Happened to read an article about an elementary school teacher set up a computer lab with FOSS software running on it. He was accidentally found that GNU/Linux operating system and applications are effective for education. Though he is not aware about the philosophical aspect of Free Software, it is a great attempt to make it real.
Mr. Robert Litt was a teacher at ASCEND, a small arts K-8 school in the Alameda County School in US. His school does not have a computer lab, nor it has sufficient fund to make one. But Mr. Robert made a computer lab with his limited knowledge in zero cost. He collected some old computers from his acquaintances and installed Ubuntu on it with the support of local LUG. The core content of the article is a wonderful story of an elementary school teacher who accidentally found FOSS solution is good for schools and it is also good to run on old/obsolete hardware.
How One Teacher Built a Computer Lab for Free
In a sunny Bay Area classroom, twenty sixth graders are working at computers. They are making websites—”MySpace” pages for figures from American History. One student is researching Frederick Douglass’s five greatest accomplishments. Another is showing a classmate how to search for pictures of Susan B. Anthony. They’re all learning how to use Google Sites, helping each other along the way. Earlier this week, this class learned how to add numbers in a spreadsheet. Last week, they learned how to make music on a simple synthesizer. People often assume that getting technology into classrooms is expensive, but this lab cost absolutely nothing.
The article goes on.
Cost Vs. Freedom
Mr. Robert wants to spread his achievement as a zero cost solution, he does not focus about the freedom inside it. He does not aware about the “sharing” philosophy that GNU puts forward. He only wants to project its cost-effectiveness and workability. However this man made it real, a full-fledged computer lab with Free Software running on it. I wish all success to him on his way ahead. Let him learn more about GNU/Linux technically as well as philosophically. As he digested its cost-effectiveness and workability, let him know about the core value – FREEDOM. Mr. Robert Litt, be a great evangelist of Freedom and Free Software, our sincere wishes will always be with you.
The article has already gone viral. It is spreading through social media and emails. Even RMS commented on the original article.
PS: Kerala, a state in India, adopted GNU/Linux several years ago for its education system. The GNU/Linux distro made by Kerala Education Dept. is called IT@School.