30 April 2010

What is so special about SchoolOS - Gobotype FSH + Project roadmap

SchoolOS is Custom Linux Distro for Indian School. I had put a good amount of energy to shape the idea into the implementation. Let me tell the major highlights about SchoolOS

* It is made for class I to class XII but college boys can also use it.
* It is 2.5GB+ Live iso which contains all software packages.
* Not only software, but lots of creative commons ebooks
* Right Click scripts. modified bashrc and other shortcuts
* contains all Indian fonts
* etc.... lots other feature
But a very special feature which SchoolOS versions is coming is called Gobotype FSH

what is Gobotype
Gobotype is alternate file system hierarchy.
for example , when you install gedit packages, then all your files got spread in /usr , /bin, /etc and so many other directory.
but in gobotype,
all files of gedit will be in

/home/<user>/Applications/gedit/<all files which belongs to gedit package will be in this directory>

Do not worry, SchoolOS contains old Linux FSH too. /home/<user>/Applications/gedit/usr/bin/gedit will be a softlink of /usr/bin/gedit
similarity  /home/<user>/Setting/dns.conf will be a softlink of /etc/resolv.conf and so on.

I have developed a small script which automatically detect what packages are installed and accordingly it create new softlinks. I am also studying how GoboLinux work and its FSH. Our aim is to give a GoboLinux type FSH which maintain balance between old and new FSH

right now I am downloading Lucid 10.04. will rebuild the SchoolOS over Lucid and will release it in 3-4 days after testing it..

What is next ?
Basically this is just a starting , a new era of enabled education for Indian schools . SchoolOS project is very much important for whole Linux and Open Source Community of India because with schoolos, Linux is going in the hand of millions of students. SchoolOS is something which we own. A public education system must be build on top of public-ally available software.
So here is the roadmap

TASK A ->  [Building SchoolOS Distro] -- we have completed this task by 50% now after deploying the schoolos we will take feedback and then modify it again and again, until it reach to a stable.

[Distribution Centers] - Ideally we want every school should become a distribution center. but individuals are highly welcome. 3GB iso image is very difficult to download. If you are student or college student then you can also become a distribution center. We will send you iso images and give your name on website. So that anybody at your neighborhood can contact  you can take iso image from you. all you need to write iso on USB. do not use DVD writer.

TASK C -> [ICT curriculum and text book design]
- India has diversity. You can find a 12th class student who have not touched computer and at the same time you can find 5 year boy chatting on facebook. We need to design ICT curriculum on 2 modes. 1st mode is classwise. We will design ICT curriculum for each class. at the same time 2nd mode will be stage-wise. So Stage1 will be for those who do not know anything about Computers atall. Stage2 will teach about OpenOffice and paint tools and so on. This is a major challenge. We should modify the wikipedia software (mediawiki) and make it as Wiki+translation tool(similar to launchpad translations). We first need to decide the ict curriculum and then we need to create its books in English version. After some stable release , each book become part of translation pool where website visitor will be provided 1-2 line for English to other language translations. Trackers can be made which list out progress of whole project. Finally we will be able to create CC-By-SA based ICT books for school education upto class 12th.

TASK D - Learn by Videos
-> Creating books is lots of pain. For example I can open my webcam and tell about , how Firefox works and how to configure it. Writing a book on it is real pain then creating Videos. We must setup Video LAb for creating FOSS videos on various educational packages. Infact I have put a suggestion to launch a TV series of weekly episodes which tell about software packages. This will be a major step toward ICT-education in India.

TASK E - 5 day workshop -- We must create some special package of 5 day training program for schoolos Introduction and how a school can get benefits from it. We will release DVD and material. Volunteers can conduct workshop in their city.

Task F -  Linux Administrations - This is a major hurdle. right now , we do not have Linux system admins supports. Schools need 1-2 Linux admins who can install schoolos and configure server, setup wiki and moodle and solve their problems.

This is a endless task list which we cannot imagine right now. Lots of work need to be done. Imagine after 5 year, millions student will be part of our community. This is only possible when we able to find good and dedicated volunteers to support SchoolOS.

Its it rocks you, then join SchoolOS mailing list and become a supporter -

Posted via email from LUG@IITD Community Blog

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