DINAcon Awards Nominee

FUSS - Free Upgrade for a digitally Sustainable School

Project Category: #3 Best Practice


Paolo Dongilli

FUSS (Free Upgrade for a digitally Sustainable School) has a dual nature: it is a digital sustainability project for schools and at the same time a free software product (Debian GNU/Linux operating system and applications) for a 360-degree management of a school network.
FUSS was founded in 2005 and is a unique experience in Europe for its organization and structure. The project has led to the migration to free software of computer tools used in the teaching of all schools in Italian language of South Tyrol: to date 1,800 teachers and 16,000 students use it; it is installed on 4,000 desktops and 60 servers in about 80 schools in the Autonomous Province of Bolzano). FUSS is coordinated and financed by the Italian Education and Training Department of the Autonomous Province of Bolzano and the current technological partner that collaborates in the implementation and consultancy is the Italian company Truelite Srl.
The choice to use free software in schools is first of all, beyond economic or technical reasons, ethical and political. In addition to having efficient, stable and secure software, the objective is to pursue the values of freedom and knowledge sharing in teaching.
FUSS is a cutting-edge project on the national territory and has made it possible to make teaching digitally sustainable thanks to four fundamental objectives: the use of free software, the use of open formats, the creation of free content, thus laying the foundations for the fourth objective whose achievement should be guaranteed by each school by definition: free access to knowledge. The philosophy behind free software, that of free access to information and sharing of knowledge, is naturally suited to the educational task of every school.
FUSS supports the Public Money - Public Code initiative (https://publiccode.eu/) which in italy is ratified by Article 69 of the Digital Administration Code.
The source code of FUSS is free, public and transparent and can be consulted on https://work.fuss.bz.it/projects while the documentation is accessible from the main site https://fuss.bz.it