Warrington School/Free Educational Works

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Reflecting on.

This segment is to use the open authoring approach[1]

To persuade the New Zealand Ministry of Education to support Warrington School achieve its Gnu/Linux goal [2]

To assist the New Zealand Ministry of Education to support "Open Source Computing" into New Zealand schools [3]

Rationale behind the Warrington Gnu/Linux goal

  • Warrington wants to continue its use of GNU/Linux and free software as it has proven over the last 2+ years to be reliable, easy to use and install.
  • It is cost effective as the software is free and is supported to run on older computers. We can even run it on free computers that are recycled through the school.
  • We should be allowed to make our own choice over operating systems and software and not be disadvantaged by doing so.
  • By choosing to use free software/operating systems we should receive payment from the Ministry of Education that would otherwise be used for licenses.
  • We are able to keep older computers out of New Zealand's land fills longer.
  • There is a desire to empower our community of teachers, parents and children to install and run free OS and software on computers.
  • It allows the school and its community to alter the software for its own purpose and to share this with others.
  • Use less electricity by using Edubuntu terminal server networks.


  • 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 open source software.

Ideas for collaboration:

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 open source computing in their countries. UK [4] Switzerland [[5]]

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. [6]

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 [7] 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. [8]

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.[9]

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 software and document their progress via this wiki.

7. The substantial 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. [10] [11]. 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 [12] or similar should be directed into creating a model appearing from this wiki. Funding for the establishment of an "Open Source 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 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. [13]

Warrington School Gnu/Linux Documentation [[14]]


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