@mailtofarida AT gmail DOT com.
On Mon, 2008-03-24 at 14:39 +0530, Frederick Noronha [फ़रेदरिक नोरोनया]
Free software in schools. Download this from here
If you're attempting to teach and help people learn about free
and open source software, you'll need to use it yourself before
you do that. Your document is a PDF file that has been generated
using proprietary technology (Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Word).
Plus, it has proprietary fonts embedded into it. Are you sure
the licenses for these fonts allow you to distribute your document
under the terms that you have chosen to? For information about
why you should avoid using Word documents, refer to my sig below.
I suggest you use LaTeX to publish and print your text instead.
Here's a link for your reference (it also has a tutorial on using
- TeX User's Group, India.
A nice editor for writing LaTeX is Kile which is available for
the Linux desktop. Please consider switching to free software
before teaching about it.
From Farida Umrani <mailtofarida AT gmail DOT
I am working with Prof. Sridhar Iyer at Dept of Computer Science, IIT
Bombay on content development for school computer science based on
Edubuntu . We will have the content for elementary class ready in
2008. I am sending you a draft of a textbook for class I (the file is
bulky; hence split and send in two mails). [DOWNLOAD FROM URL ABOVE]
At present, I am implementing this curriculum in one of the pilot
schools. We have included Scratch as a programming language for
students in Grade 3 & 4. Currently we are focusing on elementary
classes and plan to scale it up in the next academic year.
For higher grades, I would recommend teaching Ruby or Python. Both
are in wide use and are very easy to pick up. Ruby almost reads like
English (even with its punctuation).
A visually-appealing book on Ruby, for example, can be found here:
You can use the Web as a medium for your course content as well.
This would allow you to keep content separate from presentation,
which is very important as an author because the delivery medium
can keep varying. A clean Web document is also more accessible
to people with disabilities because semantic content within
your XHTML markup can aid screen readers and other accessibility
software to interpret your content to them.
I believe paper is out (except not when you really need it).
reStructuredText (rst) can help you write your document in plain
text and output it to various other formats:
rst -> HTML
rst -> LaTeX -> PDF
rst -> RTF (Word-friendly)
These are only three of them formats.
We are facing difficulties in getting the teachers
familiar with open
source. Most schools do not have a system administrator or even a
regular Internet connection to get the regular updates and prefer an
installable CD that gives them everything. But to a windows user, this
does not appear intuitive and hence they are put off by it. I wanted
to know about your experience with Goa schools? I have read that GCSP
trained engineering students and teachers. Did these students help the
local schools? We announced a training program for school teachers,
but got poor response and therefore deferred it. Did you face similar
problems? How did you deal with them?
If you have contacts with these schools, we can help them out with
their Internet connections and the maintenance of free software on their
computers. The beauty of free software is that you don't even
need to be present at their locations to fix their computer problems
(although not always).
I myself have a Psychology background... and it has
taken me several
hours of work and reading up the forums to understand the installation
and getting all the dependencies right. However, what is encouraging
is that students have received the open source applications very well.
I hope to learn from your experience at Goa.
My wife has a psychology background as well. She uses free software.
I'd agree she finds it easier to ask for help because I'm
around to be the `sysadmin', but whenever she can't reach out to me,
she knows that IRC, mailing lists, and public forums can get her the
help she needs.
Frederick 'FN' Noronha | Ym/Gmailtalk: fredericknoronha
By the way, several people at IIT use free software. Many of the
students working at SINE do, professionally. They can also be of
help to you.
Yesudeep Mangalapilly | येसुदीप मंगलािपल्ली
GnuPG: 0x79E237CB | IRC: jburd
Can't see my name above in Hindi?
Do NOT send me chain forwards. I will ignore you.
Do NOT send me Microsoft Word documents. I will bite.
I use free and open source software.
Want to send me confidential email securely (GnuPG)?