I’ve been attending all of our school board meetings lately and for a town with a population of <6k it’s crazy that the school spends at least $500k a year (just for K-8… so probably closer to $1M for K-12) on tech and tech security yet they aren’t able to hire teachers to reduce class sizes in early grades which is a priority for us parents! What would it cost to convert a district with maybe 900 students K-12 to Linux? Is it possible to have a distro that can login any student on any device? What size of a VPS would be needed and also VPN for every device?
I want to present this to them and I’m guessing it will be a mindset shift. Has anyone done this? Anyone know of a school district using Linux and how they did it? Any and all help appreciated.
I personally don’t know school districts that did it, though I do know European cities that have done this. Keep in mind, I’ve been in the US for only 3 years, so I’m learning how things are around here.
The short answer is yes, Linux can definitely do that. All you’ll need is a one-time investment for a server rack, which will handle all the traffic and applications. You can either go with an already established company for this, like RedHat or SUSE, or seek a cheaper solution. Keep in mind that all the biggest companies run on Linux as their backbone (as are over 93% of the Internet Servers). Windows is for… well, the masses.
You won’t need a VPS for this, as it’s best to have a server on premise for optimal speed and security.
My hat’s off to you Sir! This is a great idea and I wish you well in this quest. I would show a prepared info collection to several like minded co-parents first… maybe finding some with Tec know how and or connections to form a group… as a group is harder to dismiss at a board meeting… they tend to dislike change… when it effects…hem…Cough-kick-cough-back…ask me how I know. I use to work for a photographer who was always trying to get school contracts.
@Td Keep us posted I would be interested in seeing the topology and server configuration you come up with. Cheers!
I don’t have any personal experience with converting a district to Linux but when I was looking at distros for myself I noticed Zorin has a section on their website specifically addressing school implementations. Personally, I have Zorin on one computer and it has been stable and very user friendly. As a teacher I could totally see using this with students. The challenge will be as it is for any of us the learning curve specifically for staff. Things like email and office suite. The 3 districts I’ve worked for used both Google and office products. The kids will pick up a new thing easily but tech implementations with staff well… I’ll be thinking of you. I think it’s an incredible idea and hope you can turn the tide for your district.
Thank you all for your input! We have a couple of local computer gurus outside of the school district that I’m gong to discuss this with and see if we can get a proposal put together. I’ve mentioned it to a couple of parents and they were clueless about Linux. Lol. Lots of opportunities here!
@Td I have found that there are a lot of people who tried Linux 25-30 years ago, myself included, but it was only command line, and in my opinion not very intuitive, unless you mapped all the Linux commands to the familiar MS ones. I was floored when I hooked up with this group and found that Linux had “grown up”, kept the uber powerful command line and added a GUI. I believe that once you show people the “new” Linux, and showed cost analysis and ROI they will be hammering down the door. Just my $.02. Cheers!