Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Today's Keynote speaker is . . .

David Trask !!!!

The text in blue is my interpretation of his talk.

The title of his speech is "The Natives Are Restless"

In a normal school environment we use technology for:

email, instant messaging, web browsing, social networking, spreadsheets, writing

What do we use to do these things?

bloated "over-blinged operating systems
expensive office suies
web browsers banned by Homeland Security* (DOH is recommending that people do NOT use IE)

Taxpayer Revolt and other good reasons for saving money

Remember the customers

our customers are:

Give every student a technological edge

FOSS levels the playing field between the haves and have nots. FOSS works no matter what the socioeconomic level.

Mark Shuttleworth was referenced as a model of FOSS leveling his playing field.

The OS is irrelevant. What matters is that they can learn concepts that can be applied to any OS.

For example, we all learned to drive on different models of cars - Ford, VW, Chevy. Honda, etc. But, we can all drive cars - all different kinds. Operating Systems should be the same.

Digital Natives

Most kids have never seen a record or a typewriter. MP3's, laptops, computers, cell phones, etc are all relatively standard now.

They want freedom to choose
They move at the speed of today's world
They change willingly and often
They're more connected than we are
They're open to new ideas
They're changing "business as usual"

Adults see Microsoft and Google.

Kids see thousands of icons -

Kids are using Web 2.0 products so it doesn't matter where they are . . .they can access their work anywhere! Even Grandma's house.

How do we make the change?

Start small
avoid the trumpets
give students a "home" alternative
use it yourself
use it alongside what you have now
simply let things eventually work to where you want to go.

Don't force the issue until you are no longer buying/servicing proprietary hard and software. The next 3 months are painful as teachers struggle to adapt.

Foster the environment in your school "It's okay, you can do it, Grow UP"

How will we prepare kids for the working world?

What will those who are in K now be using for a computer when they are Freshmen in high school?

We need to teach them skills rather than applications and operating systems. Basic commands work essentially the same.

Teaching second graders that word processing programs are word processing programs with the different buttons.

Bottom line - Kids don't care what the operating system is. They develop ownership over the hsrdware and software.

Just Do It

Migrate to Web 2.o applications

It doesn't matter where you are, you can learn.

And this time its personal. . . customize, distribute, integrate, adapt, personalize, tweak

How FOSS makes a difference at budget time . . .

Keep in mind the most important thing. . .access to technology
Weigh the choices . . .teachers vs licenses
Seek the alternative...costly books vs online resources
Less horsepower = better gas mileage (budge PC's and thin-clients)
Leverage an old investment. . .turn it into a thin-client

If Kids can do it, so can Adults!

David is passionate about FOSSED and about kids and about teaching!
And he's funny, too.

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