Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Education through Edubuntu

Filed under
Linux
Reviews
-s

To quote the site, "Edubuntu is a version of the Ubuntu operating system suitable for classroom use. As an educator you'll be able to set up a computer lab, or establish an online learning environment, in an hour or less -- then administer that environment without having to become a fully-fledged Linux geek." New version Development Release: Edubuntu 5.10 Preview was announced on September 12, and this gave me the opportunity to look at Ubuntu - with a twist. As an educator I could evaluate edubuntu not as an operating system, but as a classroom tool. How effectively does edubuntu fit that role?

First off there were a few niggles with the install that hampered initial use, one being difficulty configuring the chroot LTSP step. This bombed out a few times, but with persistance it finally finished. I'd almost given up, but to the victor come the spoils.

Upon boot one finds a gnome environment with no set default wallpaper. Perhaps this is in the theory of lessening distractions and one can be set. It ships with an edubuntu wallpaper in hues of burnt amber as well as an ubuntu "starburst" in shades of brown. The menu is minimized and does not containing an entry for a terminal. I can see the point of not putting one in it for students to play around in, but perhaps the teacher might need it. One can add it with the add applications or edit menu apps, but this teacher got stuck with the root password. The install either didn't ask to set up one, or I somehow missed it.

In the gnome desktop one does indeed find some nice applications for various classroom activities, but they are lumped together in the menu under 'education'. I'd like to see them sorted per subject and possibly grade level. Some of the applications were appropriate for higher elementary whereas some were more appropriate for the lower grades and still others were more appropriate for middle school. In a statement as such as that it sounds like a good cross section decision, until one starts opening them. There's not enough of any one type of application per grade level to do any kind of real planning using the system. Some have some level adjustments, but some of those didn't seem to work to change the level. As an occasional tool perhaps edubuntu can have a place in your lesson plans, but not in any kind of on-going learning routine. In this early stage of development, it's still somewhat limited. As an occasional practice or positve reinforcement application, it has potential. It does come with some games that could be considered educational as well.

I have to wonder how many school systems would allow the installation of the system, I know mine wouldn't, and think perhaps a livecd would make more sense. But anyway, the included KDE applications could be fun and educational. Some present as games and others as skills practice.

        

I particularly liked the Periodic Table of Elements. With customizable views to include states of matter, acid behavior and even the timeline, I could see a real use in this app primarly in the "introduction to" setting, but also for later reference. KBrunch is also a nice math operations practice tool. Including exercises for comparisons, fractions, and factorization, this application could make practicing those unpopular topics more fun. Kedusa could be really nice as a quizzing or even testing suite, but it seemed to have some rendering problems. Questions pertained to a given object, but the said object didn't appear. One only had the question to answer. But this is really starting to turn into a review of the KDE applications, which isn't the intended focus. Most of these we've seen before if you installed that package from KDE. I think I can see the logic of using gnome (version 2.12, btw) as an environment to present the KDE apps. It's simplier in terms of settings and in the ubuntu system, it opens (logs one in) quickly and seems quite stable.

        

Other applications included are gaim, evolution, the OpenOffice suite, gimp, and many others you'd expect to find in an operating system.

So all in all, I have mixed feelings for the edubuntu offering. On one hand it's a wonderful idea and I love any excuse to get linux into the classroom. I'd like to see more variety in applications and some grade level or subject matter groupings. Both would be ideal. Lesson planning takes up a large amount of the educating responsibility and such menu groupings could add some time savings. At this developmental level I can see some potiential and the language choices are a plus. Any type of project of this manner would need localization support. I would also prefer to see it in an (installable) livecd format. I really like the fact that is available for ix86 and ppc, as I use ix86 at home while our school system uses macs. Having this kind of choice is very helpful. If the root passwords step is truly missing, this needs to be added for sure. Perhaps hiding the menu option for a terminal emulator is an agreeable decision, but it needs to be available. My final thought is that I find this idea exciting and plan to keep an eye on this project.

OSDir has some additional screenshots.

Shame Shame

Nice folks should never teach children to play with Gnome, it could have negative effects on them their whole lifes. Smile Sal

re: Shame

lol... I hear ya!

But like I said, I think I see the logic. Well, number 1, it's the default on ubuntu and most of the libs and stuff is already there - that's probably the reason they did it. But also, there isn't much a kid can change in the gnome settings - they'd get bored in 5 minutes. But man, a kid could waste all afternoon playing around in kcontrol!

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

re: no root

Augh sh*t. I remember reading about that now. <konk> That explains it. You can tell I never messed with those ubuntus much.

I'm not sure I really like that idea.

Thanks!

----
You talk the talk, but do you waddle the waddle?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

More in Tux Machines

SUSE: Release of SUSE CaaS Platform, SUSE Enterprise Storage, SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 Service Pack 1 and More

  • SUSE CaaS Platform 4.0 Beta 3 is out!

