Linux in Italian Schools, Part 3: DidaTux
In the first two parts of this series, I discussed how Linux is being used in technical high schools in Abruzzo and Sicily. Here in Part 3, I present a story that in several aspects is different from the previous stories. Enter Anna F. Leopardi, an elementary school teacher at the Direzione Didattica Statale Terzo Circolo of Pescara, which is the administrative center of the smallest province of the Abruzzi region. Anna is not only a free software user and evangelist; she doesn't mind getting her hands dirty doing some Linux customization hacking, which she then uses at her school. In early 2005, she also taught at a professional training course on open source and schools that was organized by the Province of Pescara.
Anna created and regularly updates an ISO image with a collection of popular, localized free software for Windows. Even more interesting is her DidaTux 2.0 project. DidaTux is a live CD distribution, localized in Italian, that Anna created from Mandriva. DidaTux is aimed directly at elementary schools and elementary school students. DidaTux ISO images can be downloaded directly from the "School" section of the Italian portal Pluto.
I find Anna's work to be noteworthy in at least a couple of ways. The short-term reason to mention the existence of the DidaTux CDs is simply that they might help to teach Italian in foreign schools and/or private courses.