>>>> I totally agree with you Ciaran. If only teachers considered what they
> doing was actually illegal and immoral.
> They simply don't see it that way. They think, sure its only for kids, so
> doesn't really matter about licenses...
Before starting I'll openly declare my bias as a teacher.....
Don't agree with ye on this - When schools have the money to do things
legally they generally do. There are many schools that sign up for the
Microsoft campus agreements (or whatever name they have now) whereby they
pay a set fee per year and have all the MS software on computers in school
and for use by students and teachers on their computers at home. And no -
I'm not advocating this by any manner of means. They believe (rightly or
wrongly) that MS Office and windows are the best tools for the job and want
to use them. Most of the software they want to use will be windows only and
they don't have the skills or the time to find, develop or learn to use
alternatives. If they can afford to buy it they will and if they can't then
they will use a copy. Morally wrong but the morality is not the thing
foremost in the teachers mind. Who is to blame the employee or the employer
I wonder. Perhaps we should consult the BSA .....
I feel they only way this can change is through the minister for education,
> and not via the schools themselves.
There has been no government investment in ICT in education at first or
second level since the last round of funding in the IT 2000 programme . Mary
Hanafin has had circa 252 million to spend in this area and has been taking
the last 18 months to make plans on how it is to be spent. An announcement
on this is due next week. Those involved in ICT in primary and secondary
schools will tell you there is little or no interest, encouragement,
investment by the Government in ICT in education. A report due out from the
school inspectors will be very critical of the current levels of investments
in ICT in schools. Also you can be pretty sure the minister will not do
something that will offend Microsoft and their position as an employer in
The Irish Government has always been pretty hands off when it comes to ICT
use in schools. Occasionally money is provided but it is left to the school
to decide how to spend it. In the North there are province wide agreements
and policies in place and schools don't get to make these decisions. It is a
safe bet that there is much stronger software compliance in schools in the
north but unfortunately the system in place is almost exclusively windows
based. Not one I would like to have happen here but most teachers here would
welcome a move in this direction - not because they are pro-Microsoft but
because they see that teachers in the North have access to decent ICT
resources that are up to date and reliable.
I think it should be noted that a student can get top marks in the Leaving
Cert. - be measured as the absolute very best and most successful product of
our education system - without ever having used a computer and without ever
having read a book other than the standard school text books. There is a
huge issue of the way we assess students abilities by the Leaving cert. and
this has an impact on the way ICT is used in secondary schools. But that is
for another rant elsewhere .....
I bet if we audited schools, that every single one in the country, both
> primary and secondary would have dodgy licenses...
Again not true. In my experience it is true for a great many schools but
certainly not all. In particular Community Schools/VEC are pretty strict
about sticking to licensed software only. We are pretty strict about it in
my school too.
Most teachers have no interest in the open source / free software Vs
proprietary software debate.
It would be great to see a greater use of open source and free software in
education in Ireland. It is happening in some areas. I'm seeing a greater
awareness of some of the issues involved among teachers I work with. In my
school most teachers and all students use OpenOffice, NeoOffice or
StarOffice. However if Microsoft were giving away free licenses to MS Office
tomorrow I would have a hard time convincing them not to move in that
Unless the change comes from above, then things wont change at all.
Agree with this for the most part. When push comes to shove teachers are
employees and it is up to school leadership to decide what is to happen. ICT
is low on the Department of Educations list of concerns and in the absence
of money, school principals will have other priorities as well.
Going way way back to the original point ....... teacher uses publisher
..... yes an abomination of a file format used by someone with low skills
who didn't know better. Had they known they could have installed some free
pdf creator and not caused such a lot of time being spent discussing this
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