FSCONS 2009: From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education

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The talk given by Anders Kringstad at FSCONS 2009, Saturday the 14th of November. Focuses on Free Software within the Educational sector, status on projects around the world and the outlook ahead.

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FSCONS 2009: From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education

  1. 1. From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education FSCONS 2009 November 14., Anders Kringstad | akai@skolelinux.org www.friprogramvareiskolen.no | www.skolelinux.org
  2. 2. ● About Anders: - 28 years, from Trondheim, Norway, married, one child, free software community idealist and keen on seeing a new generation turn to free software for their educational platforms.. - Currently leader of Free software in schools, Norway / Fri programvare i skolen, soon to pass the helm on.. - Working as Solutions Architect for Free Software at ITsjefen AS, leader in Free Software solutions in the middle region of Norway From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education November 14., FSCONS 2009
  3. 3. ● Primary focus of Free Software in Education? - Formerly: Platform-war-like (Linux/Windows) - Present: Fast to market, easy to use solutions/ programs for large amounts of users and largely platform independent. ● Education: - Why do we care about the software used? - How can we avoid churning out further “brand educated” students? - Living with diversity in schools and society From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education November 14., FSCONS 2009
  4. 4. ● Do you believe we could have a toolbox for both teacher and student for lower costs and higher return on ownership? .. I do! - School owners, teachers and parents need to address the cost of technology choices. - Stop the provider-driven spending in licensing and get local government to focus on need instead of the “bling-factor” of that new Office-suite. - Teachers, parents and school owners lagging behind in technology knowledge is one of the major obstacles in all countries. From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education November 14., FSCONS 2009
  5. 5. ● Current status in Norway: - National awareness of Free Software due to massive lobbying by Technology Warriors like Knut Yrvin, Petter Reinholdtsen, Thomas Gramstad and the large grass-root organizations like Norwegian Unix User Group (NUUG), Elektronisk Forpost Norge (EFN), Fri programvare i skolen (FRISK), and a crowd of more than thousand individuals across Norway. - National Center for Free Software created by the government in 2007 to help the public sector in understanding and using Free Software. From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education November 14., FSCONS 2009
  6. 6. ● Current status in other European Countries: - France: Lots of free software in all sectors; Among them: The Police, some large city government, educational programs in southern and eastern regions. - Spain: Regionally government-funded projects in Extremadura and other regions give efficient use of EU-granted development funds and an average BGP spending of only 67% of the EU norm for education without compromising on quality or student access (rather the opposite). From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education November 14., FSCONS 2009
  7. 7. ● Current status in other European Countries: - Germany: More than 500.000 students in the process of migrating to Linux and Skolelinux in the region of Rheinland-pfalz. Large city administrations already on Linux (Munich, Hannover, etc). Pro-choice decisions in regional government lead to development of new local projects and participation in international Free Software initiatives like the DebianEdu/Skolelinux project. - Sweden and Denmark?? We want to hear from you..! (and please do not take this personally, just fix it :-) ) From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education November 14., FSCONS 2009
  8. 8. ● Current status in Brazil: - 35 million students in schools are in the process of migrating to “Linux Educational” - a locally tailored version of Debian with KDE. Currently more than 7 million users have made the shift. Maximum number of students that could be integrated is now more than 53 million if including higher education. ● Current status in Taiwan: Local government-driven initiative for Free Software in schools under way, some schools already operational. Lots of local development. From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education November 14., FSCONS 2009
  9. 9. ● Current drawbacks, globally: - Diversity and incompatibilities: Like with all Linux based systems, there are huge gaps between solutions in different regions of the world. - Provider-driven FUD, these days mostly due to lack of knowledge of business-models that could benefit from a heterogeneous educational sector. - Many projects unaware of the presence of other similar projects they could join up with! From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education November 14., FSCONS 2009
  10. 10. ● Global connectivity and cooperation: how? - Summoned up in one short line: “The Internet”. - Long answer: Projects spread all over the world with focus on Education spring up like banana flies but need to get online and advertise their presence and work with other projects with similar goals. - We need a global focus on bringing the best of the Free Software movement into education, not just “chipping in some Linux here and there”. - A Global Free Software Platform with tailoring? From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education November 14., FSCONS 2009
  11. 11. ● What can we at FSCONS 2009 do (I) ? - Talk about Free Software in Education! - Remember that Free Software does not equal “Linux” in all it's geeky glory with kernel builds, hardhats and 30 top different distributions.. - Try to build trust and understanding with easy and mature “ready to use” programs like the Mozilla programs Thunderbird and Firefox, OpenOffice.org, GIMP, VLC, StopMotion and Gcompris. Do not put Gentoo or ArchLinux at your local kindergarden!! From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education November 14., FSCONS 2009
  12. 12. ● What can we at FSCONS 2009 do (II) ? - Invite people to a local talk about Free Software and Education in a context they feel familiar with – Such as your local language, local examples and local challenges solved – with standard tools! - Join a Free Software project that focuses on Education: You do not need to be in the same country to make a huge difference! - Talk to your local and national politicians about policies for mandatory use of open formats and open standards in Education to avoid vendor lock-in! From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education November 14., FSCONS 2009
  13. 13. That's about it for now.. QUESTIONS? and remember the workshop.. HOW TO GET Free Software in Schools @ 10:00 am Sunday morning From Norway to Brazil: Turning to Free Software for Education November 14., FSCONS 2009

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