Linux and Education

One Laptop Per Child:

Today, school systems and organizations around the world are introducing Linux systems to students, especially in developing countries. One non-profit organization of particular interest is the One Laptop Per Child Foundation, which is actively in the process of distributing low-cost, yet durable laptops to children in developing countries throughout the world [1]. Below is a picture of the XO Laptop, which is designed to be used by children in remote areas and runs on a Linux-based operating system:

One Laptop Per Child

Raspberry Pi:

The Raspberry Pi is an amazing little computer which is the size of a credit card and can be purchased for starting around $25 to $35 U.S. dollars. It uses an ARMprocessor and was created with the purpose of bringing a very low-priced computer to be used to teach computer science skills to children. In December of 2012, thePi Store was opened, which offers software to run on the Raspberry Pi. Virtually any Linux distro that can run on the ARM architecture can be used on the Raspberry Pi, and the Raspbian OS is based on Debian and designed specifically to run on this hardware.


Refurbishing Old Computers for Schools and Disadvantaged Children:

Another way Linux computers are being introduced in schools is through older computers which are refurbished and installed with Linux. As school budgets in the United States continue to become increasingly tighter, this is an excellent way to keep old computers in use and in turn provide wider access of technology to underprivileged students. Non-profit organizations such as the Alameda County Computer Rescource Center and Free Geek have led the way in providing recycled computers installed with Linux to schools [4][5]. Click here to read a 2008 article from which describes how organizations and individuals have worked together in providing refurbished computers to schools [6]. PC United, the HeliOS Project, and TexOS are non-profit organizations which give older computers refurbished with Linux to disadvantaged children, as well as provide free computer skills training [7][8][9].

Educational Linux:

There are many reasons why today’s students will be better prepared for tomorrow if they are learning Linux; click here to learn more [10]. Below are some websites with further information about Linux and education:

Computing for Learning Centers [11]
EdubuntuUbuntu version designed for teachers and students [12]
UberStudent – “Linux for Learners” [13]
OpenSUSE Education-Li-f-eOpenSUSE version designed for teachers and students [14] – An organization which is working to unify advocates of open source software in schools [15]
Linux Terminal Server Project – Linux thin client server administration [16]
International Open Source Network [17]

Linux: Implications for Education

Free and Open Source (FOSS) Tools Great for School and at Home:

KDE Education Project – An excellent assortment of educational games for kids of all ages [18]
Tux4Kids – Several interactive games for younger kids [19]
OpenOffice – A FOSS office suite compatible with Microsoft Office [20]
LibreOffice – A FOSS office suite compatible with Microsoft Office [21]
GnomeOffice – A FOSS office suite compatible with Microsoft Office [22]
Moodle – Online course creation and administration [23]
GIMP – Create and edit photo images [24]
Audacity – Sound editor [25]
Scribus – Desktop publishing [26]

An Examination of the Benefits of Using Open Source Software in Schools:

Below is a link to a .pdf attachment which is a paper I wrote that is entitled, “An Examination of the Benefits of Using Open Source Software in Schools.” Here is the abstract (brief summary) of this paper:

This research is an examination of the ways that open source software can bring educational value and significant cost savings to K-12 schools. Existing case studies and other research are examined. Particular attention is given to K-12 schools which have implemented the free and open source Linux operating system to replace Microsoft Windows on older computers, as well as schools which have replaced Microsoft Office with OpenOffice.



1.    ^ One Laptop Per Child Foundation.
2.    ^ Wikipedia: XO Laptop.
3.    ^ Wikipedia: Raspberry Pi.
4.    ^ Alameda County Computer Resource Center.
5.    ^ Free Geek.
6.    ^ “Open Source Computer Donation Program Aims to Go Nationwide.”
7.    ^ PC United.
8.    ^ The HeliOS Project.
9.    ^ The Texas Open Source Project.
10.    ^ “Linux in Schools.”
11.    ^ Computing for Learning Centers.
12.    ^ Edubuntu.
13.    ^ UberStudent.
14.    ^ OpenSUSE: Education-Li-f-e.
15.    ^ SchoolForge.
16.    ^ Linux Terminal Server Project.
17.    ^ International Open Source Network.
18.    ^ KDE Education Project.
19.    ^ Tux4Kids.
20.    ^ OpenOffice.
21.    ^ LibreOffice.
22.    ^ Gnome Office.
23.    ^ Moodle.
24.    ^ GIMP.
25.    ^ Audacity.
26.    ^ Scribus.

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