It's that time of the year when most school budgets are in the process of being developed, presented to governing bodies and (hopefully) approved. Many of the costs of education are out of local control~heating, electricity, gas for buses, health insurance~to name a few. Fortunately, one area has a viable alternative. This alternative might not cut costs but it definitely will give a school more for their dollar. This alternative is (obviously) the use of Linux and Free and Open Source Software.
Besides saving money, the use of Open Source allows students (and some teachers) the opportunity to become more than just end users of a product. The opportunity to explore the technical side of an operating system and to tinker and tweak with software programs is a powerful educational tool and may be the carrot for a reluctant student.
Linux Insider posted an article today (04/03/07) by Lisa Hoover. Her article, Stretching the Education Dollar with Linux is a good overview of information about switching to Linux. It is a good article to share with administrators, technical folks, and yes, even classroom teachers. I appreciated the section that compared the different Linux distributions that are geared for education. Read the article. Share the article with the decision makers. You might end up with some very cool technology.