Education: a ‘fundamental responsibility’

Red Hat chief exec Matthew Szulik called on attendees at the recent Linux World conference in San Francisco to invest a piece of development time to building open source educational software—and not as a market opportunity, but a "fundamental responsibility."

"Money is taking over how our children are being educated," Szulik said. He admonished programmers working on Linux to volunteer to teach Linux in schools and to make sure that Linux bids are submitted when schools are buying new equipment.

As an example, Szulik cited the K12 Linux Terminal Server Project, which is making its K12LTSP software available to schools for free. The Portland, OR-based project released the first version of the Linux-based terminal server package in July. It comes ready to run with programs designed specifically for classroom use. The software is based on RedHat 7.1, StarOffice 5.2 from Sun Microsystems, and a point and click interface based on the GNOME desktop environment.

According to Szulik, Red Hat chairman Bob Young is setting up a nonprofit organization to help push Linux and open-source software in education. He equated the organization to the Civilian Conservation Corps, one of the federal work programs developed during the Great Depression.

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About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at [email protected].