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

Hi Marc,

Would they have folks from ATutor coming, too?   It's likely time to
start integrating things between applications, if that makes sense.

Les R.

2008/7/24 Marc Lijour <marc@xxxxxxxxxx>:
> 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/