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Edubuntu Summit Notes

The following are notes taken during the discussion sessions at the Edubuntu Summit.

(If you were there, please feel free to edit these notes if anything is incomplete or incorrect).

Application Selection

Initial thoughts: Should content, applications and links be provided or should that be up to the educators to sort out?

  • Issues

  • Do most educators have the skills to do this?
  • Do most schools have the resources (Internet access and bandwidth) for this? - Solution possibly a default set of applications should be available to start?

    Questions to be answered:

  • Which desktop do we want to launch with? (Gnome suggested, because Gnome has advanced a lot since SkoleLinux launched, and Ubuntu is a Gnome distro by default etc, TBD asap for first release, it is important to note that educators do not care about Gnome vs KDE vs xyz, they are concerned about receiving content in their own language and good applications, and ease of use, above all else..). - Finally decided as Gnome for the first release.

  • Which languages will we support? (Suggestion English by default, and then the standard languages which Ubuntu ships with) - Finally decided as English by default and then all languages that Ubuntu supports (some 90 languages).
  • Target Education Sector? Junior, Secondary, Tertiary group? (Suggestion - junior school - 6-12 years old - universities tend to do their own thing and have plenty of skill and strong ideas.) - Finally decided that school going age children will be targeted ages 6-18.
  • Applications - if multiple applications exist for the same task/subject, which one will be selected and by whom? (Suggestion one by default and the others in a repository on-line (universe/multiverse etc) and/or on a set of CDs or a DVD etc). Finally decided that where more than one similar apps exisist, one will be selected, howvere if similar applications exisit but designed for differing skill levels/ages, more than one will be selected to represent this (eg tuxpaint for younger users and GIMP for older users).
  • How will new applications be identified, evaluated and included into Edubuntu over time. There is no easy way, catalog to find new applications. These will have to be found through Google. This will be an evolving and itterative process. Once the first release is out, feedback and requests will be received and reviewed. This will be further adressed in the Breezy +1 release.
  • What subject matter/content areas will be selected? Decided that a range of applications and subject matter areas will be covered. It is noted that for now class room content software is less important than teacher tools i.e. tools to allow teachers to create their own teaching materials (worksheets, tests, cross words etc). This is where computers are currently most useful in classroom use. Computers are still class room tools (as are scissors) rather than the medium relaying the education itself.
  • Content creation - wikis - allowing classrooms to build and populate wikis with content (tuXlabs is using this already - Jonathan Carter has more info). The Skubuntu project has done a lot of great work. Oliver and Jonathan will collaborate to see where learning sand achivements can be shared here. Skubuntu will remain going forward, with its proprietary content, but edubuntu will be the supporting platform going forward.

Suggested option: to make the Edubuntu default install very sparse and then provide other content and options as add-ons, either on the same installation CD, or on separate CD add-ons etc (comparable to Windows, SQL & MS Office CDs etc, to put one workstation together), or on a larger DVD.

Goal for Breezy : Minimal default install
Add-ons to be targetted for Breezy +1

See: ApplicationSelection for more notes on this.

Target Markets to consider

  • Spectrum of Age groups (primary, secondary or tertiary environments)
  • Spectrum of subjects ( maths, astronomy, physics, chemistry, geography, language, grammar, etc)

To be sorted by application type or age groups?
May be able to switch between menu structures if there are various requirements - could be confusing though... (Oliver please update this section based on what was discussed in this session.)

Deployment Architecture

What architecture will Edubuntu use. What is the same as Ubuntu and what is different. (Oliver please update this section based on what was discussed in this session.)

Thick Windows Clients

How thin/thick must the clients be?
There are requirements for multi-media video and sound streaming required and local storage (USB/floppy) drives required so that users can save data. Is there more to add/discuss here?

Community Involvement / Presence

  • Mailing lists - Edubuntu-devel list up and running (+-65 members as at 01Jul'05), if theres a need for more mailing lists, please contact JaneW.
  • Web-site - not in existence yet - WIP (must be at, hno73 is looking at setting this up - webwizards who would like to run with this should contact JaneW)
  • Wiki - this is setup at - (hno73 is changing the theme and style to Edubuntu colours.)
  • Logo - design has been finalised, (can be viewed on

Languages / Translations

What languages will be supported in Edubuntu 1.0?
Agreed that default install language will be english and that all Ubuntu supported languages will be included (90 languages). Will it just be menu structures etc translated, or applications and content too? (As per Gnome.)

Integration / Interoperability

Wine / Samba can be used to allow windows programs to be used with OS and OS applications to be used in Windows - this allows OS to filter into the market - and make the change over easier for users to transition between the 2 types of operating systems.

  • Issues

  • running windows applications rendered to an Ubuntu terminal (technically possible, but has legal/licensing issues) on the Windows terminal server and application licenses.

Is there more to add/discuss here?

School Administration & Management

What is required for classroom management? - the teacher being able to take control of the learner's desktops and apply setting etc. What tools and facilities are required for the educator?

In the context of a single classroom mandate for Edubuntu 1.0. Things that need to be catered for:

  • Calendaring (School Tool can do this)
  • Timetabling
  • Content filtering

'Teacher Tool' is an option to be used here (used in K12LTSP). Teacher Tool - python package, for classroom management, allows teacher to switch applications for entire classroom.

