On 21/02/15 00:48, Scott Junner wrote:
> I'm making assumptions here. But if I understand this correctly eduSTAR is
> a couple
> of .iso files that schools can access and use to load onto computers they
> purchase.
> Would that be right? The mac version simply being a bundle of applications
> rather
> than including the OS. And I assume they would pay license fees accordingly.

The schools can purchase their own equipment and install the image
themselves, but the department have also negotiated a "Preferred Leasing
Facility".

Smaller schools like my youngest child's primary school don't have
budget for full-time IT staff, so they tend to go the leasing route to
reduce support costs. The computers are preimaged.

Larger schools like my older children's secondary school do their own
imaging.

The department has negotiated some sort of bulk licensing fee. This
licence is limited in to currently enrolled students (and presumably
staff). However, I don't think the licence cost is a significant factor
in decision making, because it is dwarfed by maintenance/support costs.

Nor should licencing cost be the issue; there is nothing particularly
bad about paying for software, assuming support is provided. Though it
is a something of a predatory tactic to offer children low licence fees
and then charge them a lot more when they leave school! It is the kind
of behaviour to be expected from a corporation.

What is wrong is the department bias towards proprietary software, in
domains where there are great alternatives which have no restriction on
using/studying/changing/sharing the software.

An interesting point is the inclusion of gimpshop instead of gimp. It
becomes a "poor person's photoshop", instead of being a genuine
alternative. Now that Adobe have added applications to the eduSTAR
package, I would think there is a good chance gimpshop will eventually
be dropped (it has already been crippled).

Glenn
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