Why 'Yet Another Linux Educational Distribution'?There are many educational Linux distros. No need to mention them, you might know them or you can find them when you search for the use of Linux in education.
The other day we received an email from a professor in education who suggested us to seek contact with the 'big' Linux educational distros to collaborate. Here is what we wrote back (names of distros removed):
Maybe we are arrogant; in our opinion it's the other way around. It would be an idea if distro X and distro Y would seek contact with us. Of course this blunt reaction asks for an explanation.
First of all, we are rather familiar with distro X and distro Y, have
tried them and love them.
Notwithstanding the good sides of these distros, they do not do anything to solve main concerns in a primary school environment. These problems can be summarized in "no money, no time, no knowledge".
Our distro solves primary school ICT problems that have nothing to do with educational software. There is an abundance of that stuff around, mixed quality in our humble opinion, and our distro contains not one of it. We think a school should make an informed decision on which software to use, depending on their pedagogical views, eudcational policy, etcetera. These considerations can lead to completely different software choices than distro X or distro Y offer. No distro can solve this issue.
Here are a few problems these distros do not deal with:
The tools to manage the above mentioned tasks are much more
complicated to design than adding educational software to standard
distro X or distro Y.
To underpin our assertion on distro X and distro Y even more; we received funds to develop ServerAtSchool for Linux clients (both thin and fat, planned for 2008). From ICT persons working in African primary education in rural areas we received support stating that ServerAtSchool could be the distro for Africa. They might well exaggerate, but we know how easy it is to add your educational software to our distro.
There is another issue that bothers us in distro X and distro Y. It's the quality of their documentation. In all modesty, when you take a peek at our documentation, you can see that it is an educational project in itself. The manuals can also be used as a learning book. We dare say that our documentation is better than distro Xs or distro Ys. When you know better written manuals for the target group we aim at, please let us know.
We do our simple job: both really involved in education and seeking
solutions for an ICT environment that is n times more complicated than an
For more background information; maybe these links can give you better insight why it would be a good idea if Linux educational distros would seek contact with us:
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