Jan 26, 2007
The following question was posted on a mailing list recently, and I thought it was quite relevant to anyone looking into Open Source Software (OSS.)

"I have been asked to investigate the use of open source software to replace existing proprietary packages. I would be interested in why you have or have not used open source software and, if you are using it, what you are using and how is it working. I am specifically looking at office suites, e-mail clients, and desktop OS. We currently use Microsoft Office, Exchange, and Windows 2000 and XP for our desktop OS. "

This sort of question is becoming more and more common in K-12 today. While the "whys" and "why nots" are important, approach is at least equally, if not more important than the "whys." My response:
Jan 17, 2007

Smartboards vs. Computers

So far, the responses to the question, "If you had the choice between 5-6 new computers or an interactive whiteboard and projector for your classroom, which would you choose and why?" have been very interesting! I must admit, I have been a little surprised - I expected a bit more diversity. Barring the, "I don't have the space" issue, most of the focus, up to now has been on the teaching side, rather than an argument for learning. I think the big question is, "which would affect learning in a greater way?"

Based on the responses, it would seem that the projector is a slam dunk - everyone thinks that would be a huge benefit. But the argument for the boards is a little less clear cut. I'm curious about the lasting impact. Once the "wow" factor has worn off, do they truly offer enough benefit over a projector alone to outweigh the cost? What if the question choices were 6 computers vs. 3-4 and a projector vs. projector and board?