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Open letter to KITE CEO on forcing teachers, students and parents to use WhatsApp

PP Pirate Praveen Public Seen by 142

This letter was started as a response to @Nandakumar Edamana sending an email to SMC mailing list (see the thread here: http://lists.smc.org.in/pipermail/discuss-smc.org.in/2020-June/thread.html). You can see the draft here https://cryptpad.fr/pad/#/2/pad/edit/CLrd8men4PdS4n9+iPs+OzBT/ please contribute.

Update 1: I think we should offer to help teachers interested to provide Free Software based services and some of us should share our phone numbers. Please add your numbers to the cryptpad if you don't mind sharing your number in public.

Update 2: Govt order https://education.kerala.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/GO-Online-Class-First-Bell.pdf (it dies not specify WhatsApp)

Update 3: Join #FreeSoftwareFirstBell:poddery.com matrix group to coordinate future actions as we got reply from KITE CEO and one school teacher.

Follow up: Open Letter to teachers https://codema.in/d/u3EDIs4x/kerala-schools-choose-proprietary-google-suite-for-online-teaching

and dedicated group (separate group for Malayalam and English) to work on Free Software in Education https://codema.in/d/PeEx5bHZ/created-a-new-group-for-free-software-in-education

GDB

Gokul Das B Sat 6 Jun 2020 3:30PM

I agree with dangers of non-free SaaS software in education. But how does use of free software exclude use of high end devices? Moodle (frontend) and Matrix clients require as much hardware resources as WhatsApp. Is there a specific point being raised about non-free software and forced use of high-end devices?

Edit: After reading the linked message, I think I get a better idea of what it means. However, unless there is a direct link between non-free software and hardware resources, I feel it is better to rephrase it as:

Many are reluctant to use software like WhatsApp due to concerns about privacy. It would be unethical to force them to use it or act as agents of these software.

PP

Pirate Praveen Sat 6 Jun 2020 3:51PM

It does not, only dependence on non-free software and services is eliminated by switching to matrix. But matrix or moodle can be accessed from any computer so people are not forced to use a smart phone, for example a public computer in a library could be used.

GDB

Gokul Das B Sat 6 Jun 2020 8:26PM

That's a good point. However, this line feels counter productive: "Besides, there are some people who don't like to use high-end technology at all". Makes it feel like teachers are resisting change. How about something like this? "This also forces teachers and students to acquire high end devices which they may not prefer. There is no option to use, for example a public computer in a library"

PP

Pirate Praveen Sun 7 Jun 2020 7:21AM

It is only a first drat created from an email by Nandakumar. It is no way in a final state, please edit it as you see fit.

GDB

Gokul Das B Mon 8 Jun 2020 12:01AM

Thanks! Will keep that in mind. Didn't want to edit without consulting.

PP

Poll Created Sun 7 Jun 2020 2:45PM

Would you like to volunteer to support teachers if they choose to provide a Free Software replacement to WhatsApp? Closed Sun 28 Jun 2020 1:00PM

Outcome
by Pirate Praveen Thu 2 Sep 2021 5:09PM

#PrivacyYathra:poddery.com matrix group can be used to coordinate next steps. We got a response from KITE CEO for our support offer. We also got requests from one teacher and using #FreeSoftwareFirstBell:poddery.com to support them.

Update: Since reaching out to KITE did not really work out, we are reaching out to teachers directly instead, https://fsci.in/blog/letter-to-kerala-teachers Please sign and share this widely.

If you are still interested to help teachers, join our group dedicated to Free Software in Education (separate groups for English and Malayalam)

https://codema.in/d/PeEx5bHZ/created-a-new-group-for-free-software-in-education

Hope to see you in the group to take it to next level.

When we write to KITE CEO, we will have to offer our support and if we can give them a concrete number of volunteers, that will have more credibility than just criticism.

  • support : technical assistance with issues during the use of a software (client applications)

  • setup : support setting up and maintaining infrastructure for a service (server applications)

  • train : training teachers and students on how to use a software or service

Results

Results Option % of points Voters
I'd like to volunteer to train Jitsi 22.5% 16 AK SA AR AKC DU VJ PP HM R D R PB TMB JJ JNP NE
I'd like to volunteer to support using Matrix clients 21.1% 15 AK SA SGK AKC VJ PP R D PB AM DU A TMB JJ NE
I'd like to volunteer to setup Moodle 19.7% 14 AK SA AR AKC S VJ PP HM R A TMB JNP NE GM
I'd like to volunteer to train Moodle 12.7% 9 SA AR AKC VJ PP R TMB NE GM
I'd like to volunteer to support using Signal 11.3% 8 SGK AR AA DU R D VKJ NE
I'd like to volunteer to support using Telegram-with-Matrix bridge 5.6% 4 AR AM VKJ DU
I do not support Telegram 5.6% 4 SGK R TMB NE
I'd like to support using Quickly/Conversations/XMPP clients 1.4% 1 PP
Undecided 0% 187 AP DU V K RD VT D AB A DU DU S AS MK J NV BC P AKS RD

25 of 212 people have participated (11%)

S

shine Sun 7 Jun 2020 7:28PM

I'd like to volunteer to setup Moodle

I can support in sysadmin-related tasks ( mostly off hours )

AR

Abraham Raji Sun 21 Jun 2020 3:33PM

I'd like to volunteer to support using Telegram-with-Matrix bridge

I believe telegram is a bit more mature and would be an easier replacement for WhatsApp for students and teachers. It's server being run on proprietary software is an issue but in comparison to WhatsApp it's definately a step up.

Telegram still does not have videocalling feature yet so we might have to resort to using Jitsi there.

All this being said I don't mind supporting any of the above technologies if the community chooses to do so.

AR

Abraham Raji Sun 21 Jun 2020 3:37PM

I'd like to volunteer to train Jitsi
I'd like to volunteer to support using Signal
I'd like to volunteer to support using Telegram-with-Matrix bridge
I'd like to volunteer to train Moodle
I'd like to volunteer to setup Moodle

I believe telegram is a bit more mature and would be an easier replacement for WhatsApp for students and teachers. It's server being run on proprietary software is an issue but in comparison to WhatsApp it's definately a step up.

Telegram still does not have videocalling feature yet so we might have to resort to using Jitsi there.

All this being said I don't mind supporting any of the above technologies if the community chooses to do so.

VKJ

Vivek K J Sun 7 Jun 2020 3:10PM

I'd like to volunteer to support using Matrix clients

I'd like to volunteer to train Jitsi

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