This isn’t a tutorial…yet. Hopefully, when we get a little further, I’ll post the tutorial so anyone can do this at their school and help countless people. We will be using the PXE Boot Server, FAI Server, Tech Tools, and a couple of other things that already have tutorials!
On Friday, October 2, my college roommate and I showed up at one of the elementary schools in our home town to help in the most exciting project we have ever been apart of. We (mostly him, really) had set up 15 computers that the school was going to pay to have recycled. Instead, we cleaned them up, tested them, and installed Edubuntu on them.
Then, we set them up in the cafeteria so the most needy families could come to collect them. We gave each family a quick tutorial and they were free to go. However, most of the kids were so excited to get their first computer, they couldn’t be torn from the screen. They were fascinated with Ubuntu, and some poked around for over an hour, amazed at all the free games and the simple interface. They picked up how to use them in seconds. It was an amazing experience to see these kids so engrossed in a computer. I can only hope they maintain that excitement and learn everything they can from these computers. To add a little icing to the cake, Charter Communications donated $100 towards Internet access for each family.
Dan and I would love to continue this project. We have many more computers from the school district, and hopefully Charter will keep providing Internet. I am currently setting up an imaging system using the Fully Automated Install server. Dan and I are also setting up a quick and easy site to track the computers and their support issues. Hopefully, we are going to repeat this project over and over, and other districts will hear about it and do it as well. We are documenting our steps as much as possible, so it will be easy to replicate in the future. There will be more news on the project webiste. Check back for the full write up in the next few weeks!