Open Source Lab Plans for NECC 2006 in San Diego (Via K12 Open Source.) I know where I will be spending some of my time at NECC this July. Steve Hargadon even worked Will Richardson into the Open Source Pavilion speaking schedule. It looks like Chris Walsh will also be touching on open source read/write web tools. Click through to see the full list of speakers. You might also check out Steve’s thoughts on a Fair Comparison of Microsoft Office and Open Office (Via K12 Open Source.). It’s also worth pointing out that Steve understands Technology and the Transforming of Education (Via Steve Hargadon.)
Public Libraries, Open Source, and World Domination (Via OpenOffice.org Training, Tips, and Ideas.) Wow. Solveig has also posted a very in depth essay on the future of public libraries and open source software… many of her thoughts could also apply to schools. This is also closely related to Squire and Steinkuehlers’ thoughts on the future of libraries.
Various Good Linux Links (Via OpenOffice.org Training, Tips, and Ideas.) Solveig Haugland offered these links. I actually bought two of those $179 PCs from Fry’s a couple of years ago. I replaced the out of the box Linux distro with Red Hat (and later Fedora). I did the entire first year of my phd in Educational Technology on one of them before getting a powerbook from work. Both machines are still humming along under the desk running various services and quenching my open source fix from time to time. I figure it is part of my job to stay up to date on Windows, OS X, and Linux. I suppose that’s part of my personal brand actually. :)
Digital Diamonds (Via Christine Olmstead.) This is an annotated list of Free, but not necessarily open source, software presented during a session at the CUE conference last week.
IBM Is Going Microsoft-Free Internally (Via OpenOffice.org Training, Tips, and Ideas.) Solveig Haugland: “IBM has canceled their contract with Microsoft. They will be using RedHat for the operating system and their own riff on OpenOffice.org for their office suite.” Wow. Speaking of momentum… this will trickle down to schools. :)
Tech hungry schools should look to Linux (Via Moving at the Speed of Creativity.) Wesley Freyer: “That being said, I think most school districts are being fiscally irresponsible today if they are not moving towards open source computing solutions, at least for some of their campuses and instructional applications.”
I can report some related good news. For my presentation about open source software at the CUE conference this past week, I prepared 40 handouts thinking I’d be lucky to get 20 participants. By the time I started speaking I had about 80 people in the room! The facilitator went back for 20 more handouts twice! At the end of the session, participants approached me with specific questions about applications such as Open Office, and about Linux. Better yet, the evals revealed a crowd that left the room jazzed about getting started with open source software! I suppose the humor I added to the presentation paid off. I did not expect to feel so successful about this session, but I’m thrilled that perhaps the open source movement might finally be picking up some grass roots momentum in schools.
So far at CUE 2006, I’ve been supporting sessions in the iBook lab in Mesquite H all day yesterday and today. Yesterday was a CSI science session with probeware, an iPod in Education session, and a beginning blogging session. Today is all iPod and podcasting classes.
This morning I finally give my first presentation at 10am. This is Free as in Freedom: An Introduction to Open Source Software in Mesquite C.
UPDATE 03/11/06: There’s been problems uploading these files from the conference center… check back again tomorrow, after I’ve returned to a more reliable internet connection. :)
UPDATE 03/12/06: All should be well now. Please let me know if you have any trouble downloading these files.
There is much in my queue to post, as usual, but tonight belongs to networking at the CUE conference… except for a few quick questions.
I am still finishing up my “Free as in Freedom” presentation – an introduction to open source software in education. I’ll begin with a quick demo of course, followed by an introduction to the history and philosophy of open source software. Then I’ll demo specific applications. Of course I’m covering all the big names: Firefox, GAIM, GIMP, and Open Office. I’ll also cover some open source web platforms like WordPress.
I want to include lots of the little gems, too, and am reviewing my own harddrive and asking my colleagues what else they are using. So I thought I’d pass that question on here… for a mention in my Friday morning presentation… what’s your favorite opens source software (that I haven’t already mentioned)?
UK ‘s JISC Recommends Open Source in Higher Education (Via Technorati Search for: “Open Source Software in Education”.) This is good news and can serve as support for open source efforts “across the pond” in this county. It may appear in my presentation on Friday.