Embracing Innovation - FOSS in Schools @neisd

Thanks to Ken Task's email for pointing out the following about Josh Beck in NorthEast ISD schools:
At iMAK we presently have 2 computer labs outfitted with dual boot systems running Ubuntu/Gutsy - Windows XP.  We believe the system we've developed is unique and may serve as a model for educators interested in offering students a diverse, in-depth educational experience in their technology classes. We wish to share our ideas with teachers and IT professionals who are interested in offering open-source alternatives without sacrificing the comfort zone many feel is offered by Microsoft's Windows XP.
Our goal is to offer students an experience that will allow them to advance in high-school and succeed globally. We are constantly striving to stay on top of current technology trends and find creative ways to teach these trends to 12, 13, and 14-year-old students.  
Read more online

You can watch video of Mr. Beck's class online. Students are using Blender to create a catapult....



Students are using a dual-boot machine with UbuntuLinux and Windows XP. I love this account of how he got the change going at a Technology magnet school...note the focus is on bringing innovative experiences to students rather than making it easier for District Technology Department staff to do their job, which unfortunately, is what keeps GNU/Linux out of many school districts:
A few weeks after dropping that first vanilla install into my classroom, I got the notion to go ahead and see if I couldn't integrate 10 or so into the classroom on a permanent basis. Of course, in a district as big as mine this was dangerous territory. These computers essentially belonged to the district and I was deleting thousands of dollars in propietary software in favor of free alternatives. I informed my immediate supervisor before taking any action, and we both agreed that this kind of innovation would be good for our program. After all, we were a chartered technology magnet program. It was in our mandate to do things differently. 

Students are event creating Android apps:
http://linuxclassroom.com/androidpic/article.jpg

Pretty amazing! Keep up the great work, Josh!

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