Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Dutch Open Source consultation (9)

In education the next generations will establish their basis for later ICT skills. Open standards and open source software should belong to the educational package, exactly as these are not products but means of production, of which school, teacher and student have full control. This digital socialization is seen as very important.

The choice for software starts during childhood. Big commercial software manufacturers offer large discounts to schools. When we want to make The Netherlands an OS/OSS apt innovation country, pupils and students will have to be confronted with OS/OSS. This will mean that schools will have to be actively stimulated to fully choose OS/OSS in purchasing, training and available software, says Gait Boxman of TIE.

Respondents prefer without any exemption when the government requires from the publishers, that they should produce platform independent software for schools, using open standards.

It looks to me logical that educational institutes and the government will make platform independence a requirement in the purchase and development of the software, says Matthieu Paapst of the University of Groningen

Requiring platform independent software and the use of open standards are an absolute must in education. Education is delicate when it comes to financial and organizational means and too limited in its possibilities to steer the market. The result is that education, which is the future of The Netherlands, is at the will of the powerful market parties, which will keep the prices strategically low. The results are known: a closed learning environment on the basis of closed standards. This offers too little of a fundamental challenge to adequate ICT knowledge. Due to the use of open standards and software the ICT education market has also been locked up. From the point of view of education and the market that is also unacceptable, says Sanne te Meerman of the Open Source Advisory group.

Blog Posting Number: 789


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