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Re: [school-discuss] Passing of the torch


On the membership database, starting from scratch would probably be a
good option.  I've been looking at different CMS's, and they have the
membership databases and management functions built in.  The
particular one I want to go with is Joomla, because it is very
modular, has more features then we could use, and has a strong
developer base (including projects in Googles summer of code.)

I agree that the article and journal contributions at
opensourceschools.org should be a very strong content area of
SchoolForge.  I would envision a focus on FOSS & Education articles,
but also a wider range of articles covering general news in the area
of education and schools.
There are a couple different routes we could go with this, the first
is that opensourceschools and its functionality is taken on within the
new schoolforge system, in which you (or someone that volunteers)
could host the articles and postings sections (and handled through the
cms.)  The second route would be that opensourceschools.org is closely
affiliated with SchoolForge, providing content with a stronger focus
on the technical aspects and philosophies of FOSS in the articles
(sort of like slashdot is to sourceforge) - while SchoolForge focuses
more on Education in general (with still a slant on the tech side, but
not so much that it might scare off users as being "too technical")

I also think that Open Quest Project is right on, the way I'm seeing
SchoolForge moving towards combining multiple types of open resources
(worksheets, lesson plans in different file formats, such as open
office and word documents, applications, and web resources such as the
web quests) similar to the way the application index provides

The hope is that by creating an index of open education materials and
promoting FOSS philosophies & methodologies for the content creation,
educators will be able to use & support these resources with Linux,
Windows, etc platforms.  If all goes well, it will help to generate
the supportive atmosphere & collaborative culture found in open source
within the context of education.  If what is built is able to convey
this, the educators will gain some education on what we are trying to
do, which will serve to promote FOSS in the long run.

It also seems that a reoccurring theme/question posed on this list is
seeking out FOSS consultants that work well within educational
settings, and perhaps we could create something that could help those
people connect.  It could then sort of follow a path of "start to
understand/use FOSS ideas in content" -> "become curious about FOSS
and read case studies" -> "Find people that consult with this to gain
further insight towards implementation"

Sorry for the slow response, I have family in from out of town this
week and have been very busy.  I'm happy to discuss everything here,
and hope everyone feels they can agree/disagree towards evolving this
into something that gives educators a path towards implementing FOSS.

On 6/28/06, David M. Bucknell < dbucknell@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Welcome, Justin.

Thank you, Doug, for your long-time, and I think effective efforts.

I have helped out in the past and would like to continue to do so.  I
am glad someone is talking about the Web site as this relates to
schoolforge's direction.  Personally, I think this would be best
discussed on this list.
With that (humbly-presented) opinion in mind, I hope you will indulge
a couple more of my thoughts.

* Les Richardson created the membership database and I maintained it
actively for a while, but work demands and health problems intervened
and the database now needs (I think) to be started again from scratch.
 I apologize for this lack of supervision and can only ask members'
forgiveness for good intentions wrecked by health problems.

* I also used to run opensourceschools.org actively as a journal about
open source in schools in many people among the members wrote great
articles for it. I think it was a good thing and needs to be part of
schoolforge's ongoing contributions.

* Finally, I would I would like to solicit interest from people
willing to head two projects which I will host (and which I hope
members think should be schoolforge-owned):

1.) Editor, Schoolforge Journal/ Open Source Schools Journal

Needs someone who likes writing to restart monthly (or perhaps 6 or 8
or 10 a year) issues, actively encourage people to write up their
accomplishments re FLOSS / open source in education (or those of
others), and to lead the discussion among members and contributors
about its editorial direction.

2.) Project leader Open Quest Project (http://openquestproject.org), a
wiki-based educational lessons and curriculum project meant to create
an actively-developed student-made database of assignments, lessons
and "reports" about the world.  Needs someone
technically-knowledgeable enough to maintain the wiki and also
(perhaps another person) who is a teacher.

As you'll see if you look at the site, I had a few ideas for its name
;-).   The project is just in the proposal stages at the moment.

Its purposes are:

a) to combine what's best about Webquests and Thinkquests*


b)to model the importance of licensing for the benefit of teachers,
c) to encourage active, project-based learning, network-based
collaboration-practice and
d) contribution to a student-teacher-made, useful fact database (like
wikipedia) as a normal part of each  assignment and its completion for
students everywhere.

Of course, these are volunteer jobs. I think they are needed and would support someone willing to build the communities they each need.

Please let me know if you're interested.

Thank you.