teacher certification in ... free culture?

David Nalley david.nalley at fedoraproject.org
Tue Aug 19 19:25:02 UTC 2008

2008/8/19 Karsten 'quaid' Wade <kwade at redhat.com>:
> http://blog.nj.com/jerseyblogs/2008/08/going_google_talking_with_goog.html
> An interview with a New Jersey teacher who went to Google for a day to
> learn about bringing various modern social web tools in to the
> classroom.  I can imagine how cool it was.
> Not being there, I have to presume the focus was on the well-integrated
> tools that Google offers and not, for example, on the open source
> software underneath them.
> From a perspective of bringing more open source to educators, what are
> equivalents that Fedora could be doing here?
> Oh, and, uh, for less cash outlay.  :)
> - Karsten
> --
> Karsten Wade, Sr. Developer Community Mgr.
> Dev Fu : http://developer.redhatmagazine.com
> Fedora : http://quaid.fedorapeople.org
> gpg key : AD0E0C41
> --

The idea that immediately popped into my head: Well in the 'obviously
less money' front that means this has to be more regionalized, as I
imagine travel and lodging are the major expenses.
You could hold a 'regional' workshop invite teachers to it - partner
with a local LUG to show off open source. Maybe setup an impromptu
lab. Perhaps we don't even term it as a open source workshop - but
more of a technology workshop. As part of the "showing off" hold up
some examples like Marcelo Tossati, Sarath Lakshman, and Ian Weller
hopefully to open their eyes to what kind of opportunities are
available to people (even high school kids) who are motivated to get
involved and learn.

But really I'd like to know what the end goals you are seeking. I
understand that you have said that you want to bring more open source
to educators - but I guess why is the question? Are we looking to get
them to show off open source, become users of OSS? Are we looking to
make them into Robby Workmans - teachers by day and packagers by
night? Or are we trying to get them to reveal (or open their class to
us so that we can) open source to their students. Or all of the above?
(and if it's all of the above, what's the primary target among those?)
For one I didn't come away with the impression that the teacher had a
greater appreciation for open source software or even knew what it
was, despite the fact that she was inevitably making use of it.

I can't imagine that a teacher (or anyone else) would want to spend a
day listening to a sales pitch (even if the item was free as in beer),
or even propaganda.  So my second question is - what's the
demonstrable benefit for them? Especially if they are not teaching
something related to computers? Google said if you attend you will
learn technology that's current and hip - and you'll take away
technology that will make your life more productive, improve your
understanding of the technology your students are using, and possibly
give you something that you can show off to your students. What's the
takeaway statement from what Fedora would provide. I am asking that
not to be difficult, but I think we often get so used to showing off
'cool stuff' to technophiles, geeks and Linux-lovers that we lose
sight of the fact that just because it's cool to us doesn't mean that
others will even care - even if they should.

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