Comments on Laptop for Every Teacher Initiative

A Laptop for Every Teacher Initiative is a good initiative, but it lacks direction and vision! Are we trying to replace typewriters with more expensive typewriters called computers? Or are these to help the teachers make their lesson plans? How? Using more  Google, they are already doing it!

I believe we need more than that, we need full utilization of IT! We need to implement school management systems, change the culture and
start living in it. A very important key to all this is Free Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS).

We need to make use of tools like schooltools, http://www.schooltool.org/

For colleges and higher education we need to make use of tools like moodle, http://moodle.org/

And it is said ‘cheap price’, how can it be cheap when Windows 7 Ultimate cost $319, MS Office Cost $250 and a good virus scanner cost like $60. For 500 laptops this sums up to $314,500, that is like 4 million Rufiyya wasted.

But we have proven FLOSS alternatives, completely FREE, like:
Ubuntu: http://www.ubuntu.com/
OpenOffice: http://www.openoffice.org/

And this option do NOT get infested with virus and malware, and think of the productive a laptop can get when it is free of this headaches.

We definitely need to make better choices at a hard time like this!

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  1. #1 by maldivesresortworkers on February 9, 2010 - 1:54 pm

    exactly.. plus ubuntu has more to it than is usually said about it.

  2. #2 by M on February 9, 2010 - 1:55 pm

    I am a user of linux and a big advocate of open source software. Linux is great if you are a programmer. You have all these tools available from command line and all these free compilers. Latex runs really well on Linux too. Also, it is faster and more secure. Having said that, I think things like openoffice are a bit far behind microsoft office suite. This is where the problem starts for ‘normal everyday’ users. I think, to unlock the true power of linux, you need to know how to play around with the shell and know a bit about scripting. If you don’t, installing something really simple as adobe flash player for 64 bit computers can be a mammoth task. I think the gist of what the guy commenting on the previous post said is true

  3. #3 by Yusuf Abdulla Shunan on February 9, 2010 - 2:47 pm

    M: I will have to disagree with you on couple of things, if you are a Linux user you are right! However, today Linux has gone a long way (it is no longer the black screen)… Arguably with distros like Ubuntu, PCLinux or Mint! In these distro installing Flash player is as simple as clicking on a button and entering your admin password! As for openoffice and other applications, I do agree that they are a little behind, but only a little… I have never came across a scenarios where I cannot do something using OpenOffice that I could have done in MSOffice… Never for a year straight!

    for more info just check this site: http://www.openoffice.blogs.com/

    or check here
    http://en.flossmanuals.net/openoffice

  4. #4 by M on February 9, 2010 - 3:10 pm

    well, yes, I agree with you yusuf. Anyway, what I described about flash player occured about a month ago but I must say with Fedora, maybe the story is different with a distro like ubuntu. But, fact remains, sometimes to get something to work you need to know the shell and a little bit of scripting. To be honest, I think that is one of the better things about linux. Giving the power to the end user to play around with everything so that if something doesn’t work, you yourself can go about fixing it or doing it in a different way! About OpenOffice, to be truthful I don’t use it much as most of my data files are in .txt and all my graphs come out on Matlab and my number crunching is done on Fortran or Matlab. Anyway, the fact remains that things like solver aren’t available in OpenOffice. Moving a bit away from this discussion, how do you guys go about writing Dhivehi on OpenOffice? Do you have support for that?

  5. #5 by Yusuf Abdulla Shunan on February 9, 2010 - 3:38 pm

    Man, talking to you feel like you just came out of a cave! Excuse my expression, can’t help the feeling… 🙂

    Actually Dhivehi is supported very well in OpenOffice.org! In the beginning there were a little difficulties but starting from 3.2 it is nearly as good as any! And this might not interest you but there is a localization project of ubuntu too!

    http://moss.org.mv/l10n

    Also drop in a question or comment on the Mailing list, where a bunch of FLOSS advocates hang out! 🙂
    http://groups.google.com/group/mlugmv/

  6. #6 by M on February 9, 2010 - 3:43 pm

    Hehehe, as I said, it was not related to what I was talking about. It’s just I never had to write dhivehi since I started using linux. To be honest even now I don’t have to use dhivehi. I just asked out of curiosity. Wasn’t supposed to be like ‘you can’t even write dhivehi on linux, gotchya’. Was supposed to be like ‘you guys have been using openoffice for a long time, you must know how to write dhivehi’. Anyway, I think it would be a very good idea to get Dhivehi to work on Latex.

  7. #7 by M on February 9, 2010 - 3:45 pm

    Out of curiousity again, does the appearance of Fortran in my comment give you the impression that I just came out of a cave?

  8. #8 by shelly on April 6, 2010 - 3:47 pm

    I really appreciate your work to this.So thanks for it.Keep on

    doing such a hard work to this site.Your work is really

    remarkable.

    shelly

  9. #9 by M on April 9, 2010 - 4:33 pm

  10. #11 by M on April 10, 2010 - 4:43 am

    well, as I mentioned beofore, I have installed it myself. That was soon after installing fedora and before I even knew ‘yum’ or what the file system is about. Anyway, my point is (and was earlier as well), it won’t be so easy for an average pc user used to Windows which let’s you just point and click your way through. I know I am on a circular argument with this as I don’t want Linux to turn into a pointy-clicky interface as I believe command line once mastered opens up so much power and fexibility. Anyway, it didn’t turn out to be as simple as clicking a button and entering root password 🙂

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