Why I’m trying Linux Ubuntu in school…
Our Digital Strategy is outlined here. Such a vital part of school life nowadays! I've been thinking of a way we could make use of the old machines which are spread around the school.
- Teachers need to go online, often quickly
- We are moving much shared work over to Google Drive
- Pupils are therefore working on Google Drive on on their Google Site more
So, my response is Linux Ubuntu – a version of Linux designed to be pretty much useable out of the box…However still stripped down and fast.
Admittedly you do still have to think about your tech support in school – proxy settings for servers and things are easily handled in the operating system – but you may come across some issues. For example I haven't created a server system…
Linux is an open-source operating system, which comes in many flavours. Built by a community which makes it super responsive to changes in hardware. There are so many different versions that it can feel a little overwhelming! I wanted one which the pupils and teachers would still recognise!
What I've done
Installed Ubuntu on a few 'choice' machines – they are old Dell machines – with either 500MB or 1GB of ram. As we're moving away from the shared network they are not connected to the server. I've created some 'crib sheets' detailing what they can be used to do – and installed some simple education software (and a few games!)
Ubuntu has proven surprisingly resilient – it certainly speeds up the machines it is on – connects quickly and provides consistent access to the internet. Downloading chrome lso helps in terms of our cloud based MIS system! I'm waiting to see how it goes with the adults in school! Biggest learning curve seems to be moving away from using MS Office.
This – I'm looking into some of the child-friendly operating systems – aiming to explore the range of apps and the different organisation.
I'll keep you informed! Would love to hear if you've had any experience of this!