[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: [school-discuss] FOSS-Related Curricula

The opportunity here is enabling thru commercial/nonprofit/for-profit publishing. Free apps for schools, portable apps as well, ability to use apps at school & home but a foundation publishes the curricula (teacher & student manuals, CD's, DVD's...).

The FOSS software authors/community could make money (also getting royalties on their lesson plans), the foundation makes money (the %age skim), the schools save money (there must be school districts that actually care & are trying to stem the flood of warez), the students get to take the apps home & keep 'em & can use them forever. It'd become something of a self-generating legacy effort, since more kids would get exposed to quality F/OSS, a broader community grows around the apps, the F/OSS projects could get additional funding for their T&E, etc.

You have a lot of really good comments and ideas, I think many of them would have been discussion starters on their own :)  What you describe (as I understand), the website would work sort of as a directory of resources in content that is published by a foundation, while promoting the FLOSS/FOSS software that displays it. 
What would happen if going this direction was a success beyond all possible imagination - the foundation did well, and big publishers started making changes to create their own similar distribution systems (seems like they would adapt rather then adopt.)  SchoolForge could make something off of the skim, and the results could back into promoting the community - not a bad deal.  It could also extend the use of open source software in schools.

Another thing to look at is how FLOSS has and will shape the 'how' as far as the perpetuation and growth of proprietary resources going into the digital age.  Not that proprietary is always a bad thing, but looking back, is this a direction that has made the materials any more affordable or globally accessible?  Now consider open source software/FLOSS, its affordability and accessibility, and the momentum it has picked up.. it seems like there is so much contrast here that it's an unfair comparison. 

For now, the plan is to get some things going with the website.  We have a pretty good outline of what resources can be made available through SchoolForge that would be valuable to both developers and users that would serve to promote & bring more people to see the efforts of SchoolForge members.  For example, I've been thinking about a banner system that would rotate coalition member 'ads' (randomly) along the right hand border of the page. 
After considering some of these ideas, and about ways that SchoolForge could bring people in, and if there were a banner system that promoted member efforts, would the idea of a sort of voluntary co-op for ads to be presented on larger networks be desirable? That led me to think, well, instead of chipping in to get advertising, maybe that would be a good reason to allow some advertisements on the website - it could go into a pool that would be used to further promote member efforts.  Hmmm..

So there you go, sort of full circle.. :)