  • - need something like this for Edubuntu - Guadalinux has a similar tool

See TeachersPet for more ideas.

Is there more to add/discuss here?

Learning Management Systems

School administration tools (School Tool is an option now). Need to look at options for school administration and management - may not be provided in Edubuntu ver1.0 - we will focus on a single classroom environment for now, and will expand to school/district/government level later on - all early architecture decisions must bare this in mind.

Web Access

Many schools (particularly in Africa) either have no, or limited Internet access, large/frequent downloads are not feasible. Therefore at least a good chunck of applications and content must be available off-line (on CD sets or a DVD etc).

Legal, Policy & Privacy Issues

Content Filtering For schools a web content filter is required to ensure that children to not have access to unsuitable content. 'Dan's Guardian' Squid -Has white list and black list In Andalusia the security server is kept on a separate machine. Would allows Edubuntu to be seen as separate to the security layer. It is clear that Edubuntu will have to do something, but there are issues to be dealt with. (Oli please insert the final technical decision chosen here).

Suggestion to look at IPCOP - Oli to check this out.

Software Patents Not being able to create OS versions of applications if the idea is patented? Need to be careful of violating patents in any way. The individual who owns the patent needs to object if they feel their patent has been breached. Becomes a legal (financial) battle. There could be an option to provide this as a service - speak to Paul Patent infringement insurance can be purchased by companies to protect themselves from unintentionally breaching a patent.

Accessibility Disability acts - mostly a requirement for visually impaired resources - currently the tools are all windows applications, funding would be required to produce good OS versions of these.
Is this required at a general Ubuntu level only, or are Edubuntu accessibility learning tools required as well? Is there demand for school tools for people who are sight, hearing and mobility impaired etc. Edubuntu may need KDE & Gnome interface issues to be sorted out, especially if they are interacting.

User Personal Information (privacy) Not really an issue for Edubuntu1.0, as we will be confined to a single classroom. User data will not really be collected. National ID numbers - stay away from Keep data in databases, and use protection mechanisms to ensure its safety.

Windows licensing issues (cost), if windows programs are accessed from an OS system Want to help schools to save money on licensing costs.

IBM Patents for 'viavoice' etc becoming available? wrt accessibility and patents- get details from Paul Flints

Geographical Differences

What regional issues need to be addressed.

  • Language support
  • Spell Checking (in the various languages)
  • Security Updates - how regular would these be? With 6-monthly releases there's an issue that most school could not do 2 upgrades during a 12-month cycle.

Makes sense to stay tied to the current Ubuntu release cycle. There is a possibility to produce a 'stable' version over a longer cycle - could be once every 2 years etc. This could be supported for a longer period as well.

  • School schedules (N vs S hemisphere), the school year starts in October in N Hemisphere, and in January in the S Hemisphere.
  • Note the current upgrade process with K12LTSP is a reinstall, immediately Edubuntu will provide an upgrade path, which is an improvement on this.


  • Need to get tuXlabs cookbook to package for Edubuntu, lots of how-to information can be found in this (Oli to speak to Hilton)
  • Need to look at K12LTSP documentation to see if this will be useful (Oli to look into this).

Is there more to add/discuss here?

Derivation & Customisation and Branding & Marketing

Need to limit work required for rebranding on derivatives, so that it is not a big job and effort to achiev. Need to be able to have a laregly automated process so that branding can be changed in one place and will be replicated from there to wherevere and whatvere is required of this purposes.

Is there more to add/discuss here?

International Collaboration

How to leverage regional efforts & facilitate cross-border collaboration.

Who & What need to be answered before the how can be addressed.

Main question 'what for?'.

(Get Quim's wall chart sheets)

To Do:

  • Set up a 'normal' html website, easy to understand and navigate EdubuntuWebsitePlan

  • Ask Ubuntu guys to set up an edubuntu forum.
  • Need user friendly non-intimidating methods to collaborate, so that educators and non-technical people can participate as well.
  • Is there a need a user mailing list? - currently there is a devel list, we will create a user/community focused list as well - no more for now.

Colaboration on code will be done via Baz, as per the rest of Ubuntu.

Gatherings: Both regional and larger international gatherings Canonical will offer to host a gather per release cycle (every six months).

**Branding** Stickers Brochures Pens Speak to Hilton about funding the tuXlab cookbook

Edubuntu Future

  • Plans for Edubuntu going forward - where to from here.
    • Edubuntu v1.0 (5.10)- Classroom
      • --- 6-months )
    • Edubuntu v2.0 (6.04) - School ***
      • --- 6-months
    • Edubuntu v3.0 (6.10)- District

*** to be supported for 3-years.

Requirements for School

Taken care of in Breezy release. As discussed at the summit.

Requirements for School

  • Centralised storage (as per SkoleLinux)

  • Directory/LDAP (info required: RFC spec, Open Education spec, "eduperson")
  • School MIS /Calendaring system
  • School Timetabling Tools (Possible option Tablix, SchoolTool will publish timetables but not generate them, a tool is required to created them.)

  • Library Management & Catalogues

  • Accounting & Payroll

CategoryArchive CategoryEdubuntuGatherings

Edubuntu/WikiSite/Gatherings/200507EdubuntuSummit/Notes (last edited 2009-08-03 01:40:31 by sub-223ip196)