Open source schools: More soup, less nuts

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Charlie Reisinger, IT Director at Penn Manor High School in Lancaster Pennsylvania delivers a talk on how we can empower students at all public schools with the elements of the open source way.

He explains that tablets are all the rage in public schools, but they are locked down. Students are prevented from tinkering with them and installing programs. This sends them the message that we don't trust them to use computers. But through the moral of the old folktale "stone soup," we can empower students by focusing on community, collaboration, and trust.

Penn Manor has successfully implemented one of the largest one-to-one deployment of Linux laptops. A student help desk was spun up at the same time. Laptops are prepared by a group of students for the whole school; one senior even created an imaging program that is now up on GitHub. hosted a lightning talk event prior to the All Things Open conference in Raleigh, NC. Nine talks on interesting ideas, projects, and more in open source topics were held on October 21, 2014 at Red Hat Tower. Over 100 attendees joined in person, for an evening of open source awesomeness. publishes stories about creating, adopting, and sharing open source solutions. Follow us on Twitter @opensourceway.


Charlie, I can't thank you enough for your work. You and your students are an inspiration and should be/could be a paradigm change. Schools are awash in tablets and older laptops including Macs and PC's and you point a way forward that is educationally relevant in today's world and it's also an economically sound decision.

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