Canadian Education

A forum for discussion of issues important to the future of education for Canadians.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Those lucky kids in Brazil...:-)
The Ministry of Education in Brazil is providing 26,000 new computer labs for about 10 million students in their education system...and of course, they're using linux to do it! :-)

And then there are the 50,000 linux laptops going to kids in Venezuela! :-)

Meanwhile, back in corrupt, computer illiterate Canada...if only a few so-called "leaders" and "decision-makers" would pay attention and make the same kind of smart decisions as Brazil, etc.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Well, this comic made me smile today! :-) Check out the archives, etc. :-)
And YES! At last, some people who know what they are doing, have been empowered, rather than tech illiterates making bad decisions...City of Edmonton is moving to open source! :-)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Interesting commentary by Carla Schoder about user habits, etc. :-)
And it appears that the fall is going to be a very interesting time, in the computer world...Google is working on, and will release their own version of a linux OS, Google Chrome OS, and it will not only work on the standard x86 platform (standard desktops and laptops), but with ARM processors (CPU common in mobile devices, etc.) as well! Thank you, Google! :-) Yet another slow but steady chipping away at M$. (Remember who won the race? The rabbit or the turtle? ;-)) Let the OS wars begin! :-)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

So, there is at least one competent, informed, genuine leader in the world, who is serving his people, rather than serving corrupt corporations. Apparently, the speech given by the President of Brazil, the world's fifth largest economy, is now available on Youtube. And then there is this article, with a wonderful quote from Walter Bender:

The next talk was given by Walter Bender, who took a rather different approach. He's head of Sugar Labs, the software team that broke away from the One Laptop Per Child project when the latter decided to put Microsoft software on its machines, thus ensuring that young minds were enslaved by Windows even earlier.

Indeed, it was evident from Bender's presentation, albeit quite low-key, that he believes passionately that children have a right to free software, for the simple reason that they cannot truly learn with any other kind.

As the Sugar Labs site puts it: “emphasis on learning through doing and debugging: more engaged learners are able to tackle authentic problems.” That is, free software gives the unique possibility of allowing students to explore and modify their tools, whereas Windows- based solutions are simply used as given, with little flexibility.

I think this is a crucial point that not enough people in the world of education grasp. For them, software is simply a dumb tool, like a pencil: you just use it. For Bender, it's something much more exciting: it is part of the educational experience. If a learner can't hack it, it's not fit for the purpose.

He also emphasised how important the Sugar on Stick offering was. This is simply the Sugar software environment provided on a USB drive that can be plugged into any PC, and run without affecting the latter:

Saturday, July 04, 2009 an unaccountable, undemocratic corporation controlling your children's education, getting them addicted to junk software, and unable to think for themselves, and dependent on their software drugs (the first M$ software fix is free when you buy a computer (actually, it's just included in the price when you buy a new computer...), corrupt school boards, governments, etc. Does any of this sound familiar to you? I.e. viruses, computer problems, etc. are good for business, bad for you trying to get anything done. Make the decision to choose freedom today, and start learning about the world revolution of those in the know, using linux! :-)

Friday, July 03, 2009

Well, it seems that the London Stock Exchange has finally come to its senses...and ditched both windows and the incompetent CEO that defended it. My guess is that they'll follow the NYSE, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, etc. who competently moved to linux YEARS ago, and have been chugging along nicely ever since. Comments in the article are especially enlightening...:-) Now if we could only see that kind of enlightenment in education...:-)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

As a very strong believer in the following quote:

A child's exposure to technology should never be predicated on an ability to afford it.

I work constantly to instruct people about linux. Sometimes, I've been punished for my views, by incompetent, illiterate power abusers (BTW, here's an excellent book about power abusers found in organizations, including schools, etc. ;-)). But like many others, I'll never give up. I've spent many years listening to the excuses and propaganda about why it can't be done, etc. Well, as shown by the many references on this blog, it IS being done, around the world, in all languages (more languages than windows, because MS considers some language groups, etc. "too small" or "not profitable, not worth the effort, the market is too small, etc.". In other words, don't let the nay sayers, and those who wish to exploit others, win the game! :-) Help spread the word.