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[school-discuss] OSEF Press Release

HTML version of this release: http://www.osef.org/pr/0725200201.html

 Open Source Education Foundation announces tax-exempt status

TUCSON, Ariz. - The Open Source Education Foundation (OSEF) announced
Thursday approval of its application for non-profit tax-exempt status
under section 501(c)(3), allowing the organization to begin actively
pursuing tax-deductible contributions to assist in project development.

Currently, OSEF projects under development include GOVIA (GOVIA is
Ostensible Video, Imagery and Audio), a repository for freely
distributable media, and K12Labs, an effort to design and integrate
hardware specifically for education.

"By achieving 501(c)(3) status, OSEF is a step closer to fulfilling
many of its goals," said Justin Zeigler, an OSEF co-founder and member
of its Board of Directors.

The Open Source Education Foundation exists to enhance K-12 educational
opportunities through the use of technologies and concepts derived from
the Open Source and Free Software movement.  Research and development
of hardware and software solutions for use in educational settings is
the organization's primary focus.

 More about GOVIA

GOVIA's first objective is to create the infrastructure for a
repository of multimedia that educators can use without worrying about
the complex issues of copyright law.  Although copyright law has been
in the spotlight recently due to controversy surrounding file-sharing
and claims of piracy by the Recording Industry Association of America,
copyright issues can arise even in the classroom.  Most traditional
classroom resources require that a copy of the material be purchased
for each  student, involving extra expenditures or an attempt by the
teacher to stay within hazy fair use guidelines.  Some free resources
(in terms of price and non-restrictive licensing) are now available to
teachers, including Project Gutenberg  (http://www.gutenberg.net),
Nupedia (http://www.nupedia.com), Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.com)
and others that allow educators to copy, use, modify, and build upon
content without having to worry about copyrights.  Unfortunately the
free resources listed above are almost entirely text-based.  Now that
multimedia is a reality, there is a need for a similar resource to
catalog and store other kinds of media. 

As an Internet-based technology, the GOVIA media repository will
require increasing bandwidth as it grows.  This will be one focus of
fund-raising activities for GOVIA.  Although OSEF has a location with
easy access to a high-bandwidth Internet connection, the organization
still must pay for connection costs, which can be quite expensive.

GOVIA will also create educational videos for use in schools.  Early
funding for the project will be used to obtain equipment, including a
quality mini DV camera, a high frame rate (1000+ frames per second)
camera to capture scientific phenomena (such as a splash or a bounce),
a cordless lapel microphone to improve the quality of audio from
in-frame speakers,  and a high-end video editing station based on one
of the free Unix operating system derivatives available.

 More about K12Labs

Since January 1998, OSEF has installed more than 120 Debian GNU/Linux
desktop workstations for student use in a local school and has provided
pro bono support for these machines since installation.  The experience
of deploying and supporting a school-wide Linux based network provided
OSEF with valuable insight into how teachers and students interact with
computers in the classroom, and led to the development of K12Labs, a
project to design hardware specifically for educational settings.

K12Labs is in the process of creating a prototype computer called a
Deskstation.  The Deskstation will have a form factor similar to a
laptop or notebook computer, and will operate by internal battery power,
but this is where the similarities end.  The Deskstation will act as a
'turnkey' solution for schools ready to escape from the constant cycle
of upgrades and license fees normally required for educational computer
labs by taking advantage of the wide range of free software available.

The entire system consists of 30 or more Deskstations integrated into a
mobile cart, allowing for secure and efficient transport of an entire
computer lab.  The cart contains all of the needed devices for a student
learning environment, including a Linux Terminal Server, access to
removable media, a high speed laser printer, and a firewall for
accessing the Internet  through a pre-existing school network.  The
cart-based network is a self-contained unit, holding all user login
information and data within the on-board server.  In addition the cart
serves as a storage and charging platform for the Deskstation units.

More about OSEF

The Open Source Education Foundation, incorporated in April 2000,
believes that Open Source and Free Software are keys to the future of
educational technology.  OSEF is based in Tucson, Ariz., and works in
conjunction with a global development community focused on K-12
education.  More information about OSEF and its projects is available at
the OSEF website, http://www.osef.org  For general inquiries, please
send email to info@osef.org.

-30- 						7/25/02

Harry McGregor (520) 661-7875 (hmcgregor@osef.org)
Justin Zeigler (520) 272-5898 (jzeigler@osef.org)
HTML version of this release: http://www.osef.org/pr/0725200201.html
Portable Document Format of this release:
Open Source Education Foundation, PO Box 26388, Tucson Arizona

Justin Zeigler <jzeigler@osef.org>
Open Source Education Foundation

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."
   -Albert Einstein