[kde-edu]: Thoughts on KDE-Educationals in general

Ben Crawford crawford_ben at yahoo.ca
Sun Oct 4 01:11:29 CEST 2009

>From: Sabine Emmy Eller <s.eller at voxhumanitatis.org>
>To: kde-edu at kde.org
>Sent: Sunday, October 4, 2009 1:51:43 AM
>Subject: Re: [kde-edu]: Thoughts on KDE-Educationals in general
>On Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 2:34 PM, John Layt <john at layt.net> wrote:
>    On Saturday 03 October 2009 10:14:13 Lydia Pintscher wrote:
>    > It wouldn't be hard to create such a distro/CD with Suse Studio. Just
>    > needs someone to do it and promote it.
>    >
>    >
>    > Cheers
>    > Lydia
>    >
>    Hmmm.  A whole distro and reboot seems a case of overkill for one or two apps,
>    and I think there are already projects like Edubuntu aimed that that sort of
>    thing.  I know the KDE on Windows project is still beta-quality but that seems
>    a slightly better way to go, but it is a lot to install and there are initial
>    trust issues to get over.  I wonder if there's some way to run KDE Windows
>    from a USB stick like Portable Apps (http://portableapps.com/)?  That would
>    seem an ideal solution to me.
>    John.
>    _______________________________________________
>Hi, I am just reading and I had something like portable apps on my mind, but: you won't find easily a school or kid that uses a USB stick here. It will be VERY hard to get teachers install something besides the preinstalled Word and Paint etc. of Windows XP home on the school computers. Therefore having a life CD/DVD where nothing is being installed and where they do not need to provide USB-Sticks or whatever seems to be the best way to start off with.
>People here where I live are more likely to copy a CD/DVD than sharing information on a stick.
>My kids have Edubuntu 9.04 installed and talk "Linux" to friends and teachers - well ... they are the only ones in the whole village and probably I also can include the two nearby villages, so we count around 15.000 inhabitants, to use Edubuntu. There are some teens and twens using Linux (mainly Ubuntu) but these are really rare to find.
>I believe that once people are accustomed to the software and like it then we probably have all doors open and can go the "please download and install" way, but before that: it will be really difficult. And now consider that I live in an EU country. Most of the people we will have to deal with live outside EU. And most of these will access educational contents via very old computers having really bad or actually no Internet connectivity and very often we will find that the mobile phone actually is "their medium".
>If we talk about the North of Europe and the bigger cities things are differet, but these are the minority of the global market - the majority is, considering education and contents, in a much worse situation.
>Suse Studio could be worth a try.
>Cheers, Sabine

As a secondary teacher and an avid IT user/tester I have a few thoughts on this.

Using suse studio to create a different distro:
While this sounds great and could be successful, I would worry about support if people were to encounter difficulties.  Imagine if you will a new user trying this distro out and it not working right away.  Where would they go for assistance?  Most likely their searches are going to lead to places where they find themselves unsure about things.  In my opinion it would be a better use of our efforts to offer our support to existing distributions and encourage kde-edu that way.

Having said that, I realize that edubuntu is no longer packaged as a single iso, but rather as an addon to ubuntu making it much harder to test out using a live CD/DVD (or even live usb stick).  Perhaps our efforts here could be best utilized in supporting a few distributions and making a live version with the kde-edu packages included available using rBulder (or a similar tool).

KDE on Windows:
I have tested this numerous times and this project has come along way and I would like to see it continue to develop.  However, I have been reluctant to inform them of some of the fantastic programs available in kde-edu because it is more than they can handle.  It isn't easy for them to get up and running even with KDE on Windows.  If we were to bundle individual kde-edu programs as standalone executables on Windows I think we could/would have better results and could grow the user base.  If you are skeptical about this I would suggest you look at a great program that does this fairly well, the GIMP.  I have many colleagues who do use this because of the ease with which they can install and run it.

Having only recently suggested this to colleagues I am finding that they are able to adapt quickly using this strategy.  Running VirtualBox they are able to run all the kde-edu programs they want and about the only extra concepts they need to remember is to use the host key for various functions and that stuff inside the virtual machine is generally not accessible outside the virtual machine.

I would like to add my sincere appreciation and gratitude to all of those who continue to work on kde-edu and open source.  As a teacher I have had many occasions in which these programs have assisted a great deal in my teaching.  Keep up the excellent work!


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