International Studies Academy

The volunteers of have placed over 20 stand-alone networked Ubuntu GNU-Linux computers in the library at the International Studies Academy (ISA)at 655 DeHaro Street near 18th Street in San Francisco's Potrero Hill district.

The ISA is home to 420 student in grades 6 - 12 who are interested in focusing on learning foreign languages, multi-cultural studies, social studies, and international geography. The school also has an emphasis on teaching students to give back to their community.

The primary teacher contacts for Partimus at the ISA are Ricardo Elizalde and librarian Nancy Cussary. Ricardo teaches English Language Learners, meaning students whose primary language is not English. Ricardo brings his students into the Linux lab when he needs the whole class to be able to focus on their Internet research and essay writing at the same time. He also uses Moodle for hosting his students' assignmnents online. He says that the Linux computers are faster than when they were running Microsoft Windows.

Nancy likes to use online programs such as Google Docs for collaborative editing of her students' presentations and essays. She likes the fact that the Linux computers don't crash as much as they did when they were running Microsoft Windows.

The 21 GNU-Linux computers in the ISA library are not connected to a central server, but they are connected to the Internet. Each of the machines is running its own operating system, and the software apps such as OpenOffice and the Firefox web browser run locally on each hard drive. Each of the computers has about 1 GB of RAM and Intel chips running at about 2 Ghz. Our Partimus Server Architect James Howard and Senior Systems Administrator Grant Bowman chose not to put a server on this network to avoid issues with changing DHCP from the routers managed by the San Francisco Unified School District.


"The Linux computers have been wonderful for the library at our school, International Studies Academy. Daily, approximately one hundred students use the computers. The students use the Ubuntu Linux-based computers for Internet research, class assignments, and essay writing. We find that the computers are sturdy and stand up to heavy use. The computers also don't get viruses, which is nice. We really appreciate that the Partimus volunteers come in and maintain the computers as well." - Nancy Cussary, the Librarian at the International Studies Academy


Photos by Mark Terranova, licensed under CC BY

Computer Lab