Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Fair go cobber!!!

I was the guest of our local regional ABC radio station the other day for the computer segment - a half hour talk back segment run every fortnight. The theme of the broadcast was Open Source Software and hopefully the listeners are now aware of an Open Source software option. I was disappointed that we did not get to the ethical issues around the use of software in the educational setting - but understandable considering it was only 20-30 minutes or so. I would really love to get some broad community reaction to the following sorts of questions - I probably need to refine these questions a bit but it is a starting point.

A key premise to this discussion is that the software tool that people learn with generally becomes the tool of choice. People will most likely want to purchase the tool that they learnt with when it comes time to make a purchase vs use something else. eg if they were taught to use Adobe Photoshop then purchasing this will be the top priority or if they were taught spread sheeting with MS Excel then Excel will be the product of choice when purchasing, etc.

  • How do you feel about public education paying software proprietors to use their products when the long term outcome of this is that the students will mostly likely purchase that product in the future?
  • Do you feel that this gives that proprietor an unfair competitive edge?
  • Schools have tight budgets and so the likely hood of paying several proprietors for similar products is unlikely, however, should schools ensure that they expose students to a range of propriety products without preference to any particular one?
  • Given that Open Source software is freely available should schools focus on the use of free open source software instead of propriety software?
  • Would it be reasonable to expect proprietors to pay schools to expose students to their software? (Help with costs of running computers, installing software, upgrades, security fixes, etc.)
How could we go about getting some broad community response to these sorts of questions?
What other questions should we be asking?


  • At 8:25 am, Blogger Leigh Blackall said…

    Can you get an MP3 of the audio and load it somewhere?

    Education should at least offer support for individual choice to use FOSS. Its a matter of equity and diversity.

    What we need is for a student, or group of students to make a legal case against DEST or state DETs for not supporting FOSS alternatives. Everytime an online application form for example, is made available only in .doc is a case for action. Not offering Linux OS along side Windows and Mac is a case for equality. Not offering Open Office as an alternative to MS Office is just down right stupidity!

  • At 8:11 pm, Blogger Wara said…

    I have finally found a place to put it. Asked the ABC bloke about copyright and he reckoned that it should be fine to make the mp3 available.

    mp3 sdhould be available here. Would love to know if it worked.


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