Our local school (Holmfirth High) (check it out – it really is a CRAP website) recently sent one of our kids home with a CD to use at home. When I checked, the disk contained a licensed copy of a microsoft only executable (exe) to help with her maths. This school is a maths and computing specialist (which it gets extra money for) so you would expect it to know a bit about computers.
As I only run linux at home (and have done since about 1998), this was not a lot of good to us. I simply couldn’t be bothered with wine etc.
Instead I wrote a polite letter asking the teacher for a more accessible version e.g. pdf, html, flash, even word doc. I’m not holding my breath for a reply.
Again and again I see this microsoft only attitude – what about all those with macs etc?
As an example of their incompetence, this is what happened a couple of years ago :-
The school published, via their letterhead, the school’s website as www.holmfirthhigh.com, which is not quite the same as above (they missed the “school” bit. I tried to find this website and failed of course. Then I checked further and found that it wasn’t even registered. This screamed potential abuse – as soon as the kids found out how much fun could they have???
So I registered the domain myself, put up a holding page pointing to the correct site and contacted the school. Eventually some overworked teacher who did a bit of web development in his spare time got back to me, and I eventually handed the site over to them.
Since then the school has allowed the site to lapse (despite some records on the internet which still show me as the registered owner). Any enterprising kids on the ball, go for it I say. They deserve all they get.
The school obviously has a lot to learn.