This is a mighty interesting discussion!
I’m an IT manager for 8 High Schools in The Netherlands and I plan to do a lightning talk at FOSDEM this february explaining the situation in The Netherlands (NL) now, with open source not being seen as a viable solution in education (High Schools that is), therefor not used and how we should/could start to get this to be used.
I have loads of ideas on this!
Factors in NL that hamper the situation are as follows (not exhausting)
- Teachers stuck in 2001 and using the same old techniques that they have always used
- IT support that is stuck in 2001, with little professional IT education and using what they know from the past and are familiar with (-> Windows, Office and other closed source software)
- Only 3 big educational publishers that fail to create online html5 learning materials, but remain (for some part) creating Windows oriented digital material for the kids
- Only 2 digital learning platforms available (that can connect via API’s with the 3 educational publishers) that high schools can use, that can possibly connect through API’s with our government. This is necessary for obtaining money from the government, which is based on pupil counts. Guess what: these platforms work best under Windows. One requires the dead Silverlight.
- Management of schools that still feel that they should familiarize students with MS Office and Adobe software ‘as that will be what they will use when they get a job’
- Almost free use of Microsoft products for education on both server and client side
- Free O365 use
- Free Google Apps use
- Low TCO for Chromebooks (which they sometimes chose over Windows for kids, which they then force them to collaborate through O365, for the familiarization in the Microsoft environment. The HORROR!!)
All these factors contribute to the mostly Windows for teachers and supporting roles and either Windows or ChromeOS for students.
As I have limited time right now, I’ll follow up with my ideas on how to break out of this situation later on.
Full disclosure: in 2018 I’ll start a new job at the national governmental advisory board to give advice to high schools on how to organize IT best, and we’ll start with setting up a national IT infrastructure for high schools that want to join. Think of WAN, LAN, Wifi, private cloud solutions, digital learning platforms etc. Hopefully I’ll be in a position to advocate FLOSS in some areas