Warrington School/Ideas

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Warrington School Gnu/Linux Goal

Overall Goal

  • To create equity for New Zealand schools who choose to use Gnu/Linux instead of proprietary software.
  • To remove the barriers created by the Ministry of Education for schools wishing to use Free software.

1.GNU/Linux (Ubuntu or Edubuntu is Warrington's choice) has been as easy to use and at least as reliable as either Microsoft or Apple computer systems. Therefore the New Zealand Ministry Of Education needs to look at what other nations are doing to implement Free computing in their countries. UK [1] Switzerland [[2]]

2. Gnu/Linux installed onto Educational computers could assist the New Zealand economy. Licensing fees that the Ministry of Education now pays to Microsoft on behalf of Microsoft license users should be paid equally to GNU/Linux users. If this was the case then Warrington School would receive the same money that is presently given to Microsoft users but this money would remain within New Zealand. E.g if Warrington was using 15 Gnu/Linux computers, and the Ministry of Education is paying Microsoft $50 per computer license then the Ministry of Education should pay this $50 per computer to Warrington school. [3]

3. Without access to either a knowledgeable technician, helpful parent, 0800 help desk or the ability to access help forums that allow for fast and easily understood fixes it could remain too difficult for many schools, teachers and pupils. The Ministry of Education help desk [4] will presently only handle queries from either Microsoft or Apple users.

4. Possible solutions for an 0800 help desk may be the Otago_Polytechnic already well versed in Open source Education providing the infrastructure or alternatively the Ministry of Education could purchase support through the Canonical Global Support Services team. [5]

5. Dunedin as a city having a plethora of Gnu/Linux experts may be able to offer technical assistance to the Otago Polytechnic - brokering of a voluntary or paid agreement to be negotiated.[6]

6. Warrington School could become a model for using Gnu/Linux, as being at the "monitor face" of education it would be able to trial both equipment and interoperability of Free software and document their progress via this wiki.

7. The substantial environmental savings made from recycling computers that were destined for the land fill (because they had become unsupported by Microsoft) and supported by Gnu/Linux as either stand alone machines or as LTSP. [7] [8]. Money saved from using less electricity with a LTSP or being able to use older computers and keeping them from entering landfills could be researched further from the Sustainability Advisor at Otago University or similar at the Otago Polytechnic or as a(funded) thesis for a student based in Dunedin.

8. Funding from the Ministry of Education available for Extending Higher Standards Funding [9] or similar should be directed into creating a model appearing from this wiki. Funding for the establishment of an "Free Software Model" from the Ministry of Education would entice other learning institutions from NZ to work collaboratively on this Gnu/Linux goal. Money would not be spent on "physical resources" but on systems and people to set up the systems.

9. Creating protocols that would allow free Gnu/Linux computers into the homes of Dunedin school pupils or other suitable recipients by the local Gnu/Linux group with computers being replaced by the ICT departments at Otago University, Medical School, Dunedin City Council etc. This scheme is presently happening in a small way from Warrington school. Assistance in both infrastructure and procedure would need to be created on a wiki so both the installer of the Gnu/Linux computer and the recipient of the Gnu/Linux computer understood the correct procedures. This could begin as a voluntary scheme until such time as it became unwieldy for a group of volunteers to manage then could be taken over by a Trust who could administer its further conception.

10. Software released by the Ministry of Education for schools such as the "School Journal" search CD Rom and Ministry accredited School Management software should be usable by Gnu/Linux users. [10]

Free computers - how to.....

Warrington Community Internet Access

To give local Warrington residents access to computers and internet.


Situated in the Warrington School office area.


Any time outside school hours of 9-3 and with permission of a school employee and during school hours if available i.e if no pupils are using them.


None - but reciprocation expected e.g pull out some of our weeds, rake some play ground gravel, sweep the court, drop off garden produce or pick up sticks etc. Also - teaching of "how to use the school computer" to subsequent users.


Begin with one resident who is shown how to use the computer who then passes this information onto the next with written guidance. A procedure for vetting of users will need to be established - i.e via reference from school community parents representing 2 families or via BOT.


Will be Gnu/Linux (Ubuntu or similar) and free software. Logging on as user “friend” and password “friend”. Internet access through a "remembered" low-level password that is already installed onto that particular computer. School internet user's agreement signed. Computer set up as an internet using machine with no multi-media plugins at this stage. Viewing videos is worry – offensive or to much broadband. Able to save to and from desktop and memory stick, use all office programmes including printing to black and white copier (20c and colour 50c). No reciprocation for printing.

Welcome Flat Volunteer Hut Warden Survey (post project)

Taieri Gorge Rail Coastal Schools Transport Solution

All schools in the East Otago Cluster are presently facing the issues around transporting our children to and from events with each school engaging parent drivers or hiring individual bus contractors. This could be could be minimised if we used the Taieri Railway. I also imagine the fantastic opportunity for students and teachers to travel via rail, these would certainly be trips that would be remembered.

The East Otago Schools Cluster of Purakanui, Waitati, Warrington, Karitane, Waikouaiti, Flag Swamp, Palmerston and Macraes Moonlight combine for various sporting and cultural events about once a term. This would be a total of about 350 pupils.

This year's events involving all schools are:

Term one is swimming sports at Palmerston 9.30 – 2.15

Term two Kaupapa Maori Festival at Palmerston 9.30 – 1.30

Term two indoor sports at the Edgar Centre

Term three Wear-It-As-Art at Palmerston 10-12.30

Term three cross country at Waikouaiti 12-2.15

Term four athletics at Palmerston 9.30 – 2.15

Other events such as the Wawa challenge (beach Triathlon) held at Warrington could be changed to involve all the schools.

Bad weather contingency days would need to be built into the events calendar.

As well as these events we also have camps being held at Waianakarua, Sutton and Quarantine Island that all have rail to a close proximity.

We could restructure sports to be at other venues along the railway such as Warrington or Waitati which could allow schools to all have a turn at being transported via train, rather than most events being at Palmerston.

The train could be used to transport the whole cluster into Dunedin city for cultural days using the city facilities – Museum, Settlers Museum, Art Gallery, Library and Chinese Garden.

Funding to come from individual schools, The Dunedin City Council (for the city day) and possibly community trusts that would be more responsive to supporting a group of schools and the Taieri rail than individual requests.

Issues would be timetabling for the rail, health and safety, funding and getting schools to use rail transport and walking rather than bus or car to door scenarios that we presently expect.

The benefits

Publicity for the schools, Taieri Gorge and the Dunedin City Council for such forward thinking to assist in solving transport issues. The redevelopment of the infrastructure within the Dunedin city region to accommodate rail transport. This could be established as a nationwide model – the ideas could then be rolled out to other communities that sit along the rail network such as the schools south to Mosgiel or Port Chalmers.