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General Advice on Implementing School-tool in a rural school with limited internet access



I am very new to school tool and I am busy doing some research for a family member who has just been appointed as a school principal in a very rural area in South Africa's Eastern Cape. The school has about 400 learners and there is practically no computer information system in place - class lists are done by hand, reports are done by hand etc.

The school is not very strong financially. They have come across school tool and would like to know if it is a viable option for them to use I live in Northern Ireland, so I cannot provide hands on help and I am also not the greatest expert

I have some questions about school tool. I'm not sure if this is the right forum to ask them, but I'll ask a few in case there are answers or perhaps you could point me in the right direction.

I would like to send my family member a copy of the software necessary to test school tool:

I think this will have to be:

An Ubuntu disk (I assume 10.04 would be the best version to send) A virtualisation package for them to install Ubuntu on their one Windows computer A copy of a stable version of School tool, as well as any dependencies that might have to be installed.

If I understand correctly the school only has a dial-up internet connection

So here are the questions: - and perhaps they are not the best questions

1. Is there anybody in South Africa that uses school tool that would be prepared to share their experience with this school?

2. I don't suppose there is any organisation that would be prepared to give professional advice to the school as they try to address some of these basic needs.

Which virtualisation package would be best to test school tool with? I have played with VirtualBox on my Ubuntu system. I guess that would be the best.

4. Let's assume they get Ubuntu installed on a virtual machine and they need to install school tool without access to the internet - what packages should I try to put on the disk for them? (Assuming that they have a basic version of Ubuntu 10.04 running) I was just on the IRC channel and replaceafill has suggested that I use Apt-On-Cd to send the files. I am just not sure which files would be essential to send.

There might be other important questions that I should be asking. I probably know enough to be dangerous.

Any help would be appreciated.


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