This is an excellent guest post by Scott Rowed on the use of Linux in K-12 schools, including strong evidence that school districts that do not have students using the Linux operating system are placing their students at a disadvantage, as well as a description of one outstanding success story.
Linux in Schools
What computer operating system should students learn at school? Most schools use MS Windows or Mac, but a number have switched or are in the process of switching to Linux. For schools the advantages are lower costs, greater security, no viruses or spyware, easier upgrades and better reliability. Lastly, there are very few licensing hassles or concerns about pirated software.
What about the students? One of the arguments frequently presented in favour of Windows is that students should learn on the systems they will be using after they graduate. But the computer world is changing rapidly, and it is difficult to determine if Windows will still dominate computer desktops to the extent it does today. More importantly, Windows in 2015 will almost certainly look different than Windows 7.
Learning Linux in school can be compared to French Immersion. Just as students in the French program still learn English, students learning Linux will still be exposed to Windows and Mac computers sufficiently to learn what they need. Linux, as well as French, can open up career opportunities that otherwise may not be possible.