[svlug] using linux in schools

Paul Cubbage pcubbage at opencountry.com
Mon Mar 31 12:29:06 PST 2003

George Georgalis wrote:

>I would provide all the basic types of programs, write, draw, paint,
>www, email; but I was wondering what types of resources or environment
>would draw kids in to design a db or develop their networking and
>communication skills?
Good deeds are hard to do and have results.  I published user software 
at Atari including about 45 educational packages so I know a little. 
 Some suggestions:

- Figure out how to put the students in charge (you monitor) and let 
them figure out what to do.  A Wiki would help that process.
- Consider training trainers to teach others how to really use the web.
- "Educational" software is mostly boring and most kids iignore it.
- There is a developmental stage starting at around 16 where global 
concepts start working.    Source code of interesting programs including 
games are something they'll like.  Packaging it so that the make/compile 
is easy is a big help.  Of 16 teenage authors, I had only one under 16. 
 I don't think you can get younger ones pogramming but anything you give 
them that allows them to manipulate the system and get results is a plus 
for < 16.
- A major use in schools is just a place to write reports and print 
them.  Less of a need today in the valley but still a need.
- If you are building/installing systems, you could pre-load a set of 
bookmarks that kids will like or find useful,  There are sites that give 
pointers.  Good places to research and find answers are one group of 
good bookmarks.
- TuxPaint is a great program for younger students.  Check out what else 
is going on at newbreedssoftware.com and at tux4kids.org and 

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