With the proliferation of web 2.0 apps, it seems that the operating system is becoming less and less important. Most modern OS's can run most modern software, and most modern browsers can run most web apps. So does the question now shift to which hardware is best? Which "user experience" is best? Does the old "most software won't run on a Mac..." argument still hold water? Should we all switch to Ubuntu?

Tags: Linux, Mac, OS, Operating, Windows, oss, system

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Matt, I've tried dozens of tools out there--some with good results and some not. Usually the kids will like them at first and then get that 'is that all there is?' look on their faces. The best wiki my kids ever did was the first one!
I thought this has been beat to death already.
Indigo,

You remain argumentive. I really do not give a rip if the correct term for free Linux software is freeware or not. The point is that there are not nearly as many good applications available in Linux as compared to the Windows and MAC operating systems. I will repeat what I said in my first post, that an OS should be chosen by the USER not by some bad haircut in the central office, and should be chosen based on the desired software to be run on that machines, not on whether or not that bad haircut can bully the teacher into accepting less desirable software because it is cheap.

This is exactly an issue that led me to set up the discussio on Teacher Autonomy. The notion that someone other than the teacher should be selecting the OS and the software to be used is just plain phoney baloney!
Anne and Indigo, Don't want to be argumentative but the OS isn't important AT ALL to me--I'm more concerned about tech support, lack of stringent filtering and FAST 100% 24/7 availability--which my district has provided. Kudos to them! They would never be able to do this with thousands of machines serving 30,000 kids if everyone was using a different computer, OS or software.
I see your point, I'm using Foxfire now--I was thinking of what I call "stand alone" software--SimCity, Civ, Age of Empires etc. as 'software' (Anne mentioned some). Our district is good about downloading anything I need--Google Earth, Alice, Scratch, Atmosphir, Alice Storytelling, Sketchup etc. That is also FREE software! BUT most people in my district don't use much of what is available free--am I rambling?
I-196 In some content areas I'm sure teachers are looking for specific applications to do certain tasks. We (my co-teacher and I) have the opposite problem---honing in on a tool or application that makes our teaching better and our kids learning richer takes time. I'm always asking "is it worth the effort" (for us and them). I get frustrated with some tech-edubloggers who say 'look at this' or 'wow, look at that'. It's not the tool that makes the difference, it's how it's used with deep thought provoking curriculum----

As I've said before most of the free new tools will be gone in a year (I've read some posts here where people have lost stuff when site X shuts down). I'm actually rambling in the wrong discussion, I see that the main discussion here is open source vs. Windows and I know NOTHING about that!! It's pouring snow here.
No, I'm off topic. You're not.
Actually, most people have no idea how much they use free and open source software. About 2/3 of the web is run on LAMP servers. L for Linux, A for Apache, M, for MySQL, and P for PHP (Perl or whatever). They are all open source. On top of that there are many first rate open source apps that run in that environment such as WordPress, MediaWiki, and I could go on.

I think if people realized this, they would be more receptive to open source and realize that it is not categorically second rate.
Yes and I enjoy tapping into that.
Steve you may have met your 'separated at birth' tech guy in Indigo.
Ok, in this case, you answered that 5 techies were needed to support 3,500 machines on whatever cheap software they were running. You could just as well have said so in your post instead of saying NONE, based on one case. Yet, in another discussion, you assert that techies should be freed of "troubleshooting" by innovative teachers, so that the techies have more time to adapt to modern needs. So, it seems that not adding techies just pushes the job of troubleshooting onto the teachers (as it had been since the beginning), thereby limiting the innovations that can be discovered by the innovative teachers.

I get the sense that you are a person who is more accustomed to being listened to, than one who listens. You still have not provided any reason to follow your advice if the teacher wants to use software that does not run on your cheap system. You just seem to want to roll her over with a bulldozer of unrelated arguments.
The best OS is the one your teachers can utilize to make teaching and learning happen. Until you know your teachers can use it comfortably, it doesn't really matter which OS a school chooses.

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