Xubuntu at Colegio Hispano Americano

The Xubuntu team hears stories about how it is used in organizations all over the world. In this “Xubuntu at..” series of interviews, we seek to interview organizations who wish to share their stories. If your organization is using Xubuntu and you want to share what you’re doing with us please contact Elizabeth K. Joseph at lyz@ubuntu.com to discuss details about your organization.

As we’ve covered in other articles in this series, Xubuntu is being used world wide to serve a variety of communities with users of all ages. In this interview we spoke with Jose M. Torres Ortiz about how he uses Xubuntu where he teaches, at Colegio Hispano Americano in Puerto Rico.

Can you tell us a bit about your role at the Private School Colegio Hispano Americano and the students/community you serve?

My role at the Colegio Hispano Americano is a teacher but also I’m in charge of the computer lab. This private school has Pre-K to 12th grade students.


What influenced your decision to use Open Source Software at the school?

With Open Source Software I can freely use, and share to anyone. So it was big part of my decision. Now my students can have the same software without charging them. And they can practice at their home. Also there are a lots of great educational software for the learning process.

What made you select Xubuntu specifically for your lab?

I’ve been a Ubuntu user before. My brother has been an Ubuntu user for many years! He taught me the benefits of this OS. But now, I needed an OS to be lighter, faster and user friendly for the teachers and students. Something easier to adapt to, coming from Windows. Also, because Xubuntu is an Ubuntu flavor it has all the administration, education and office software that I need at this time, for example: LibreOffice, Tux Paint, GCompris, TuxMath, Epoptes, etc.

Can you tell us a bit about your Xubuntu setup – customizations made, how installs are done, etc.

I installed Xubuntu to 20 used computers Intel Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM. I used a router and 3 switches to connect them to the network and to my main computer which I monitor, see and administrate each one from my master PC using Epoptes administration software. With it I can see, control or command to open any application in each students computer. (Epoptes is in the Ubuntu Software Center) We painted or classroom with blue and white (for Xubuntu colors). We drew and painted a Linux Penguin Logo in the wall! We still need to draw the mouse from the Xubuntu logo. It’s a Xubuntu Lab!


Is there anything else you wish to share with us about your organization or how you use Xubuntu?

Colegio Hispano Americano is a private school that uses the Cueto Method to teach children.

The school is scientifically arranged for the child to learn the basic skills of reading and writing in a reasoned manner, by composition. By using this method, lawyer Jose M. Cueto noticed that destroyed, sullen, self-conscious children suddenly began to respond spontaneously, smile, lost their shyness and wanted to show what they knew. When being actively involved in their own learning, children ultimately learn to reason and deduce in a reasoned manner.

Furthermore, we use the Python Whiteboard in the software repositories. We use it to connect a Nintendo Wiimote to the PC via Bluetooth. This has allowed us to create a Digital Whiteboard with out buying one.

Materials needed:

  • Xubuntu on a Bluetooth capable computer
  • Python Whiteboard software to setup the Wiimote via Bluetooth (package python-whiteboard)
  • Open Sankoré as the whiteboard software
  • Infrared Pen (buy for $20.00 or less or make one by yourself)
  • Nintendo Wiimote
  • Projector

Last year I used the above setup with Xubuntu in my class. It is excellent for learning process; on the whiteboard we can write, use pictures, games and more. The following is a video of it in use: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1XzGk43njc (in Spanish).

If anyone from Puerto Rico wants to know more about Cueto Method or to how build a low cost Xubuntu Computer Lab, feel free to contact us by phone: 1-787-884-0276 (school phone number) or me 1-787-201-1750. I am also available via email at torres_jose10 at hotmail dot com.