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Applications Education Politics and government

An alternative to Israel’s expensive Microsoft licensing dilemma

Interesting article on OnMSFT: Israel, scared off by Microsoft subscription deals, won’t renew Office licensing agreements:

Under the current deal with Microsoft, Israel pays about $27 million a year for Office on the desktop, Windows, and server software being used across the government. The ministry issued a bold statement, saying “This will also encourage government ministries to re-examine their needs of using Microsoft technology or switch to other technology alternatives.”

Open source solutions are worth exploring. I’d love to see Israel adopt something like
LibreOffice, especially for schools where PowerPoint slides have become the default choice for notices.

I think Linux also makes a lot of sense for most people who just default to Windows because their computers come with it (albeit at a cost).

Schools, in particular, shouldn’t be sitting with PCs running Windows 2000. They can probably revitalise their old PCs with a lightweight Linux distro, and give kids an opportunity to use them for more than just gaming.

Certainly a switch like this is only possible with an investment, but the longer term benefits must outweigh the initial costs.

Categories
Education Mobile Tech

iPads in schools: it's happening already

I just linked to this great video showing kids from a variety of schools using iPads in classes:

The prospect of iPads in schools as a norm still seems a little far fetched in our diverse economic bands but I want to see my kids going to school with iPads instead of bags of back-breaking books, learning dynamically in ways we only dreamed of learning when we were younger. The immediate challenge is persuading educational publishers to make their books available in a format the iPad can handle, whether it be in the iBooks format or Kindle format (or even a more open format but that is not likely to happen too quickly, if at all). At that point an iPad becomes a no-brainer. It means kids carry one device and a tool that is far more powerful than anything we had in our time.