Something not being discussed, is that there can be any amount of take up of open source platforms within a school - you don't have to go 100%.
Way back in my sixth form days (1996) between the Head of Learning Resources, a former student who was now at university and myself - we replaced the ageing Econet/SJ MDFS network with Ethernet and Slackware Linux fileservers over a period of several months. The Acorn Archimedes and Risc PC boxes all had Omniclient to NFS mount the Linux filestores, and the Win 3.1/95 PCs used Samba. The Linux boxes also provided the usual central network services such as DNS, DHCP, email and a proxy server to allow internet access. Later we managed to convince the local cable TV company to give us a 2Mbps/G703 circuit between us and the local university for next to nothing to replace the ISDN line coming out of one of the servers. With the central infrastructure changed it really didn't matter what the machines ran. At the time it made sense that the rooms teaching vocational courses used Windows OS and Microsoft applications, and other areas could continue to use the Acorn machines as the software was perfectly up to the job. If you could format a document in say, Impression Publisher on an Acorn, then using Microsoft Word or Wordperfect on a PC afterwards really wasn't a big learning curve. Although some of the Acorn Risc PCs did have Intel coprocessor cards so could run Windows 95 as well as Risc OS. Quite what they are using now I don't know, I expect Active Directory has made things a little more complicated to maintain the single sign on environment we had set up then. Things have moved on in the last 12 years, but I think if Acorn were still in existence then schools probably would still be using them, as the skills are transferable - and the machines are designed to be used in an classroom environment. But once they were no longer available schools had a choice, either bring in another platform to teach 'transferable skills' (Mac, or PC/Linux), or get the PC/Windows platform and teach the 'correct' skills first time. As has already been mentioned, the knowledge of the staff has to be taken into account so chances are PC/Windows was the comfortable choice. But schools have already made a transition away from Risc OS to Windows, so another transition may not be out of the question. IMHO if the Linux environment was as well developed as it is today when Acorn closed down, then I can see how a lot of schools could have moved straight across. As it was common practise to teach 'transferable skills' from a non Windows platform then. Now I think there would have to be some very clear cut benefits to convince schools and parents that it was a good idea. -- Gareth Davis | Production Systems Specialist World Service Future Media, Digital Delivery Team - Part of BBC Global News Division * http://www.bbcworldservice.com/ * 702NE Bush House, Strand, London, WC2B 4PH > -----Original Message----- > From: owner-backst...@lists.bbc.co.uk > [mailto:owner-backst...@lists.bbc.co.uk] On Behalf Of Mr I Forrester > Sent: 09 February 2009 14:24 > To: BBC Backstage > Subject: [backstage] Make the primary operating system used > in state schools free and open source > > Seen this in my mailbox a few times today, sure you will all > find this interesting... > > "We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Make the > primary operating system used in state schools free and open source" > > http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/nonMSschools/ > > - > Sent via the backstage.bbc.co.uk discussion group. To > unsubscribe, please visit > http://backstage.bbc.co.uk/archives/2005/01/mailing_list.html. > Unofficial list archive: > http://email@example.com/ > - Sent via the backstage.bbc.co.uk discussion group. To unsubscribe, please visit http://backstage.bbc.co.uk/archives/2005/01/mailing_list.html. Unofficial list archive: http://firstname.lastname@example.org/