Giving kids Chromebooks in schools is like serving them candy for lunch. It’s something you’d do if you were either clueless or hated their guts.

What I’m trying to say is stop normalising surveillance in schools, you absolute muppets.

@aral I'm fairly sure here in England that Thatcho actively resisted "healthy foods" being sold in school in favour of the "free market", and certainly whilst I was there all sorts of sweets, soft drinks were widely available and there was no pressure to not consume them (at one point there were junk food vending machines *in* schools, this might only have been stopped in the late 2000s)

@vfrmedia @aral FWIW we switched from metering our kids' candy consumption to always having a variety of candy available, and our kids have started self-moderating.

It turns out you can't teach kids healthy eating habits by forcing them to eat healthy food any more than you can teach them skills by forcing them to listen to lectures and do homework.

@aral I wish there were a competitive open source platform with decent device management, that wouldn't cost a ton more than chromebooks and licenses. Unfortunately, papa google has really cornered the market there.

@aral @WillowMist Considering pine64's previous devices they'd probably expect the students to write the educational OS & software before they have a usable computer

@aral I absolutely love the idea. It would be so hard to pull schools away from the lure of the Web Store and the Play Store.

@aral Well, now having dug back into Pine64 and related stuff, I'm very close to ordering a PineTime dev kit.

@WillowMist @aral If we look back in the history we all ignored the potential of #olpc project which was murdered by vested interests like microsoft lobbying negraponte. OLPC was running Sugar( Fedora UI) and it was packed with educational material.

@pavi @aral My daughter's first PC was Sugar. There was a lot of potential there

@WillowMist @aral i'm not sure true believers in open source really want to spend the time making a computer less useful and easier to lock down.

@icedquinn @aral This is probably true. Leaves educators in a bad position though. We're required take a lot of those precautions, and it stinks when there's really only one player in the game.

@aral I fail to see the difference to forcing them to use o365 in school.

@aral from an entirely superficial perspective… that’s some yucky fuckin candy. it’d be one thing if Google’s Educational software was uniquely excellent in any way but - from what little I’ve heard from teacher family friends - it’s not even competitive.

and those goddamned colors….

@aral 100% agree with that. give the kids cheaper laptops that have a Debian or Achlinux distro. wouldn't be hard to lock it down.

@Nixfreak @aral We should teach the kids how to liberate ✊ their chromebook by installing Debian on it. Funnily enough most of them are already core booted!

@selea @aral

Kids should learn to work with Linux and at least something about basic security and how digital stuff works!

Most kids don't have a clue how the device works that they're holding and using each day.. These days it should be somehwat of a "basic skill" instead of something "special or for nerds"


When I was in middle school, I went to a "Learn IT" class.
The only thing that they teached was Microsoft Office. Sure it was 20 years ago but I doubt anything has changed.
And as you say, they should learn the basic about how a computer works.


Hahaha omg mate! I laughed so hard! I had the same thing when I was in "highschool" and this was about 13-15 years ago or so.. It was such a shame!

I even did an "exam" in AutoCad that I opened for the first time lol, it was just too sad.. Schools are very much behind on tech that's for sure

@selea @stux @aral 20 or so years ago I got kicked out of my IT class for exploiting a vulnerability which allowed me to change other people's passwords and logging in as them.

I am now an IT professional.

Stay in school kids.

Nice! :flan_hacker: Indeed, indeed! But let's improve some things along the way :blobcatgiggle:
@selea @aral


Yes, but the kids sometimes better than their teacher and the politics is worst.
We must tell them, tell them , tell them....


@pswilde @selea @aral


Haha oh yes! When I was 18 I did exams in Graphic Design on my OWN MacBook :flan_laugh:

The people that where watching the exams where all 70 or 80+ :amaze:

Just too insane for words.. We had classes where we would try to collect as much personal info from a teacher and present it at the end to see how "vulnerable" they are on the web. Teachers have often little but no clue about the digital world

@pswilde @aral @selea


Ups, yes , I forget its true. My friend is over 60 and he worked with the old commodore in the eightees. He was an engineer for 3D constructions devolopement.

He is allways very distrustful, because he understand, what the problem is. He news IT in his privacy way .
I often ask him.

@pswilde @aral @selea

@selea @stux @aral 🤣 I really don't remember, when I reached the legal drinking age a lot of that stuff went out the window

@pswilde @selea @stux @aral
I remember feeling the magic of opening a QBasic window in Computer Literacy class and typing "shell" and hitting F5.

