I don’t remember how I got here, but this site offers a wonderful package of free software for students. An institutional IT department could do well by starting from this package as the norm for a school, and adding from there only what’s needful — instead of starting from expensive commercial packages “because everyone uses them” and ignoring the flourishing open-source space.
Not only would such a gesture save the school real money right at the front end, but it would signify a different outlook about technology, institutional resources, and how we deal with them. It would send a compelling message to a constituency that already understands the power of open source, and it would teach that message to people who haven’t gotten on board yet.
In short, I’m not holding my breath. But when my tech friends say, “Well, you know a bunch of smart colleagues — why don’t you start up a seminary of your own?” this is the kind of thing we’d do in that fantasy world.