[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

Re: [school-discuss] Re: Best Educational conference - Open Admin for Schools

There is one at Toronto (Canada) in Fall, at Seneca College.

Marc Lijour

On July 24, 2008 06:02:55 am knowtree@xxxxxxxxx wrote:
> > Hi All,
> >
> > I was wondering what would be the most useful educational conference
> > to attend to talk about open source educational software (and in
> > particular Open Admin for Schools)?
> >
> > I'm at the Linux Symposium, and it's very interesting, but not really
> > what's of most interest to me...
> >
> > Any ideas?
> >
> >
> > Les Richardson
> > Open Admin for Schools
> Les --
> This is a very good question. I don't think it has an easy answer, which is
> probably why you bothered to ask :-)
> (I hope you don't mind that I cross-posted this to the Open Slate mailing
> list.)
> There are so many different kinds of gatherings. IT conferences.
> Open-Source conferences. School administrative and governance conferences.
> Teacher conferences. Success is more likely when all sides are addressed.
> Visit a FOSS conference and you can dazzle your audience with the technical
> design of your software, but you won't find many educators there. Visit a
> teachers conference and the people you meet will not comprehend what your
> software does, or the significance of it being FOSS. The trick will be to
> convince the FOSS folks that educational software is a good thing, and at
> the same time get the teachers and administrators to appreciate the value
> of FOSS. The bridge across that divide has yet to be built.
> The biggest obstacle I see in dealing with public schools is the resistance
> to change. Even when I find a teacher who is interested, they are not the
> decision maker. Neither is the Principle. Neither is the PTA. It is a lot
> safer for them to keep their head down and continue to do what has been
> done. Or, even more frustrating, to only do things that studies have shown
> are of value. No study, no data, no chance.
> In the face of this I have turned my attention to homeschoolers. My
> project, like yours, was designed for a typical brick-and-mortar school, so
> naturally I find myself having to reinvent it in the environment in which
> homeschooling operates. It's too soon to say how successful this approach
> will be. I'll be the first to admit that homeschoolers have a tendency to
> be mothers seeking an old-fashioned, home spun, nurturing environment for
> their children, a situation that is as distant from the technical nature of
> Open Slate as a teddy bear is to a PS3. The good news is that many
> homeschoolers I have met are concerned that their children won't get enough
> IT skills to be successful out in the world, and are looking for ways to
> introduce more IT into their curriculum. The problem I have with that is
> that I want Open Slate to be a lot more than an opportunity to learn
> *about* computers. I want it to be the essential basis for how learning
> takes place.
> This is not to say that I have turned my back on big schools. What I am
> counting on is the success of the Open Slate concept with homeschoolers to
> generate a ripple effect, so that the big schools come to us.
> As for Open Admin, I suggest you look for homeschoolers who join together
> to form a loosely knit cooperative. This approach seems to be very popular.
> The coop would set up and manage an Open Admin system. Obviously things
> like time and attendance will be different. You might offer to host these
> little groups rather than rely on them having a Linux guru available. Give
> it some thought.
> Gary Dunn
> Honolulu
> Open Slate Project
>     http://openslate.net/
> 73 BMW E9 (3.0 CS) 2213583 (rust repair research project)
>     http://e9erust.blogspot.com/