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[Fsfe-uk] [Fwd: The e-learning foundation]

From: Richard Smedley
Subject: [Fsfe-uk] [Fwd: The e-learning foundation]
Date: Mon, 20 May 2002 16:00:01 +0100

Hello all,

Very interesting opportunity outlined below :-)

- Richard

Ian Lynch wrote:
> Richard,
> The Government have just given £500,000 additional funding to the e-Learning
> foundation which among other things is sponsored by M$ to the tune of £1m.
> You can see what they are about from their web site
> www.e-learningfoundation.com. They have some very powerful trustees - one who
> is a forme senior manager at M$.
> The idea behind this is to get IT to low income families but in practice its
> unlikely to make much impact. I suspect the M$ sponsorship is just licenses
> and they are almost certainly in it to help cement the monopoly in areas
> where people wouldn't buy their licenses anyway. I think it would be useful
> for the free software foundation to approach the e-learning foundation with a
> view to cooperation. There is no reason why Linux based solutions should not
> be made available alongside Windows based ones. If they refuse to cooperate,
> it will make a good story for the press. "government funded quango snubs free
> software at tax payers expense, Tony Blair the US poodle in Bill Gates
> pocket?" :-). If they do cooperate, M$ are going to have a stress so it
> should be a win win from our point of view. I'm attacking this from a
> slightly different angle (I will try and get Sun involved) and want to keep
> my powder dry for the time being so it would be best to come from the AFFS
> rather than me. You could E-mail them with something like:
> The AFFS is a non-profit making organisation that promotes the use of free
> software worldwide. One of our key aims is to provide low cost e-learning to
> education. We can help schools set up very low cost systems using both
> refurbished and new equipment from as little as £50 a seat using the latest
> software (no need to compromise on quality even using older machines). All of
> our recommended software is of high quality, under constant world-wide
> development and free as well as having a very high degree of compatibility
> with existing school systems. We have an extensive range of contacts with
> companies such as IBM and Sun at the global corporate level and many smaller
> companies and charities already working in schools demonstrating large
> savings to the tax payer. We would like to be able to gain official
> endorsement of learning solutions based on free software through the
> e-learning foundation with the aim of furthering social inclusion and
> bridging the technological divide. I will follow this E-mail up with a
> telephone call to discuss possibilities for greater cooperatin in more
> detail.

I can think of a few little tweals to the above, but it's a good 
start at representing our case.
All contributions welcome before I edit it and (subject to full AFFS
approval) send it :-)

> Note that we tackle this on a generic level. We don't want to even use the
> word Linux at this stage. We are offering them an opportunity that furthers
> their aims so why would they refuse? It will be interesting to see the
> reaction :-) I half hope they stonewall because with the right angle it could
> get us into the national news. We need to be careful and balanced and give
> them no reason to treat us as eccentric Linux anoraks.

NB - I'm still waiting for those journalists' contact details
that I was promised at the meeting. I'm going to turn my back
and if they're on my desktop by the time I turn around again 
we'll say no more about it ;-P

> e-Learning Foundation
>  Dorset House
>  Regent Park
>  297 Kingston Road
>  Leatherhead
>  Surrey
> KT22 7PL
>  01372 824372
>  01372 824481
> address@hidden

Thanks to Ian for all this.


Richard Smedley
Production Editor, Linux Format

Telephone +44 (0) 1225 442244 ext 5038

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