Rekrapenator/Open Source - OTARA to OTAGO

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Open Source Buddies - GNU and Tux

Open Source - from Tertiary to Primary and Primary to Tertiary

Part One

Many teachers are beginning to feel frustrated because of a shortage of computers in the classroom. As technology advances it is no longer acceptable to have only one classroom computer. Teacher laptops under the Tela laptop scheme explicitly state in the user agreement that the machines may not be used by children. This is not necessarily a 'socio-economic remote' schools issue but a 'digitally elite/remote' issue as there are cases where Decile one schools can be well-resourced in ICT, and Decile 10 schools can be under-resourced in ICT. This issue is not only limited to New Zealand. Computer access in the home is also creating a 'digital divide'. See, for example, Bridging the Divide

At the same time Tertiary Institutions are continually upgrading their computers and need to dispose of them.

Using Open Source these retired computers could be distributed freely to schools with out breaking the end user license agreement (EULA)

    • Older machines have their hard drives wiped clean
    • Computers with no operating system are then difficult to give away and/or dispose of
    • Remote primary schools could assist tertiary institutions with computer redistribution and disposal

This can provide a meaningful context for children to explore issues surrounding Ubuntu Philosophy and eWaste.

Can the government assist the two sectors to work together to solve the computer shortage and disposal of computer issues?

Future goal:

Envirethical action
  • All tertiary institutions can erase their hard drives
    • Computers are then donated to:
    • The remotest of our school communities
    • Enviro schools
      • Remotest = schools with low decile ranking or distance from an urban center


Society is supportive of -

  • Food outlets finding ways of donating their almost expired product
    • By giving to food banks
    • Or allowing access to this product from unlocked areas

Therefore society would support -

  • Tertiary institutions finding ways of donating their retired computers by
    • Reinstalling an Open Source operating system
    • Working in partnership with remote schools, Enviroschools and their communities acknowledging the mutually beneficial nature of this project. (Remote schools gain access to computers so that they can increase their learning outcomes through the use of Gnu/Linux. At the same time, remote schools assist Tertiary institutions by accepting their unwanted ICT equipment).
  • Use the Warrington School Case Study and BBOSI People to:
    • Demonstrate that schools can effectively use Open Source computers
    • That communities can be encouraged and supported to become digitally independent
    • That learning improves for communities with the roll out of Open Source technology
      • This wiki page is aiming to document this change of paradigm


  • Tertiary institutions
    • Need to have this idea promoted to them
    • Provide a researcher to study the impact that this venture may have on communities
    • A liaison person to distribute the computers
  • Schools and communities
    • Need instruction to install these computers


May initially require the voluntary assistance of GNU/Linux Users Groups (GLUGs) to prove it can be done

  • An independent go between that takes surplus computers and redistributes them on a needs (defining) basis!

This is also:

  • An envirethical way of upgrading/replacing outdated tertiary institution hardware


End of use agreement
  • Create a closed loop where tertiary institutions will:
    • Recycle donated computers back from remote communities
Tertiary institutions need the remote and Enviroschool communities,
to use their retired and recycled Open Source computers, 
to maximise the use of Educational Equipment

Part Two

Why Schools Should Use Free Software

  • Free software can save schools money.
    • Free software gives schools, like other users, the freedom to copy and redistribute the software, so the school system can make copies for all the computers they have.
      • In remote countries, this can help close the digital divide.
  • Schools have a social mission: to teach students to be citizens of a strong, capable, creative, independent, cooperating and free society.
    • Schools should promote the use of free software just as they promote recycling.
      • If schools teach students free software, then the students will tend to use free software after they graduate.
        • This will help society as a whole escape from being dominated by mega-corporations.
  • Schools should refuse to teach dependence.
    • Offers of free samples to schools gets communities addicted.
      • The same discounts will not be available to these students once they've grown up and graduated.
  • Free software permits students to learn how software works.
    • Some students, want to learn everything there is to know about their computer and its software.
      • They are intensely curious to read the source code of the programs that they use every day.
        • To learn to write good code, students need to read lots of code and write lots of code.
          • They need to read and understand real programs that people really use.
            • Only free software permits this.
  • The deepest reason for using free software in schools is for moral education.
    • The most fundamental job of schools is to teach good citizenship, which includes the habit of helping others.
      • In the area of computing, this means teaching people to share software.
        • Schools, should tell their students,
“If you bring software to school, you must share it with the other students. 
And you must show the source code to the class, in case someone wants to  learn.”

Making innovation a habit - make it systematic

  • To demonstrate
    • Collaboration as a key operating principle for the next phase of development in the 21st century
  • Creativity can be defined as a process of putting your imagination to work
    • It is a process we can understand and teach
      • Creativity is original ideas
        • With added value

Why schools should undertake community based projects

To Share - "I am what I am because of who we all are."

Okahau = Ō-kahau means 'the place of wind'

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