Refusal to integrate linux costs educators money

linux.png Back in the day, I wrote about the refusal to use open source software implementation in Guilford County Schools. You truly wonder why people that supposedly complain about being understaffed and overworked can justify some of their actions.
Here’s the thing. Kamloops District currently boasts the largest linux implementation in western Canada in a school system. The lead administrator has been gradually pushing for open source since the late 1990s and has implemented LTSP in the district and is currently getting their secondary schools on board.

However, perhaps the greatest benefit of switching to free software is that the reliability of the new system frees up technical staff to do more than routine support. Where the district once paid 10 technicians to keep the district’s computers running, many of those can now be freed for other duties. Since implementing the second-generation system at Barriere Secondary, the district has been able to create a new help desk position to work directly with teachers so that they can make better use of applications. Recently, too, the district has improved the new position of technology coordinator to offer teachers hardware support.

What’s interesting is that while it’s difficult to quantify the savings even though there is more to retraining and education of the new systems but less on licensing fees and and productivity software. But the fact that the savings of time quoted in the article should be enough on an overall scale to justify a move as such. Less maintenance work and more time to help educators use the tools out there.
Sounds to me like time and money well spent and saved. Unfortunately, the situation closer to home, doesn’t seem as nice. We continue to waste money that could be spent on educator salaries or better quality of schooling. The fact is that migration of many technologies does not require anything seen on the foreground. Maybe someone somewhere will one day actually question this behavior. Until then, we just continue to pay more for our children’s technology education while others around the globe begin to become more and more curious about the ways of open source and linux.