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Steve Hargadon: Two Open Source Interviews, K12OpenSource, Wikispaces

Steve Hargadon interviews educators using open source in South Africa and Indiana (USA) today:

“I started very early in order to be able to catch Hilton Theunissen in South Africa, who has led the tuXlab project to install Linux thin-client in 200 schools. Then late in the day Mike Huffman and Laura Taylor provided insight into the Indiana Affordable Classroom Computers for Every Secondary Student (ACCESS) program.

These are both fascinating interviews, and along with the interview with the folks from Atlanta Public Schools last week, they are confirming a pattern that deserves some real exploration: high-priced, high-maintenance computers have led to relatively little actual student time in front of them (35 minutes a week per student in the case of Indiana, at a cost of $100 million a year!); low-cost computer solutions provide significantly more actual time in front of computers for students, and the result is dramatic engagement by students and teachers, and significant academic success…”

You can download the audio in MP3 or ogg format from his post linked above.

Steve also runs a really great website called K12OpenSource, in which he argues the merits of open source software for educational environments. (Of which I am a strong supporter.)

(K12OpenSource uses a nice hosted wiki service called Wikispaces.)

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