[IAEP] [x-post] GNU Project renews focus on free software in education

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Wed Feb 1 06:27:04 EST 2012


This followed uninformed misstatements in the media at the time by
some FSF members.

FSF influence on K-8 education departments is minimal, but I agree
more can always be done. We need to be in touch with Dora.

Most FSF people I know think high school or university when the topic
is educational software; e.g. FSFE edu-eu mailing list


On Wed, Feb 1, 2012 at 4:37 AM, Sridhar Dhanapalan
<sridhar at laptop.org.au> wrote:
> Brilliant!
> What can we do to have Sugar more formally recognised by the FSF? I
> think it should be their desktop of choice for primary school
> education.
> Sridhar
> Sridhar Dhanapalan
> Engineering Manager
> One Laptop per Child Australia
> On 31 January 2012 23:28, Anish Mangal <anish at activitycentral.com> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Just received a message on the fsf-info list about FSF relaunching the
>> GNU education project:
>> Links:
>> [1] http://www.fsf.org/blogs/community/gnu-education-website-relaunch
>> [blog post]
>> [2] http://www.gnu.org/education/ [GNU Education website]
>> --
>> Anish
>> * * *
>> BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Monday, January 30, 2012 -- The GNU
>> Project today announced the relaunch of its worldwide volunteer-led
>> effort to bring free software to educational institutions of all
>> levels. The new effort is based at http://www.gnu.org/education.
>> The newly formed GNU Education Team is being led by Dora Scilipoti, an
>> Italian free software activist and teacher. Under her leadership, the
>> Team has developed a list of specific goals to guide their work:
>> Present cases of educational institutions around the world who are
>> successfully using and teaching free software.
>> Show examples of how free programs are being used by educational
>> institutions to improve the learning and teaching processes.
>> Publish articles on the various aspects involved in the use of free
>> software by educational institutions.
>> Maintain a dialogue with teachers, students and administrators of
>> educational institutions to listen to their difficulties and provide
>> support.
>> Keep in contact with other groups around the world committed to the
>> promotion of free software in education.
>> GNU and its host organization, the Free Software Foundation (FSF),
>> emphasize that free software principles are a prerequisite for any
>> educational environment that uses computers:
>> Educational institutions of all levels should use and teach free
>> software because it is the only software that allows them to
>> accomplish their essential missions: to disseminate human knowledge
>> and to prepare students to be good members of their community. The
>> source code and the methods of free software are part of human
>> knowledge. On the contrary, proprietary software is secret, restricted
>> knowledge, which is the opposite of the mission of educational
>> institutions. Free software supports education, proprietary software
>> forbids education.
>> In an article at
>> http://fsf.org/blogs/community/gnu-education-website-relaunch,
>> Scilipoti adds insights about the project's organizing philosophy,
>> current contributors, and progress so far. Of her basic motivation for
>> being involved, she says, "As a free software advocate and a teacher,
>> I always felt that the GNU Project needed to address the subject
>> specifically and in depth, for it is in the education field that its
>> ethical principles find the most fertile ground for achieving the goal
>> of building a better society."
>> In her article, Scilipoti also highlights some of the free software
>> success stories from around the world, especially Kerala, India, where
>> the government has migrated over 2,600 of its public schools to free
>> software.
>> While the Education Team has already compiled a collection of useful
>> materials, they are also looking for more volunteer contributors.
>> People who want to help, or who have information about instructive
>> examples of existing use of free software in schools, should contact
>> education at gnu.org.
>> "Education really is one of the most fundamental areas we need to
>> focus on to achieve real social change," said Free Software Foundation
>> executive director John Sullivan. "We need to be acknowledging and
>> assisting schools that are doing the right thing, and helping those
>> who aren't yet on board understand why those giveaway Microsoft
>> Office, iPad, and Kindle deals aren't so great for classrooms after
>> all. We're very thankful to all of the Team members for stepping up to
>> meet this challenge. I hope others will be inspired by their work and
>> join the effort."
>> The Education Team has also been working closely with GNU's
>> Translation Team to make the new materials available in as many
>> languages as possible. People interested in helping with the
>> translation component of the project should see the information at
>> http://www.gnu.org/server/standards/README.translations.html.
>> About the Free Software Foundation
>> The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to
>> promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and
>> redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and
>> use of free (as in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating
>> system and its GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free
>> software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and
>> political issues of freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites,
>> located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an important source of information
>> about GNU/Linux. Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at
>> http://donate.fsf.org. Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.
>> About Free Software and Open Source
>> The free software movement's goal is freedom for computer users. Some,
>> especially corporations, advocate a different viewpoint, known as
>> "open source," which cites only practical goals such as making
>> software powerful and reliable, focuses on development models, and
>> avoids discussion of ethics and freedom. These two viewpoints are
>> different at the deepest level. For more explanation, see
>> http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/open-source-misses-the-point.html.
>> About the GNU Operating System and Linux
>> Richard Stallman announced in September 1983 the plan to develop a
>> free software Unix-like operating system called GNU. GNU is the only
>> operating system developed specifically for the sake of users'
>> freedom. See http://www.gnu.org/gnu/the-gnu-project.html.
>> In 1992, the essential components of GNU were complete, except for
>> one, the kernel. When in 1992 the kernel Linux was re-released under
>> the GNU GPL, making it free software, the combination of GNU and Linux
>> formed a complete free operating system, which made it possible for
>> the first time to run a PC without non-free software. This combination
>> is the GNU/Linux system. For more explanation, see
>> http://www.gnu.org/gnu/gnu-linux-faq.html.
>> Media Contacts
>> John Sullivan
>> Executive Director
>> Free Software Foundation
>> +1 (617) 542 5942
>> campaigns at fsf.org
>> ###
>> --
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