April 14, 2001

New project for Open Source education

Author: JT Smith

David Bucknell writes, "Although there are now quite a few education-oriented open source initiatives -- good ones, they have not yet got a journal/news site just for them. I have decided to remedy this with an open source initiative called Open Source Schools which I hope can be of use in disseminating the good work of others more successfully. I hope, moreover, that this will be a place newcomers will find the information they need to get started.

The goal of the project is to help increase the use of open source technology and open source curricula in education -- around the world. It seems to me that while schools and teachers in poorer places might be interested, they might need Open Source Schools to help them find the tools and expertise they need to get going. Those in wealthier areas may, however, be missing the point that open source is for them too -- price isn't the only reason we adopt open source, is it?

To get Open Source Schools, itself, going, I'd like to invite any of you interested in the implications of the Open Source initiative for education (software _and_ curricula) to visit the site, make suggestions, post what I've left out, or corrections to what I have done. More importantly, I'd like to invite project authors to consider writing stories or letting me know that you'll do an e-mail interview about what you are working on. Finally, I'm planning to kick off the site's Webzine (along the lines of http://members.iteachnet.org/webzine/ - International Education Daily) in the near future and would like to talk to those of you willing to:

  • be monthly columnists
  • edit
  • report news
  • do Web admin
  • improve the layout/appearance of the site
  • contribute system admin expertise.

I myself am an English teacher turned Linux enthusiast as a result of working to get my students' writing online. That was in Thailand in 1995. I quickly realized that students' teachers needed to understand the potential of the Web as a means of empowering students to write and publish, so I founded iteachnet. I've been doing that ever since, but now I'd like to take another step toward getting the right tools to the right people; hence, I've decided to put together this little project. I hope that anyone in education who agrees that this might be a worthwhile effort will visit the site and begin building a new open source community.

I'd like to thank Freshmeat, Sourceforge, Slashdot and Seul, among others, for providing the means to find the few tools I've already listed."


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