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FW: [school-discuss] Passing of the torch


I have a few things to mention:

1) Some member organizations are not focused on "software" per-se, but are
focused on developing open resources which may or may not also include
releases of open-source software.  (General Education Online, for example,
is developing an open-resource database of higher education facilities
around the world, but also releases the framework of the site as

2) Is it possible in the new membership framework to indicate which members
are founding members of schoolforge?  If I remember correctly, the initial
press release mentioned that there were 26 founding member organizations of
schoolforge who deserve to be recognized for getting the ball rolling.  We
might be able to find the info via www.archive.org .

3) Will the membership be shown the "beta" site prior to launch?  If I'm not
mistaken, this is something that should be discussed between the
representatives of the various groups via the schoolforge-core mailing list,
which is designed for "coalition management", per the current operating
procedures available online at http://www.schoolforge.net/procedures.php.

4) Finally, will schoolforge-core continue to be the mailing list for
"coalition management" as originally agreed upon, or is schoolforge-core
being retired?

Thank you,

Michael Viron
President & CEO
General Education Online
A Schoolforge Founding Member 

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-schoolforge-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:owner-schoolforge-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Justin
Sent: Monday, July 03, 2006 1:05 PM
To: schoolforge-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: 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 applications.

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

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.