Regarding your article “Computers at school not enough, study reports” in Tuesday’s A.M. Costa Rica, here is one way to free up a lot of money for teacher training: schools here should avoid expensive computers and software and use freely available educational software and coursework that runs well on older computers. Yes, Microsoft does donate software to schools, but Vista and Windows 7 require expensive, high-end PCs to function properly.
The “Edubuntu” version of the Linux operating system, a derivative of the popular Ubuntu, is designed specially for students from kindergarten all the way through college, and comes loaded with interesting, educational games and other learning tools. And, of course, it is available in Español.
In addition, Scott McNealey, ex-CEO of Sun Microsystems, now that he has some free time on his hands after selling his company to Oracle, is devoting his efforts to Curriki, a worldwide education project that he co-founded. (Searching Curriki does find some good courses in computer administration and programming from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona, but more resources in Spanish are needed.)
These provide viable, high quality alternatives to expensive Windows computers and expensive technical textbooks that are soon outdated, and they give older, low-end computers a far better purpose than landfill.
Here are a few links for further reading.
Hills of Portalon