Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

CoSN Study Opens Doors to Open Technologies: A New Report Shows Educators How Open Source Programs Can Be Rolled out Successfully-And Affordably

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

CoSN Study Opens Doors to Open Technologies: A New Report Shows Educators How Open Source Programs Can Be Rolled out Successfully-And Affordably

Article excerpt

A STUDY INTENDED to help educators assess and implement open technologies is available now from the Consortium for School Networking (www.cosn.org) as part of CoSN's ongoing K-12 Open Technologies Initiative. The study covers Indiana's ACCESS (Affordable Classroom Computers for Every Secondary Student) program, focusing on the state's Linux Desktop initiative, which placed 22,000 Linux workstations in language arts classrooms.

By considering the five case studies in the report, schools that once determined they did not have the resources to implement a 1-to-1 initiative may well discover the goal is not out of reach if they too use open source operating systems and applications. For example, Indiana's first pilot program equipped three high school classrooms with 30 computers each. The state purchased $199 desktops and $99 monitors from a discount chain and loaded the machines with free software--a suite of open source applications.

The CoSN study also provides details about meeting challenges such as securing districtwide buy-in for open source, and providing adequate training on new systems. In one case, exploring the Monroe County Community School Corporation's use of ACCESS funds to equip nine language arts classrooms with open source technology, MCCSC's information services director, Karen Portle, reports on ways she found to resolve a student logon glitch, make tech support economical by automating annual maintenance, and assess the costs of licensed software versus the total cost of ownership of open source. …

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