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

On Thu, Nov 29, 2001 at 12:21:12AM -0000, David M. Bucknell wrote:
> 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. 
I was planning to throw all of our ideas and projects onto schoolforge. I
pictured it much more as a place where you stir in students, teachers,
developers, and advocates, and together they forge the school
that they want. They need educational software for this, they need
advocacy material, they need case studies, they need curricula and
courses... everything.

Among other things, Schoolforge is:

* A watering hole where developers can get together, interact, work
  together to come up with new tools and brainstorm ideas.
* A watering hole where teachers can get together to develop new open
  coursework and curricula.
* A watering hole where advocates and school people can interact,
  learn what works and what doesn't work, and learn how to 'sell' their
  ideas so they gain more acceptance.
* A well-known place where teachers and students can find what they're
  looking for and learn about new material.
* A well-known place where new developers can come to find interesting
  topics and projects needing volunteers.

All in one simple place, with a name that actually implies education.

Speaking of names, the acronyms that you guys are throwing around are fun,
but they don't mean anything to me. Why do we have to have what amounts
to a 'secret codename' for our group? How about something clearer, like
the Schoolforge Coalition? Or the Schoolforge Group. Or just Schoolforge.

Of course, all of this *is* a lot of work. We've got some momentum right
now. A lot of these projects do divide up cleanly as you describe above.
We've got starts with Les's case studies page and Les's education software
index. (Go Les!)
Ideally we'd start hearing from volunteers to lead some of them forward,
and then focus on the ones which are making progress... :)

I set up the sourceforge code on schoolforge.seul.org. I haven't
made SSL work yet so you can't make an account, so it's not very
useful. But one of the things that I noticed is that it's old code (nearly
a year old), made at least in part by people who were planning to take it
proprietary. There are bugs. If we use this code we will be maintaining
it, patching it, etc. We could use one of the 4 or 5 other free forks out
there, but it's not clear to me that any of them are in better shape.

We might be much more comfortable using
phpgroupware (http://www.phpgroupware.org/).
Mike set up a demo at http://www.findaschool.org/~mviron/phpgroupware/
(user admin password admintest)

or a wiki as some other people have suggested

or simply having parts of the website in CVS and having people edit it.

I think there's a lot to be said for something much simpler than

Also, note that each of the above tasks may well be solved best by
different solutions. A wiki for the curriculum people. A sourceforge for
the application developers (or just the informal services we offer now,
without a forced gui glue). A php script or two for the case studies
and educational applications people. And so on. The components don't
all have to live on the same computer. Perhaps schoolforge should be
the place connecting them all.

> 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.

I think once schoolforge.net gets moving, we should phase
www.seul.org/edu/ out of existence. Maybe some other groups would merge
in as well?

Doug has the final say here, since he's the seul/edu project leader. But
from my perspective, the goal is to get a more organized group of people
tackling the Linux in education problem. It's a really big problem, and it
needs all the people we can throw at it. What it's called doesn't matter
--- whatever gets people into it. Having a url and a name that isn't
meaningless (like, say, seul) will help draw the audience that you need.

--Roger (SEUL project leader)