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

Sridhar Dhanapalan sridhar at laptop.org.au
Tue Jan 31 22:37:38 EST 2012


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


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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