longer a rare thing. And I have seen plenty of public Ubuntu workstations in the past during my travels. But I thought this was interesting because it’s the first time I have ever found ones running Unity, which is arguably not the most intuitive interface out there.”
Ubuntu Linux in the Wild: How a French University Uses Unity
The Var Guy is out there. He travels the world dealing with all kinds of folks in IT. He’s right that GNU/Linux is often used in education. It works for teachers and students. It’s simpler and cheaper and more rugged that That Other OS. His surprise that the Unity interface was not a problem would have been true when it was new, but in the years since Unity emerged, Android/Linux and iOS have moved over the face of the deep and are everywhere. People are not afraid their PCs will break if they “do the wrong thing” as they were with That Other OS. They poke around, figure it out and soon they are pointing, clicking and gawking with the best of them. It’s a GUI after all, not quite “intuitive” but since birth humans have reached out and touched things. Unity on GNU/Linux is no different. A few experiments teaches all the user needs to know and they carry on just as they do when meeting any stranger until the stranger is no longer strange.

The world has moved on. There is no longer a monopoly in IT. We can use whatever hardware we want with a variety of software to do what we need done. It’s all good.

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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12 Responses to GNU/Linux Thriving In Education

  1. oiaohm says:

    Deaf Spy go and learn about the different Windows managers windows in fact has before comment any more of you are going to tell me to learn about writeln.

    The reality you had your facts wrong.

  2. Deaf Spy says:

    Fifi, are you not the illiterate, fraudulent, lying and intellectually-challenged fellow who takes pride of posting irrelevant links?

    Be off, little one, and never return until you learn about writeln().

  3. dougman says:

    Gosh, even M$ cannot agree on a standardize window user interface. Ever since Vista, they made substantial changes to the user interface, which just annoys people to no end.

  4. oiaohm says:

    The idea of 1 windows manager does not even apply to Windows or OS X. Think of the users installing classic shell on Windows and Crystal Clear on OS X and that is only the tip of iceberg if you look.

    DrLoser really you are the dog brained one here who cannot to research.

    So result tells us that Multi windows managers is normal. Ok if multi windows managers are normal then what is Linux problem.

    Lets look at theming information where toolkits find out what colors they should use.

    Windows 1 location.
    OS X 1 location
    Android 1 location
    iOS 1 location
    Linux/freebsd/…. X11 12 locations.

    That is kinda a problem causing lack of consistency.

    DrLoser you were asked to provide 1 example of where it was done 1 way.

    OS theming on all other platforms than Linux/freebsd/…. X11 is 1 for text colors like highlights and the like.

    Yes this is a true difference between Windows, OS X and everything else causing Linux desktop trouble.

    Before you be smart DrLoser list the 12 or at least a good percentage to show you have the research to comment on this.

  5. DrLoser says:

    Name one place/thing, where things are done ONLY one-way.

    I’m up to that challenge, Dog-Brain. What with not possessing a High School Equivalency, you are not.

    Any set of mathematical theorems you can think of. (That’s more than “one place/thing,” by the way, but I won’t stress the point.) And consequently any reference standard across a wide range of human activities — say, building a roof. Oh, and also most computer languages.

    You lose through ignorance, Dog-Brain.

    Diversity and open-source is the best way for something to grow.

    These appear to be orthogonal aims, Dog-Brain. And for the life of me, I can’t see what FLOSS, or as you incorrectly term it “open-source,” has to do with growth.

    Misappropriation by huge corporations such as Google or Apple or IBM, possibly. But, growth?

    Not hardly.

  6. dougman says:

    Re: Guys, isn’t it high time you agree on ONE windows manager?

    Name one place/thing, where things are done ONLY one-way. Diversity and open-source is the best way for something to grow.

  7. DeafSpy says:

    Guys, isn’t it high time you agree on ONE windows manager? It will be good for developers. To create uniform user experience, you know. Easies learning curve, improves productivity… Nice things, you know.

  8. DeafSpy says:

    “She is also comfortable with Windows and iOS.”

    A slight point Robert conveniently chose to ignore.

  9. wrote, “My 15yr old daughter, who has been using linux since she was 7 or 8, has used KDE, then Gnome and now Unity with absolutely no problems.”

    Exactly. In all the years I introduced GNU/Linux to students and teachers I never met anyone who could not use it. Munich, and others, made huge budgets for “training” which largely went unused. GNU/Linux works for people.

  10. PaulW says:

    I’ve been using Unity for a couple of years now. At first it felt awkward, things weren’t always where I thought they would be, but now, it’s grown on me and in fact I prefer it to other more traditional DEs. I can’t think of anything that I need to do while using my computer that I can’t do in Unity.

    My 15yr old daughter, who has been using linux since she was 7 or 8, has used KDE, then Gnome and now Unity with absolutely no problems. She is also comfortable with Windows and iOS.

    I don’t really see a valid reason for folks to be so negative toward Unity, after all, many of us use linux because we love the challenge and the opportunity to learn new things. Also, Unity is simply a DE which can be switched out with whatever DE you prefer. Try that with That Other OS.

  11. matchrocket says:

    A friend of mine had Unity on her netbook. When ever I tried to do anything on it, it was like pulling teeth. Everything was totally assbackwards. I suppose you could get used to it like you could get used to anything, but why? It didn’t offer anything better. It just mixed everything up and puked it up in a different package.

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