It’s definitely working…

My eldest son James, who’s 9, suggested something to me on Saturday morning over breakfast that made me quite proud and very chuffed.

The conversation went something like this:

“Dad, I think you should come to our school and talk to us about what you do. You know, Ubuntu and Open Source and all that.”

“Really James? Do you think so?”

“Yes, you’d have to be CRB checked [sic], but you could come and explain about Ubuntu. If Mr. Jeffs [The Headmaster] knew about it we’d have more money to spend on useful things for the school.”

“That’s interesting James, what do you mean?”

“Well, Ubuntu is free isn’t it. So we wouldn’t have to buy Microsoft Windows any more. And it is better than Windows isn’t it. And it doesn’t get viruses like Windows either does it Dad. So I’m sure Mr. Jeffs would think that it’s a really good thing…”

UbuntuBoth my kids use Ubuntu at home; they are 5 & 9. They skip easily between Ubuntu & the Windows machines they use at school and with their friends. They also switch without difficulty between applications too. When necessary James does his homework in OpenOffice.org and takes a USB stick to school with the files saved in a nasty proprietary format.

Seems like I’d better write a nice letter to Mr Jeffs then hadn’t I?

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9 Comments

  • Paul Mellors says:

    I know my son is only 1, but i’ll certainly be bringing him up on foss.

  • LIAR says:

    Hi,

    That sound REALLY great!!!

    As a member of various BUGs & LUGs (BSD User Groups & Linux User Groups) in France that’s exactly the kind of actions we try to do to promote FOSS! Unfortunately, it is more easy for M$’s representants to enter schools than for a parent!

    You might get in contact with such a B/LUG in your neighborhood. Indeed, they might support you 1. for your presentations (e.g., with material/slides, ideas) 2. for the long term support of families that would like to make the transition to FOSS (by providing work force, demos, install parties…) 3. to show the school director that you are not alone in this movement.

    Also, inviting the parents might be a good idea!

    My 2 cents

    Good Luck

  • Johannes says:

    These are good news!
    Well LIAR, France is not so bad on open source in schools – at leas I know a whole bunch of teachers (my mother in one of them!) which are really convinced about open source…
    I could “convert” her to Ubuntu 2 years ago, and it helped a lot that their colleagues were very positive about it!

  • [...] It’s definitely working… Both my kids use Ubuntu at home; they are 5 & 9. They skip easily between Ubuntu & the Windows machines they use at school and with their friends. They also switch without difficulty between applications too. When necessary James does his homework in OpenOffice.org and takes a USB stick to school with the files saved in a nasty proprietary format. [...]

  • Roachy says:

    Interesting comments and very positive….had an interesting discussion with my 7 year old stepdaughter the other day when she was asking why we don’t use Windows at home (we have a mix of Fedora, #! and Ubuntu around the house…). A brief chat about software freedom/free software – with the emphasis on software freedom and she went away a happy bunny….coupled with the fact that she’s now installed her own OS on her own PC. On the school front though a lot of the education is based around proprietary products – not conceptual learning, and that to me, is a problem that I feel needs to be addressed in the curriculum. I’d be interested to hear how you get on in a pitch to the school….

  • Jordan Hall says:

    I would certainly like to see Ubuntu used more in educational institutes, and of course open-source in general. Looks like James has the right idea there!

    I am personally a big user of Linux in general, particularly Ubuntu, for both work and leisure. I am glad to see the next generation is slowly being educated in the use of alternative operating systems and open source in general.

  • Andrew says:

    Depressing conversation with the Head of ICT at my son’s school the other day:

    Me: “I’m not too happy that you make the kids do their projects in MS Word”.
    Teacher: “Yeah. It’s a problem. We’re thinking of letting them use Publisher instead.”.
    *sigh*

  • david says:

    cool:)
    try and get the armagetron advanced game on their school server
    open source
    minimal virtual team game
    best way to promote open source
    imho
    once we get 1,000,000 kids playing it
    should be relatively easy to introduce other free open source things…

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