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[seul-edu] Great do list from Teemu: Forming a coalition

The time lag between the Americas, Europe and S.E. Asia (where I live right 
now) means that I reply to posts late. Sorry. Yesterday, Michael asked for a 
summary of where we are and I suppose we'll need many. I'd like to give it a 
shot to see if I'm seeing the discussion clealy.

I think Teemu's on the same track as several other posts and his points should 
definitely be included. Michael's emphasis on multilingualism is echoed here. 
We need to remember Doug's urge that we look for support from/ties with big 

Am I right that the following "parts" are now being voiced?

*coalition with name and logo
*development of promotional materials (by means of culling, summarizing and a 
comprehensive list of supporting documents on (and off?) the Web
*training materials and actual courses for users as well as sys admins 
*publicity - we should not only high light success stories, but 
publicize budget decisions that neither promote quality tech use 
in schools nor save tax/tuition payers money. I hope everyone in Seul/edu will 
see opensourceschools.org as theirs and become reporters for 
opensourceschools.org as a news site
*I would like permission to direct readers at opensourceschools.org to the 
Seul/edu mailing list
*schoolforge, meant to extend ("ramp up") seul's app foundary, step into the 
breach as SF is less helpful (proprietary) and Savannah is somewhat 
restrictive re licenses

I would like to say a bit about the schoolforge concept for those interested.

I guess the Seul/edu idea is to host educational apps and I think this is 

Personally, however, I intended Schoolforge to go beyond apps into another 
area: the development of a school's lessons, courses and later, curricula, 
that could be used by anyone anywhere. 

My idea is the online school. An international curriculum that says if you 
want a school, you can start with what you find here and add/adapt it 
according to your needs.  It would link to things like Dmoz and Nupedia for 
reference, but reference doesn't make a school, as any teacher or current 
student could tell us.

On the one hand, a school will need a community database (such as eduBase 
which is Jackson Miller's project featured today on opensourceschools.org), 
group collaboration systems and course delivery systems. On the other hand, it 
will need an internationally accepted "core" curriculum to which locally 
relevant modules (such as the "national" view of social studies, religion, 
etc.) following the same standards can be added or "plugged in."

Once a wanna-be school knows what its curriculum is, it needs to develop 
courses. I suspect this is where we could really get teacher participation. 
Teachers would be invited to create their own course projects about the areas 
they feel they know and teach well. As with current open source app projects, 
others would use and join these projects as co-developers. Some projects would 
have many co-developers; others would have a few. All could "cheat" off each 
other depending on license compatibility. (This and standards are big issues 
which I'm just glossing.)

Essentially, the really "new" thing about this would be to say to schools that 
"When it comes to curriculum and courses, there is no difference between an 
online school and a traditional site-centered school." Both keep their entire 
systems on the Web, accessible from any workstation/terminal in the school, or 
(with luck) outside. The site-centered school (not virtual) has the advantage 
of being able to work with students face-to-face. But the purpose of 
technology should be to make things easier. It should make learning easier by 
keeping all the necessary materials in one place, making them accessible by 
any community member anywhere with any type of computer, and making 
communication easy and affordable. Technology should save time by taking care 
of the details. This should make face-to-face learning much richer because it 
will eliminate the need to spend class time on extraneous management details 
such as "where's the assignment?" or "where's the response?"

 I think readers of this list are all familiar with the open source 
development project and can imagine how it might be applied to the development 
of a school. I don't think that the tools and the content are separable in 
this day and age, however I like the Project Gutenberg idea that content 
should be available via the lowest technological common demoniator, text. That 
doesn't mean we should limit the types of technology that can be used. Far 
from it, we should encourage creative use of the latest. I just think that 
text alternatives (unicode?) should be available.

Sorry to make it so long. I just wanted people to hear and have the chance to 
comment on whether they think this is a worthwhile idea -- and especially 
whether it fits with SEUL/Edu.


 Teemu <teemu@ionstream.fi> said:

> Hi.
> I have followed the latest discussions for a while and I have some opinions 
> to point out.
> - The coalition should be global, not only US.
> - Choose a name for the coalition
> - Arrange a logo contest when the name has been chosen
> - Form a group to lead the project. Gather useful, interested, talented and 
> motivated people around the world from different regions 
> - Start building schoolforge.net
> If things start rolling, I and some of my friends are willing to join in.
> If I have time I'm personally able to participate on the following areas: 
> project management, interface design, code and graphics (I can submit some 
> logos to the contest if you like).
> - Teemu
> -----
> Teemu Arina
> MimerDesk.org
> http://www.mimerdesk.org

David M. Bucknell
Fax: (US) 775-244-0803