[Linux-aus] Fwd: [LACTTE] Notes for Council Meeting 2010/02/03

Silvia Pfeiffer silvia at silvia-pfeiffer.de
Wed Feb 17 14:16:51 EST 2010

On Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 12:10 PM, Peter Lieverdink <me at cafuego.net> wrote:
> ----- "Brenda Aynsley" <bpa at iss.net.au> wrote:
>> Silvia Pfeiffer wrote:
>> >
>> > This isn't about the teachers. It's about the students. If a
>> student
>> > can get something for free to play with on his computer, he/she may
>> > well be curious. This is what we can build upon. We need to somehow
>> > manage the fear of the parents that this may be something bad for
>> the
>> > kid or the computer, but that's about how to write a good flyer.
>> One
>> > could, for example, mention that it is the system most in use at
>> > universities in IT research and that it is good for inquisitive
>> minds.
>> >
>> I think the students who are most likely to do this, are already doing
>> it.  Those who are not brave enough or lack confidence will not be
>> persuaded without knowledge of peer support group being available or
>> having access to a supportive resource at school or elsewhere.
> ... which is where resourcing teachers comes in. If a teacher has been trained on a particular open source software package at a PD event, they can have the confidence of being able to help their students with the basics and (importantly) pointing them at more and more advanced resources.
> I think that once a teacher is happy to use one or two FOSS applications in the curriculum, you're starting to break down a barrier. The students might also be more like to check out more of this open source stuff after they've used it in the classroom.

It's a great idea to combine such a flyer with a PD event! And if you
can get teachers interested, can get them engaged, and can get them to
use FOSS in their classroom, it's a huge win.

The only issue I see with teachers - in particular at my son's school
- they are not allowed to run anything but MS software on their
computers at the school or to install anything that's outside the
norm, so there is very little motivation for them to learn anything
but the MS tools that they are given. My son has a physics software
(phun) which he loves and has tried to get his teachers to have a look
at. After about a year, two physics teachers finally took the time to
look over his shoulder. They were excited about it and loved it and
all, but they are not motivated enough to try to fight the school in
installing it on one of the school's computers tp make use of it for
teaching. This all tells me that the teachers are a really really hard
nut to crack.

OTOH the students love experimenting, love exchanging software, love
showing off things to their peers, and will most certainly be more
proficient in a shorter amount of time than any of their teachers.
They can also be a multiplier just like a teacher. I'm not even sure
I'd waste my time on teachers, to be honest. But that's just my
frustration - I hope others are more successful with teachers!


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