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    CoLoCo Touts Ubuntu at Big Education Conference

    June 27th, 2007

    Jim Hutchinson Posted:

    Recently, several members of the Colorado Local Community Team manned a Canonical/Ubuntu booth at the Technology in Education Conference in Copper Mountain, Colorado. The conference was attended by nearly one thousand classroom teacher, administrators and technology enthusiasts from around Colorado and a surrounding states. The booth was open in the conference exhibition hall on June 20 and 21. Using our own hardware, we demonstrated Ubuntu, Kubuntu and Edubuntu, passed out CDs and pamphlets, and answered questions ranging from setting up thin-clients in schools to finding good educational applications.Edubuntu was the main focus and was run on an HP server in a thin-client configuration. Many attendees were particularly interested in using current hardware installations in a “dual-boot” environment. This involves using an Edubuntu server and desktop computers capable of PXE booting. This allows typical Windows based computers to be rebooted into a thin-client mode. In this way, computer labs that are primarily used to produce documents can now be used to access a wealth of open source educational applications. This capability was demonstrated with great success during a three-hour session on using open source software in schools which was presented by Jim Hutchinson and Bryan Gartner on June 19th with the help of several other CoLoCo members (see details in separate post). During our time in the booth, we also demonstrated various applications like Stellarium (a big hit), ran video clips, and showed how thin-client labs are set up. In true do-it-yourself Linux fashion, our “screen” was constructed from an un-ironed table cloth and power strips were daisy-chained together to accomodate all our equipment.

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    The booth was visited by a wide variety of individuals who expressed interest in both Ubuntu as an operating system and Edubuntu as an educational resource. Visitors to the booth came from all corners of education – teachers, administrators, district technology personnel – and from rural and urban districts. We even entertained someone from the Colorado Department of Education. Most everyone we spoke to expressed great interest in using Edubuntu in their school or district but also concern over how to actually implement such a change when they themselves were not in charge of technology or lacked experience with Linux. Emboldened by the enthusiasm of the Colorado Local Team members, we began to collect contact information, pointed visitors to our team’s website, and assured everyone that if they only asked they would find members willing to come out and help. This has led to a current team project focused on developing a way to offer local support to schools, or anyone, interested in using any flavor of Ubuntu. The team expects to “go live” with local support options within just a couple weeks.

    Overall, the booth was a great success and many people went away with new ideas and tips on how to actually make something happen in their school or district. Too often, many great ideas are shared at such conferences, but the reality of education in the United States often prevents positive change. We not only shared great ideas, but backed it up with commitments to actually help make it happen.

    CoLoCo members Jim Hutchinson, Bryan Gartner, Leon Jaimes and Neal McBurnett worked the booth. HP provided the big server for the LTSP demo. Canonical provided funding for the booth as well as materials to hand out. Richard Weideman of Canonical was instrumental in getting everything setup. Visit http://coloco.ubuntu-rocks.org or https://launchpad.net/~coloradoteam for more information.

    3 Responses to “CoLoCo Touts Ubuntu at Big Education Conference”

    [...] Edubuntu at Technology In Education Conference The Colorado Local Community Team manned a Canonical/Ubuntu booth at the Technology in Education Conference in Copper Mountain. The general consensus was that the Ubuntu session turned out to be “the cool session” amongst all of the conference attendees for that day, nearly one thousand classroom teachers, administrators and technology enthusiasts from around Colorado and surrounding states. Edubuntu was the main focus and was run on an HP server in a thin-client configuration. Read more… [...]

    keen101 Says:

    http://code.google.com/soc/2007/ubuntu/appinfo.html?csaid=361DBAB13AE22965

    sounds neat, and perhaps should be added to the Lesson Plan Assignments……..

    just an idea.

    DavidVasta Says:

    Good job guys. Nice work preaching the word of Ubuntu….

    I have a question or two and yes I am spliting hairs!

    Was System76 contacted to help with the Booth, Laptops, Servers?

    If so did they do anything? Or why did they do nothing?

    I hear all of you saying how much you all love System76 and they do have some super products but I think actions speak louder than words? Why would HP put up and not System76. I know I am calling out the favorite kid on the playground in Colorado but they failed to help me this past spring with my presentation which of course made me a sceptic and I am starting to wonder if they are really putting thier money where thier mouth is or are they only pandering to you all just enough to keep you quiet?

    Again I don’t want to take away from what the point was to the show but I did want to point out an observation.Maybe next time I can come along as well and help out.

    -David

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