[Fsfe-ie] Free software in schools

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at member.fsf.org
Thu Dec 11 17:37:48 CET 2003

John Evans <jevans at eircom.net> writes:
> I have some contacts on the IT committees of the various post-primary school
> principals' associations. I had the idea of approaching these committees to
> see if they were open to receiving a short presentation on the benefits to
> schools of using free software.

Great idea!

> In my letter I mention gnu/linux and StarOffice, and go on to outline some
> putative benefits to schools. These benefits are my version of the benefits
> listed by Stallman's article at
> http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/schools.html

An interesting note of Stallmans lobbying is that he doesn't speak of
"benefits", he speaks of the "imperative" of Free Software.  Just a
note.  (also, StarOffice is not Free, OpenOffice is, and Sun are now
providing commercial support for OpenOffice.)

> This leads me to suggest that the working group (or whatever) that is
> putting the IFSO together might put forward a panel or panels of individuals
> who would be prepared to take part in presentations to such bodies as I
> mention here, or to take part in meetings with MEPs etc,

A "Free Software in Education" group has been discussed, but at the
moment, most people are busy with political "fire fighting" such as
patents and the EUCD.  You could lead such a project if you like.  I'd
be happy to assist and would also happily meet with school boards for
presentations etc.

> such as the
> possible meeting with PdeRossa that I mentioned in an earlier mailing on
> Dec5th. 
> (I was a bit surprised that nobody seemed interested in replying to my
> question: how do want to do this? Maybe I didn't make it clear enough that I
> wouldn't see myself as being capable of making any kind of authoritative
> statements on EUCD!).

I missed your previous mail, the videoshop thread happened too fast for
me to keep up.  There was a lot of traffic that day, much like today.
>From the archives, here's your comment:

> Gerard Gibbons who manages the PdeR's Dublin office is interested in
> making contact with the emerging IFSO. How would to like to do this?

This is great news.  I'll bring it up at the meeting tonight.  A face to
face meeting would be fantastic.  Otherwise, an email contact would
probably be best.  Gerard Gibbons was quite useful when replying to
people that were working on the patents directive.  Again, contact with
MEPs is something I'm willing to work on, but often I can't actively
persue it due to other projects and time constraints etc.

do you know what type of contact he was suggesting we make?

Ciaran O'Riordan - http://www.compsoc.com/~coriordan/

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