St. Mary's Catholic School
in Rockledge, Florida has demonstrated the obvious:
that KDE/GNU/Linux (KGL) is great for kids and schools. Working with
the Melbourne Linux Users Group
(that's Melbourne, Florida),
and IXC Telecom,
the school deployed the
K12 Linux Terminal Server Project
a thin client enterprise solution. The school's KGL network
consists of one beefy server (dual 1-GHz Intel®), which
services 36 workstations (16 of which are dual-boot). Apparently the
school has opted for KDE as the desktop, and can use
Desktop Protocol (RDP) client, to access MS Windows-based applications
from an MS Windows terminal server. The school's
notes that "the cost per workstation was $50.00 using donated
Pentium class computers". Time to talk to the local school
board about saving some tax bucks!
K12 Linux Terminal Server Project
The K12 Linux Terminal Server Project (K12LTSP), perhaps ironically based on
Red Hat Linux, is "free software with the
potential to save schools, public agencies and businesses millions of
dollars". K12TLSP exploits an extremely efficient,
easily-administered system architecture which will ring familiar to those
who have studied the City of Largo's
deployment of KDE:
K12TLSP installs terminal software on a server that powers diskless
workstations (thin-clients). Applications run on the server with only
the display, keyboard and mouse running on the workstations. This allows the
continued use of older computers while avoiding costly upgrades. New
K12LTSP terminals cost less than $200 each. Even greater savings are
realized as diskless workstations have no hard drives or software to
maintain. While the cost of operation is lower, users enjoy a faster
and more reliable software environment.
A typical installation of a Windows(tm) OS based computer lab of 20
workstations may cost more than $20,000 while the same lab running
K12LTSP would cost less than than $6,000. Reusing legacy hardware can
reduce that cost to less than $2,000.
K12LTSP provides a wide selection of applications most often needed by users.
Web browsers, word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and graphics
applications are included and are free. Updates in the 2.0 release include
automatic sound configuration on many computers. This enables the use of
multimedia applications like Real Audio(tm).
Linux has experienced rapid growth as a file and Internet server operating
system. It's expansion to end user desktops is not surprising says
co-developer Paul Nelson. "No one operating system is the right solution
for all tasks but Linux thin-clients are now a superior choice for
providing basic desktop applications reliably at very low cost."
Resources for Open Source in Schools
Here are some links and resources for those interested in deploying KDE
K12 Linux Terminal Server Project,
part of the K12Linux project, provides information and
links to download and install Linux Terminal software for classroom
The K-12 Linux Project, part of the
K12Linux project, site provides tutorials and guides for using
Linux as a server, such as network administration tutorials and
information for new Linux users.
K12OS.org, part of the K12Linux
project, provides help with installing and configuring Linux for
Schoolforge is a repository
for educational software, lesson plans and projects. Its mission is to
unify independent organizations that advocate, use and develop open
resources for primary and secondary education. It seeks to empower member
organizations to make open educational resources more effective, efficient
and ubiquitous by enhancing communication, sharing resources, and increasing
the transparency of development. Schoolforge members advocate the use of
open source and free software, open texts and lessons and open curricula
for the advancement of education and the betterment of humankind.
KDE Edutainment is a project
designed to create educational software based around KDE.
Open Source Schools
is an online journal of Open Source software in schools.
SEUL/edu, part of the
SEUL (Simple End User Linux) project,
is a discussion group which covers all aspects of educational uses of Linux
by teachers, parents and students. The site also collects resources
that should enable the development (with the help of interested volunteers)
of various open source software that can make Linux more desirable to
educators and parents for their children's education.
Linux for Kids promotes
the use of Linux as an educational and entertainment platform for