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

Re: [school-discuss] 2006 Mellon Award for Technology Collaboration considerations

Hi Justin,

Did you follow through on applying for this?  If so, what is it's status...Are you aware of other opportunities like this coming up in the future?


On 8/2/06, Justin Riddiough <jriddiough@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
I have given consideration to what something like this could do for
SchoolForge and educational efforts in open source technology - and
believe I have been able to find some pretty good things that could be
realized with an opportunity such as this.  As the deadline for
nominations is right around the corner (August 4th,) I wanted to
present this and see if there were other efforts out there seeking
similar nominations.

The website development has been planned to occur without funding, as
it is an open source project and setting expectations based on
something like this could be a mistake.  I've heard that many projects
that people set out on are dashed when some expected grant doesn't
come through, and I feel that things are progressing very well with
SchoolForge (we are picking up volunteers and receiving input from the
community) as they are.

What the grant could provide, that would be an incredible benefit to
educational efforts within open source and SchoolForge itself, is the
opportunity to be represented in various forums where efforts in open
source & collaborative technologies are being shaped.  This could be
an excellent opportunity to gain further education on these subjects,
which would further our ability to build a better SchoolForge website.
Funding could be applied to  supporting open source projects which
would strengthen SchoolForge operations and development.

Because the members of this list represent a large part of the
community that would be represented, I'm humbly asking for nominations
from those who would support this.

Thanks, and stay tuned as there should be a couple updates to the
website plan in the next couple days thanks to some wonderful (&
needed) ideas.


These are the materials I have put together towards seeking
nominations, if you would like to nominate SchoolForge, please visit
the information page and then fill out the form on the nomination

Nomination Page URL:

Organization Name: SchoolForge
Open Source Project Title: SchoolForge Website http://www.schoolforge.net
Individual most significantly responsible for organizational
contributions: Justin Riddiough
Title: Lead Developer/Project Manager
E-mail: jriddiough@xxxxxxxxx


<personalized introduction goes here, if possible>

SchoolForge is a foundry which has developed a number of incredibly
beneficial resources through the projects history, with its roots
coming from a Simple End User Linux (SEUL) controlled project entitled
SEUL/edu.  The SEUL/edu was the beginning effort towards "creating and
fostering a viable, vibrant Open Source/Free software in education
community," which developed tools which are still in use today
including a case studies system and an educational applications index.
The SEUL/edu project was ended and the tools were then passed on to
SchoolForge, which took on the role 'to unify independent
organizations that advocate, use, and develop open resources for
primary and secondary education.'  The resounding success of these
efforts is found through all aspects of SchoolForge, from the tools
mentioned earlier to the discussion mailing list which hosts and
promotes dialog between a vast amount of talent and efforts currently
applied to the development and sharing of open source concepts,
practices, and development.
Recent trends and breakthroughs in technology towards community based
collaboration coupled with the adaptation of open source practices to
all aspects of digital content creation has brought about the next
significant direction for SchoolForge.  This will be the development
of a website which serves as a collaborative platform for the creation
of resources which promote open source and related projects in all
aspects of resources which are needed to 'forge' or make a school.
The development of the websites overall goals and plans has been and
will continue to be realized through a process of open communication
and discussion between the communities served.  Standards and
structured processes will be applied towards ensuring that all aspects
of the website, including content, user interaction, and interface,
are developed to highest quality possible.  Given that the efforts of
SchoolForge have historically been applied through volunteered efforts
and resources, goals and time lines have not been established with an
expectation of foundational support, but have been set to ensure the
highest caliber product in a manner that could be achieved purely
through collaboration.
Foundational support, however, would open many doors for the
SchoolForge project.  The opportunities that would be made available
include contributions towards open source projects that would
compliment the development of SchoolForge.  It would also provide an
opportunity for SchoolForge to take a more active role in the sphere
of open source towards contributing to and having representation in
the multitude of forums which are discussing and shaping these
technologies presently.
The goals outlined for the the development of the SchoolForge project
could absolutely be accomplished within the time frame of one year,
with possibilities towards self-sufficiency through sponsorships of
content creation, charges collected for listing of companies which
provide consultation and implementation services, donations (possibly
tiered, many projects which have served as SchoolForge members proudly
present their membership with a graphics tag – perhaps different tags
could be developed to indicate an organizations contribution to
SchoolForge), and alignment with corporate sponsors.  Banner ads would
be considered, but advertisers would each have to be evaluated based
on their alignment with open source efforts, while products being
promoted would be evaluated on their value and alignment with the
SchoolForge audience.
Presently, the goals and efforts of SchoolForge are as follows:
1)Pre-development analysis & preparation (Completion: October 1st)
* Development standards are being defined towards accessibility
(international and impaired aspects), security standards, and
development standards towards proper implementation of modular systems
* Examination and pruning of present resources (Application Index and
Case Studies system) through communications with those who have posted
content to verify that gather feedback.
* Interface Architecture efforts towards establishing a clear picture
of target audiences and the categorization of these audiences
* Review feedback from target audience research and case studies
projects, and the application of this information towards continued
structuring development goals
2)Development & Porting of resources into the CMS towards core site
functionality (Est Completion: February 2007)
* Customization and in depth configuration of Drupal CMS
* Restructuring and porting of Case Studies system into CMS
* Restructuring and porting of Application Index into CMS
* Editorial Section Development (such as a News page and the
consideration of Digg style features once the projects working to
create that functionality have matured to stable releases)
* Discussion Forums
* Email discussion list
* Digital library for collaboration on and sharing of open educational
resources (With no predefined focus beyond thinking in terms of a
'forge' for primary and secondary education in a global scope)

On accomplishing the goals set forth in this plan, SchoolForge plans
to continue developing and providing exceptional tools to the open
source community in education, including a standards database, which
would be initiated as a separate project.

It is believed that the combination of these tools and the application
of technologies presently being researched, developed, and implemented
to build vibrant and active collaborative communities would translate
perfectly to inception through this plan presented by SchoolForge.  As
SchoolForge is a project which exists to serve other organizations and
open source projects, this would benefit each of The Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation's traditional constituencies