Linux Liaison In New Zealand High Schools

by Jim Wilkinson (jimwilk)

Readers of the January 2012 issue of The PCLinuxOS Magazine might recall an article that I wrote about using PCLinuxOS in a high school classroom.

At a recent meeting of the Palmerston North Linux Users' Group in my home city here in New Zealand, I suggested that I would like to make the same sort of Linux demonstration available in other local high schools. As a result of my suggestion, I have drafted a letter to the Head of Computing in the local schools. I hope to make contact with those people soon to work out how I can assist them.

March 2012

The HOD Computing

Demonstration of Linux Operating System to Computer Classes

I am a member of the Palmerston North Linux Users' Group and, at the same time, a retired teacher of mathematics. My registration as a secondary teacher is still current although I have recently ceased working as a relief teacher at Feilding High School. Local schools where I taught over the years are Awatapu College, Feilding High School and, slightly further afield, Paraparaumu College.

Since retiring from the classroom in 2004, I have been learning to use a Linux Operating System as an alternative to Microsoft's Windows ©. Last year, I was able to take my laptop along to Feilding High School and, show students the features of a particular distribution of Linux – PCLinuxOS. As you probably know, these operating systems are totally free. Therefore, I took along Live CD's of the system and gave them to students to try.

At a recent planning meeting of the executive of the above mentioned Palmerston North Linux Users' Group, I suggested that I would be interested in broadening my contacts with local high schools as a Linux liaison person.

If you were interested, I would be happy to bring along my laptop with its Linux OS to demonstrate it to some of your computing classes. I know that schools do study other operating systems than Microsoft Windows ©. Such a visit could be timed to fit in with your teaching programme. At the same time, I would be delighted to provide Live CD's of one or more of the most popular Linux systems for students to take home and try on their own machines. The Live CD doesn't install anything on the computer – unless the operator chooses to do so.

Initially, you might prefer that I visit the school, at a time suitable to your programme, and discuss my ideas with you. I have talked to my former colleague, Kerry Flavall at Awatapu College, and found him receptive to the suggested approach.

Get ‘em while they are young

Let’s hope that my efforts to spread the word about Linux are warmly received. After all, imagine how far we can help Linux spread when we get the youngest users “hooked.”