I'm an older fart, so my elementary school experience only included computers near the tail-end of mid-school. As such, it was forgivable to have students locked-in to using Internet Explorer (which would have been version 4 or 5 during my time) since there wasn't a great deal of competition.
The major problem is that IE/Edge is still the default and often times ONLY browser available in these classrooms. Again, I believe IT departments use the excuse of "security" to keep students on such dated browsers. Firefox, anyone? LibreWolf? Pale Moon? Any of these browsers can be easily managed and secured by school IT departments. It doesn't HAVE to be IE...
REDUCING HARDWARE COST
By shifting towards a purely "open" software stack, schools then have the ability to purchase older, cheaper hardware. Instead of running bloated spyware (Windows) IT departments could opt to use any one of the lightweight Linux distros available.
This would reduce e-waste, save school districts significant amounts of money (no need to purchase Windows licenses or beefy hardware to be able to even _run_ the operating system) all while still maintaining a high level of user/network security.
Heck, you could even have a fleet of Raspberry Pi devices as your main student "computers". The cost of replacement also becomes less significant (these are children using these devices remember).
I briefly mentioned user and network security above but figured it deserved its own section. A great deal of push-back comes from stubborn IT professionals determined to keep things running on Windows - since this is mostly what they are familiar with. My mother-in-law was an "at-risk" educator for most of her career. She explained to me that their IT department did a major switch over to use BRAND NEW Apple laptops for all the students just before her retirement. I can't even begin to imagine the cost associated with this change. Not to mention the cost of repair for any of these devices when (not if) damaged. Who the hell is making these decisions? Even worse, who is approving them?! The school board had the opportunity to switch away from Windows devices and decided on Apple? Education reform is greatly needed.
WHAT ABOUT THE "JOB MARKET"
I'm not ignorant to the fact that many businesses in the real world require familiarity with some of these more popular closed source applications (Word, Excel). I don't have a magic solution to instantly convert all applications used by the companies, but beginning the process in the education system is a solid start. Over time, the standard will _become_ these open platforms. The initial change just needs to be made.
It should also be mentioned that these open source applications carry over a lot of similar functionality to their closed-sourced counterparts. So it isn't as if a user with extensive LibreOffice experience would be utterly lost while using Microsoft Word.
LOOKING UNDER THE HOOD
Another bonus in using fully open source software is the ability for the students to deep dive into the code itself. This can be a great resource for early programming fundamentals and beginner coding classes. Why not dissect the very program used in your other classes? Here's an example of a possible class project: students could build out their own plugins or extensions for an existing application!
So what are these "open source" alternatives? Check out my simple suggestions below:
MS Office Suite ==> LibreOffice Suite
Photoshop ==> GIMP
Illustrator ==> Inkscape
IE/Edge ==> Firefox
Coding IDE (optional) ===> vim
You could easily expand upon these options, but for most elementary school task these are more than enough.
Harvard Business School, Global Action Platform and Vanderbilt University selects Ryan Ramkhelawan, as one of the 2022 Young American Leaders Class - watch his talk at Collaborate and Elevate
Congratulations are due to Ryan Ramkhelawan!
From Global Action Platform
Ten government, business, academic, and nonprofit leaders from Middle Tennessee have been chosen by Global Action Platform for a Harvard Business School leadership program convening representatives from fifteen American cities who are working across sectors to help their communities prosper. Click here to read the full article and view all the winners.
Watch the talk below:
Chrissa Mcfarlane, Founder and CEO of Patientory shares support for Digital Health for Equitable Health Alliance
In joining the #DHEH Alliance, we’re committed to helping grant underserved communities access to #digital tools and technology that can help lead to better #health and #wellbeing for all.
DHEH is the first-of-its-kind in that it is a coalition that is inclusive of representation of the communities for which it serves and it is comprised of organizations that have never before come together to make social change using digital technology as the anchor for that change. This uniqueness is evident in its membership, which compromises historically black colleges and universities, patient and physician advocacy organizations, and corporate organizations, all with the unified mission to improve access to care in underserved communities.
Learn more about the work the Patientory Foundation is committed to at PTOY.org and the recent launch of the Digital Health for Equitable Health Alliance at https://lnkd.in/gdeW4hdD
see; Partners Across Health Care, Academia and Patient Advocacy Launch the Digital Health for Equitable Health Alliance, a Unique Coalition to Address Disparities in Access to Healthcare using Digital Health Technology
Partners Across Health Care, Academia and Patient Advocacy Launch the Digital Health for Equitable Health Alliance, a Unique Coalition to Address Disparities in Access to Healthcare using Digital Health Technology
The Digital Health for Equitable Health Alliance brings together multi-sector stakeholders, leaders, and advocates to promote a more digitally inclusive and accessible society that will transform health delivery for underserved populations.
The Digital Health for Equitable Health (DHEH) Alliance will champion policies and programs meant to increase equitable access to quality healthcare by building upon innovations in digital health, telemedicine, wearables, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more to advance public health and well-being.
"DHEH will be a change catalyst that transforms health for Americans in every corner of our nation, and we can do that by collaborating across different sectors and systems, and by leveraging resources to amplify impact and mobilize resources for underserved communities," said Tanisha Hill, President of DHEH and U.S. Senior Medical Director, Respiratory and Digital Health Medical Lead at Teva Pharmaceuticals. "Equity isn't just a buzzword, it's a critical movement that will save lives and ensure that, regardless of income, ethnicity or gender, all Americans can access digital technologies that can remove barriers to healthcare management and critical health services. Only by working together, can we make meaningful change in the lives of millions of people, and I encourage others to explore our mission and join us."
Partners in the coalition include the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Howard University College of Medicine, the African American Wellness Project, Black Women's Health Imperative, Allergy and Asthma Network, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Meharry Medical College, Otsuka Pharmaceutical, Patientory Foundation, Health Aims for Little Ones (HALO) and for Families and Teva Pharmaceuticals.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devasting impact on all facets of society, but it expedited innovation in health technologies, and amplified the need for equitable approaches and technologies to address longstanding health challenges impacting vulnerable communities. That is why DHEH's work is so vital," said Michael R. Crawford, Associate Dean for Strategy, Outreach and Innovation, at Howard University College of Medicine and DHEH Vice President and inaugural partner.
DHEH is the first-of-its-kind in that it is a coalition that is inclusive of representation of the communities for which it serves, and it is comprised of organizations that have never before come together to make social change using digital technology as the anchor for that change. This uniqueness is evident in its membership, which compromises historically black colleges and universities, patient and physician advocacy organizations, and corporate organizations, all with the unified mission to improve access to care in underserved organizations. DHEH continues to invite members who support improved access to data, access to digital solutions, digital health coverage, access to broadband, diversity in clinical trials of digital health solutions, and improved digital health literacy.
You can learn more about DHEH at dhehalliance.org
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