[kde-edu]: plasma edu

Marco Martin notmart at gmail.com
Mon Jul 19 16:53:06 CEST 2010

On Thursday 15 July 2010, Thomas Thym wrote:
> Hi,
> I am pleased to see the activity in KDE EDU. It seems that there were a
> couple of discussions and BoFs during Akademy but I am not sure if the
> KDE-EDU people were enough involved. (Just my impression after some
> discussions with KDE-EDU people.)
> Still motivated from Akademy I interviewed my sister (a teacher for 1st
> till 4th grade in Germany) about the use of computers in their classes. A
> short summary:

great! i think those efforts for now can only start at those little individual 
levels, to prove it can work

> 1. IT-environment.
> They need a cheep, easy to deploy and maintain IT-infrastructure as a basic
> environment for their 1-5 computers in the classrooms to offer their
> students access to the Internet and computers.

the plasma desktop scripting and the kiosk lock down could be quite a bit a 
selling point at the ease of deploying and maintaining part.

> 2. A platform to collaborate.
> (I don't like the idea, but at the moment) They use IT to control the
> students. There are some (commercial, closed sourced) webbased services
> that offer some tasks for the students and the teachers get informed about
> the activity of their class. Some services include the option to compete
> against others (in your class). The possibility of real collaboration
> (beyond classroom boundaries or creating something or learning together)
> is not practiced at her school.

this is a wider and older problem beyond of what software to use, historically 
teachers see the only vlid work as work done alone, any form of team eork is 
this is hopefully changing but really slowly, is one of the most radicate 

> 3. Training software.
> They use some individual training software (like math- and vocabulary
> trainer) to offer the possibility to practice alone. To have those
> applications on mobil phones would be nice, esp. when they have gaming
> elements. At the moment they only use (buy) software that is approved by
> the education department and delivers exactly the content that is defined
> by the education department.

that is an area we can offer something really good, but yeah, that approval 
makes it  a no go for countries that have this mechanism

> 4. Non-IT rulez
> IT is only a small element in education. The main part is done "offline".
> (5. They don't care about the OS as long as it's Windows. Yes, there are
> still many prejudices  and MS is visiting the teachers regularly with
> special offers of Windows and Office (less than 50 EUR) for them.)

Yes, this will continue to be a big problem for the time being, because it's 
really hard to make people thinking more on the long term that the "first shot 
is free" addiction. In Itely the situation is very similar with licenses 
offered at schools and students at really low prices, with even some episodes 
of Microsoft giving away for free quite big batches of new computers+licenses 
to schools (with the only caveat of "free" being the promise of never ever 
running any non microsoft sotware on those computers)

But this is not the same for every country, Europe and north America will 
always be the hardest ones, as we seen what happened in brazil there is hope 
in cases as Luca said where the teachers can teach what they want becasue 
there are not really official programs (yes in Italy exept for some technical 
high schools is really this way, IT is seen as completely irrelevant by the 
school system) there can be small victories, with deployments as small as 
individual teachers, that's a start, a painful start but a start.

Marco Martin

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