Edubuntu Preliminary Plans for 12.10

Edubuntu 12.10 Plans

Today at the Ubuntu Developer Summit we had a session to plan out the next release of Edubuntu.

For the Edubuntu 12.10 core product, we’re doing some typical Edubuntu updates and features, which include:

  • Authentication step in the installer for AD/Samba4/LDAP
  • We’ll be reviewing the installed apps, add gnote, refresh the kde-edu apps selection
  • Dynamic installer slideshow, based on options selected
  • Juju charms for educational web apps (Moodle, WordPress Multisite, etc)
  • Remote Live Installer (booting an Edubuntu/Ubuntu livecd over the network
  • Education-specific software highlights in Software Center
  • Speed-up installation by optimising the way we ship language packs
  • A variety of Desktop/Artwork tweaks and fixes

Edubuntu Labs: Get Excited and Make Things

On Tuesday I had 2.5 minutes to speak about Edubuntu during a plenary session where I presented some of our more ambitious plans in Edubuntu. We want to make it easier for people to work on their ideas and projects that might be good for Edubuntu, but that doesn’t necessarilly fit into our main product yet or in a 6 month release cycle. For that, we’re starting Edubuntu Labs (subject to namechange). A playground for experimental and exciting features that might one day make it as a supported Edubuntu product. Internally, we’re starting two of these projects to kick it off.

1. Edubuntu Server

Edubuntu Server is a product we discontinued a few years back. Due to popular demand, we’re considering reviving it as a product. Aspects we’re currently investigating:

  • Zentyal Small Business Server
  • A built-in disk-cloning tool using LTSP
  • A remote installer for Ubuntu based installer media
  • Schooltool
  • Schooltool integration into Zentyal
  • Samba4
If we have Zentyal/Schooltool integration by Alpha1 we’ll create a “task”  for this in Ubuntu. We’re not shipping any installation media for this for 12.10, but we have some very clever installer ideas that might be available by 13.04.

 

2. Edubuntu Tablet

Schools are spending too much money on iPads, and working with the Edubuntu project, I’m going to do what I can to try and fix that.
  • The first device we’re targeting for Edubuntu tablet support is the Zatab: http://zareason.com/shop/zatab.html
  • For 12.10 we want to release an unofficial, technology preview version of Edubuntu for Tablets. We want to show software developers what a completely awesome platform Edubuntu can be for schools and encourage them to get their software through the proper channels so that it’s available via the Ubuntu Software Centre by 13.04.
  • We’ll be using Unity 3D as the default desktop, it’s great for touch devices
  • The Kubuntu team is also planning to support this device with the KDE Plasma Active Desktop, we’ll be doing some collaboration maintaining this device’s kernel and hardware enablement.

All of this is still early work, but I wanted to get it out there as early as possible. Over the next 2 weeks there’ll be more official announcements on the Edubuntu website. We’re looking for more contributors to help us out with this, please join us on #edubuntu and add it to your autojoin and introduce yourself on the edubuntu-devel mailing list ;)

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5 Responses

  1. Jono Bacon says:

    Sounds fantastic!

  2. Sameer Verma says:

    I am sure you have a lot of people on your team who get the “Ubuntu” part of the project. Be sure to get someone on your team who actually understands the “Edu” piece of it as well. Maybe parents, teachers, even administrators. Context is very important.

  3. jonathan says:

    @Sameer You’re absolutely right. We have one educator on the team and a few people who’s worked in education on some level before, but it’s not enough. We’re looking for more people who actually have a deep level of understanding when it comes to many different levels of education. If you’re willing to provide some insights, we’re very eager to hear from you!

  4. Sameer Verma says:

    @Jonathan: Most of my experience comes from the OLPC world and as the parent of a six year old who goes to a public school in San Francisco. The frustrations are tremendous (“Oh, but does it run Adobe *?” is the most common question).

    I’d be happy to pitch in. Anything to get children an opportunity to do better no matter where they are.

    (PS: I do run a LTSP lab at SF State Univ, but that’s for college-level students.)

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