I'm considering running a Linux course for secondary students
this summer, held in Athlone Institute of Technology (and subject
to the college's permission). It would be aimed at students of
local schools (Athlone) entering 6th year who had some experience
of computers (MS-based, most likely) and who were considering a
career in computers, e.g. studying computers at third level.
(This would not be a beginners course).
Topics might include intro to Linux / networking / internet,
but the bulk of the course would be based around
1. Web development / server using Apache and HTML
2. Programming, using Python
to keep things interesting for the students - it is a summer
course, after all. For example, they can create web pages
and then run apache and see how this provides access to their
The primary purpose of this course would be to promote awareness
of Linux to students at this stage - they already know a bit
about computers and want to know more. Introducing Linux would
make them aware of the alternative to MS before they get too
A secondary purpose of the course would be to promote awareness
of Linux to school Principals and IT teachers. I would envision
writing to the school principals in the area, advertising the
course, and using the opportunity to introduce Linux to the
principals and IT teachers, outlining the aims of the Linux in
Schools project and intended development, namely:
(Free) Linux-based Student Admin software
Linux as a (Free) network/internet solution
Linux as a (Free) workstation solution
Linux based IT curriculum
Linux software to support the mainstream curriculum
(e.g. Maths software)
An additional benfit would be fact that if Linux does take-off
in schools, there would be a small number of students who already
had a background in Linux and would be able to assist with the
implementation and maintenance of it in their school.
The course would be 2 hours a day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks
in July. I would like to run it free of charge, but it has been
suggested to me that it might not be thought of as worthwhile if
it is not charged for (perverse, isn't it!) so perhaps a nominal
fee of 20 pounds would be charged, and all monies would go towards
Linux resources in the college.
I would be very interested in running this course, and if it went
well, it could become an annual event. This week I will approach
the college with the proposal, and if the go ahead is given, I will
research the course in more detail and present a suggested curriculum.
I would plan to approach schools within the next two weeks, before
they break-up for easter.
Any thoughts, suggestions, criticisms?
P.S. Funny thing: on the way into Tyrrellspass (a small village
on the main Dublin-Galway road), there is a bed and breakfast with
the curious name of "GNU House". Next time I'm passing I'm going
to take a photo. Perhaps this is where ESR stayed on his recent
trip to Ireland???
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