    SUSE CaaS Platform 4.0 is built on top of SLE 15 SP1 and requires either the JeOS version shipped from the product repositories or a regular SLE 15 SP1 installation. Please note that SLE 15 SP1 is now officially out! Check out the official announcement for more information. Thus you should not use a SLES 15 SP1 environment with the SLE Beta Registration Code anymore. Because the SLE Beta Registration Code has expired now, but you can either use your regular SLE Registration Code or use a Trial.

  • SUSE Enterprise Storage 6 Now Available

    With the current increase in data creation, increased costs and flat to lower budgets, IT organizations are looking for ways to deploy highly scalable and resilient storage solutions that manage data growth and complexity, reduce costs and seamlessly adapt to changing demands. Today we are pleased to announce the general availability of SUSE Enterprise Storage 6, the latest release of the award-winning SUSE software-defined storage solution designed to meet the demands of the data explosion.

  • What’s New for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Arm 15 SP1

    Happy Birthday! It’s been 1 year since we introduced the world’s first multimodal OS supporting 64-bit Arm systems (AArch64 architecture), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Arm 15. Enterprise early adopters and developers of Ceph-based storage and industrial automation systems can gain faster time to market for innovative Arm-based server and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for Arm is tested with a broad set of Arm System-on-a-Chip (SoC) processors, enabling enterprise-class security and greater reliability. And with your choice of Standard or Premium Support subscriptions you can get the latest security patches and fixes, and spend less time on problem resolution as compared to maintaining your own Linux distribution.

  • Are you ready for the world’s first Multimodal Operating System

    Today, SUSE releases SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 Service Pack 1, marking the one-year anniversary since we launched the world’s first multimodal OS. SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP1 advances the multimodal OS model by enhancing the core tenets of common code base, modularity and community development while hardening business-critical attributes such as data security, reduced downtime and optimized workloads.

  • The future of OpenStack?

    Before we can answer these questions, let’s take a look at its past to give some context. Since its original release in 2010 as a joint venture by Rackspace and NASA, and its subsequent spin-off into a separate open source foundation in 2012, OpenStack has seen growth and hype that was almost unparalleled. I was fortunate enough to attend the Paris OpenStack Summit in 2014, where Mark Collier was famously driven onto stage for a keynote in one of the BMW electric sports cars. The event was huge and was packed with attendees and sponsors – almost every large technology company you can think of was there. Marketing budget had clearly been splurged in a big way on this event with lots of pizazz and fancy swag to be had from the various vendor booths. Cycle forward 4 years to the next OpenStack Summit I attended – Vancouver in May 2018. This was a very different affair – most of the tech behemoths were no longer sponsoring, and while there were some nice pieces of swag for attendees to take home, it was clear that marketing budgets had been reduced as the hype had decreased. There were less attendees, less expensive giveaways, but that ever-present buzz of open source collaboration that has always been a part of OpenStack was still there. Users were still sharing their stories, and developers and engineers were sharing their learnings with each other, just on a slightly smaller scale.

  • SUSE Academic Program to be present at 2019 UCISA SSG Conference

    Engaging with the community has always been important for SUSE and this is no different for our Academic Program. That is why next week, the SUSE Academic Program is excited to attend and participate in a three day event hosted by one of the most respected networks in UK education.

Glen Barber: Statement regarding employment change and roles in the [FreeBSD] Project

Dear FreeBSD community:

As I have a highly-visible role within the community, I want to share
some news.  I have decided the time has come to move on from my role
with the FreeBSD Foundation, this Friday being my last day.  I have
accepted a position within a prominent company that uses and produces
products based on FreeBSD.

My new employer has included provisions within my job description that
allow me to continue supporting the FreeBSD Project in my current
roles, including Release Engineering.

There are no planned immediate changes with how this pertains to my
roles within the Project and the various teams of which I am a member.

FreeBSD 11.3 and 12.1 will continue as previously scheduled, with no
impact as a result of this change.

I want to thank everyone at the FreeBSD Foundation for providing the
opportunity to serve the FreeBSD Project in my various roles, and their
support for my decision.

I look forward to continue supporting the FreeBSD Project in my various
roles moving forward.

Glen
Read more Also: FreeBSD's Release Engineering Lead Departs The Foundation

There's A Professional Grade Digital Cinema Camera Powered By Linux

Digital camera startup Octopus Cinema has been designing the "OCTOPUSCAMERA" as a digital cinema camera that's professional grade yet is an open platform with removable/upgradeable parts and this camera platform itself is running Linux. The OCTOPUSCAMERA supports up to 5K full frame recording, weighs less than 1kg, and is powered by Linux. It's a rather ambitious device and they aim to be shipping in 2020. Read more Also: Old Linus Torvalds is back: Linux page caching sparks 'bulls**t' outburst [Ed: Anti-Linux writers of the CBS tabloid ZDNet are mobbing Torvalds into silence again]

Android Leftovers