Developer Summit Midday break: Education

Here at the Developer Summit, different specs are organzed roughly into tracks. Today we will look at the Education track, covered not only Edubuntu but also the Intel Classmate PC. Rich Weidman, project leader of education, says: “The education sessions at UDS Boston are going well as everyone is keen to build further on the successful Gutsy 7.10 release that’s been very well received by our users and tech reviewers.”

The Education team has a busy schedule at UDS Boston, with three main areas of focus:

Ubuntu education release for the ClassmatePC platform

The Classmate PC, a low powered and low cost laptop, already has a 7.10 proof of concept produced by Oliver Grawert that has already been used by Intel in some limited pilots and client demonstrations. Beyond the proof of concept, the classmatepc-introduce-document spec introduces Ubuntu on the ClassmatePC for the vendors and Intel local offices. Parallel to that, a the classmatepc-planning-spec discussed which technical bits needed to be done, breaking those bits into seperate specs. Once 8.04 releases, the ClassmatePC will be a fully supported platform by Ubuntu and Intel

Management of large deployments

As most Edubuntu deployments involve at least a dozen users, the management of these users and the machines they are using is a key problem to be solved. Further work on GNOME’s Sabayon and Pessulus, designed for lockdown and profile creation for users, has been discussed in the edubuntu-profile-network-session-management spec. The issue of mass control of multiple machines via Puppet is going to be discussed later today in the edubuntu-mass-maintenance spec.

For the teachers controlling their users on Edubuntu computers, the inclusion of the italc tool, although it does require a great deal of work before it can be included by default.

Getting more contributions from our users and teachers

Getting feedback from users and teachers is a key requirement for Edubuntu and as such, something the education-getting-teacher-input spec attempts to address. There have been a few ideas tossed around, such as working with other distributions or getting funding from other organizations to carry out some research on teaching on top of the Free Software desktop.

Between getting Edubuntu ready for the ClassmatePC and supporting very large installations, the education team has a lot of ambitious goals for the 8.04 release. As with anything in Ubuntu, if you can help, don’t hesistate to jump in and give the Edubuntu team a hand. You can read them via the Getting Involved page.

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