Jump to content
The Education Forum


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About IanLynch

  • Rank
  • Birthday 08/12/1955

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
  • ICQ

Profile Information

  • Location
    Tamworth, Staffordshire
  • Interests
    Interests<br>Playing rugby, playing football, keeping fit, saving schools money. I'm the World Lead for education for the OpenOffice.org project, education officer for the Association for Free Software and treasurer of Schoolforge UK.<br><br>Background<br>My education background is that I have taught in 4 LEAs and a CTC, was Curriculum Director for maths and science at the CTC Trust (Now the specialist schools trust) before setting out on my own. I was a Registered Inspector and NPQH assessor but now spend most of my time helping schools make successful specialist schools applications, supporting genuinely innovative technology in schools and various bits of management consultancy work.<br><br>
  1. The concept of a Microsoft Society is anti-democratic. In so far as Windows is currently a monopoly that restricts competition, raises prices and curtails freedom, its undesirable enough, but the implication of a MS Society where MS has even more political power over a broader range of technologies is highly undesirable. I think maybe we should be preparing pupils to understand the economic and political implications of putting too much technological power into the hands of non-elected orgaisations. So let's talk about broad education that enables individuals to question the marketing propag
  2. Another take on curriculum on-line is that the BBC said they were going to put £160m into on-line E-learning resources freely available. The education software companies, RM et al complained this would kill their business and kicked up a great deal of fuss. To appease them the Gov made £100m available as effectively a Government subsidy to that sector through E-learning credits. My fundamental gripe is that this distorts the market by funding one commercial model at the expense of another. Why are schools so incapable of making their own decisions on how to spend their money? The proprietary
  3. I'm off to play 5 a side. So if I'm not back you know it was terminal
  4. Its misleading for the reasons you cite. There is no consensus that GNU/Linux is technically superior to Windows in the same way as there was with beta and VHS. Most of the consensus is that MS Office is technically superior to OpenOffice 1.1 at present though again there are arguments both ways. So the issue of technical superiority is the first red herring. The reason there was less subject specific stuff for Macs in the UK was that Acorn had a much more dominant installation base in the early 80s and then it became obvious that the shift would be to PCs and that shift only really took off
  5. I think that the Betamax thing is misleading. What do you mean by best? What do you mean by win? In the case of FLOSS, its there, its being developed and its expanding globally. Its unlikely to suddenly be discontinued and whether its best or even in a majority is not really an issue, its more is it good enough for some adoption that forms a big enough client group for the size of business you operate. IBM seem to think so. From a purely business point of view, the only risk in not developing a business strategy that incorporates FLOSS is the loss of competitive advantage to those who do in
  6. Could we improve the take-up of ICT training by starting to assess students on their use of ICT within subjects, or at least allowing students to use ICT in assessment. I don't just mean wordprocessing essays. Allow courswork to be submitted on CD rom, so that it may include a website or powerpoint presentations. Give credit to those students who know how to successfully search for data on a database, or manipulate 3D models, perform a data analysis using a spreadsheet or edit their own simple movies. I'm no expert in assessment but I spend a lot of time studying the tasks which my stud
  7. The Mac has always been acknowledged as a superior computer but the reason it didn't take off like the PC was nothing to do with VHS/Betamax. It was largely because the Mac was seen as a closed system wholly owned by Apple whereas the PC was open architecture and anyone could build one. People failed to realise that this was not true of the software so we now have a software monopoly instead of a hardware one. This is changing with FLOSS. While there are still few GNU/Linux desktops compared to Windows ones, the rate of growth is much higher than with the Mac and the number of GNU/Linux des
  8. Take a look at http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/co...1101447,00.html This article puts the cost savings into perspective. MS are beginning to get really threatened by both Linux and OpenOffice.org. Its no coincidence that they are dropping prices and offering inducements to try and shut out the competition. What this really proves is that their prices, even those with large discounts to education, are and have been very inflated due to the effect of their monopoly. When competing head to head they struggle to make any profit at all eg Xbox, MSN, IE, but when they have tie in they m
  9. I did make a response to the E-learning strategy consultation document on behalf of the Association for Free Software back in November. In essence I don't think the consultation document is in fact a "strategy", its more a hope/vision of what would be nice in the future. For a strategy there has to be lines of development with forecast costs and mechanisms explaiing how things will happen. There is very little of this in the consultation document. I think the biggest question mark is affordability and social inclusion. Technically, it is not that difficult to see a secondary school enabling
  10. Incidentally, its rather more obvious if you look at the relative cost of software to developing countries. According to the World Bank World Development Indicators Database, 2001, MS Office and Windows XP cost the equivalent of $5431 in Malaysia based on the country's GDP and earnings. Mind, if you go to Sierra Leone its $135,000. So if you want your kids to understand the differences in wealth across the World and why it is very difficult for developing countries to legally join the hi-tec elite, take a look at http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue8_12/ghosh/index.html If the government
  11. I agree, but then one would expect me to as I am part of the Marketing volunteer team for OpenOffice.org Still, its rather difficult for Government to have a "best value" policy and ignore the fact that OO.o gives pretty well the same functionality and at least as good support as MS Office at absolutely no cost to the British Taxpayer. IMHO, the Gov should be ensuring that every school has at least a library copy of OO.o for lending out to the community. There is a social inclusion policy and if the Gov really thinks that there are features in MSO that schools need, they should be identify
  12. Hi, I'm the World Education Lead for the OpenOffice.org community. Couple of points. OpenOffice.org is the code base for Star Office. The only significant differences between OpenOffice.org and Star Office are: Star Office has some minor additions such as a filter for Wordperfect and the Adabas database that OpenOffice does not include. These are relatively unimportant unless you have a specific need for them. OpenOffice.org tends to get released with bug fixes more often, usually Star office comes out after a release of OO.o. So OO.o 1.1 was later released as Star Office 7. Both of these a
  • Create New...