Is anybody even going to bother getting into computers if their only interaction with them is these sterilized appliances?

@cjd @selea @stux @aral you haven't lived unless you've placed a cassette tape into a computer and let it load for 15 minutes just to play a game.

If it loads at all of course, you may not have had the tape rewound all the way

@pswilde @selea @stux I’m not proud of this but seven-year-old me wrote and ran a quick simulation in BASIC that made it look like I was breaking into the FBI’s computer system complete with sound effects and everything (our BBC Micro was the only one in class that had a modem attached), until we got “caught” and were told to stay where we were as they were coming… it made my desk mate cry because he thought we were going to go to jail…

I try to use my talents more responsibly these days :)

@aral Haha oh wonderful! :bloblaugh: :blobcatgiggle: Well done :clapping:

But these are the stories that stick behind in the end :flan_hacker: :blobcatgiggle:
@pswilde @selea

Believe it or not, in France, in the 80s, we programmed very simple things in Logo on made in France computers. I was 8 or 9. These days are long gone, sadly.
@stux @aral

@aral A lot of schools are forced to buy laptops for their students and Chromebooks tend to be the cheapest. It’s that simple. School’s don’t tend to really consider the software that’s on it.

@SuperDicq Interesting. Because @Pine64 Pinebook Pros are cheaper. And they don’t spy on you.

@aral @SuperDicq I doubt school management even knows Pinebooks exist.
To my experience, unless you're in the IT industry or in software development, F/LOSS supporters and people with knowledge of the concept seem very few (in numbers).

@aral When you get to this point marketing becomes an issue. School’s probably don’t even know of the existence of Pinebooks.

I’m very sure you could market Pinebooks to schools, they seem well suited for school work as they totally able to run a web browser and word processor.

I think currently Pine64 would not able to supply schools with Pinebooks, they do not produce enough units yet and they also are not yet able to provide adequate support to be used in a school environment. schools use windows and or Chromebooks because they're really easy to remote manage and make accounts for (there's so many experts for windows domains and Google makes it really easy)
I would like to use Linux and some remote management/LDAP/policy but I've found almost no info on how to get remote home folders working, how to deploy policies, configuration files, etc and so Windoes simply works better....
I have never tried chromebooks, but from what I've seen the remote management is simple (Google Workspace)

@kayden @SuperDicq @aral ye domains on linux suck right now. i managed to get MIT Kerberos working on a couple boxes for a bit but the docs were rough.

from what i've seen the current meta is "just join it to active directory" and if you don't use windows "just use samba to emulate active directory, then see #1"

not sure what to do about this.
@kayden @SuperDicq @aral gconf supports GPO-esque behavior but it requires software actually use gconf.

@kayden @SuperDicq @aral This is spot on. It’s the tech stack associated with the Chrome and Windows which provides the value.

Sure the Pinebook is cheaper, but schools can hire people off the street who can press a button to make the Chromebook/Windows work.

There are efforts to close the gap. Foreman, FreeIPA, and FleetCommander fill in the stack. Beyond that, config management like Puppet, Ansible, Salt, or Rex are the tools to look at for provisioning.

@kayden @SuperDicq @aral The schools also don’t have to host the servers with O365 or Google, which is a win for them.

I like *nix systems, I run Linux on my desktop, I manage Linux systems professionally, and I’d like to see it more widely adopted as a desktop in education.

Home config sync is something I would like to see FreeIPA pick up.

@aral if I was given a Chromebook in school I would have immediately hacked the hell out of it and put some linux distro on it, without trying to hide that fact. either that or just refuse to use it. … I’ll omit stories of all the stuff I _did_ do with computers in high school! hahaha 😇


Say thank you for the true words.👍
Fithing for empowerment and privacy. well thats true
they also have no caps lock which is kind of based but then its just a search button which ?????

@aral you can buy chromebooks preinstalled with linux tho

As someone qho acatualy had to use a chromebook for my last year, it was terrible. Other then hating the os and chrome. The teacher (some at least) where spying on us while working and was really uncomfterball. I don't deem that exepting at all.

Originaly the plan was to use ipads insted, but that was too expensive. So my guess for chroombools was the price

@aral as a high school student I can confirm chrome books are the worst thing since canned bread as someone who works with high school students, I can confirm that your chromebooks suck shit through a straw.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Aral’s Mastodon

This is my personal Mastodon.