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Re: [school-discuss] Do Something Dot Org

Wow, ÂI guess ÂI did not think fast enough before I made my comment as well as not research the mission of the group. ÂJust for the record, I was not referring to my own business interests, but rather marshaling resources behind any worthy effort related to open source that makes good sense and can have impact. ÂPersonally, I am much more inclined to open source solutions that directly impact the classroom, which is what I personally believe is the most important piece of the education process and where my personal interests lie. Â

Coordinating our efforts behind something open source doesn't only mean solutions and sorry if my comment steered it that way. ÂI think there are multiple ways we could impact open source. in an effective manner that could help drive more or faster change. ÂThe simple idea was to unite behind something that we all considered worthy of a group effort and with that group effort impact change in a faster and more meaningful way. Â

I think a great place to start a coordinated effort is with Laura's idea: Â"I think there's a lot of opportunity to share knowledge and resources, to help let others know what's going on with projects and to inform people whatÂfree and Open Source resources areÂcurrently available out there just waiting to be used." Â Maybe we could brainstorm and come up with ways to create a series of recurring local and/or regional events where we and others can present and champion open source, demonstrate open source, teach open source, give them open source to take home with them, etc. ÂThere are many ways for all of us to contribute to such an effort and we could brand it as a Schoolforge sponsored event, with common templates for presentations and documents and maybe drive more traffic and membership to this site and list.

And maybe an even simpler next step is to organize meet and greet sessions for those of us in close proximity to one another. ÂPerhaps these could grow into larger groups and meetings that would result in tangible outcomes for the local area.

Just some simple ideas, but it definitely got some conversation going! ÂThanks everyone.

Casey Adams
Phone: 205.612.5489
Fax: 717.326.3543.

On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 11:37 AM, David Bucknell <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Excellent points, LM, and I think you're offering ways to bring in the excitement (and effectiveness) that Casey is missing without losing our mission of promoting our members, all of them, in their efforts.


----- Message from lmemsm@xxxxxxxxx ---------
  Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2011 11:39:45 -0400
  From: LM <lmemsm@xxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To: schoolforge-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [school-discuss] Do Something Dot Org
   To: schoolforge-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

On Tue, Oct 25, 2011 at 10:27 AM, David Bucknell <david@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
This is an interesting idea. ÂIt may be that you are right; however,
as exciting as it would be to get the old engine fired up, before we
jump into that kind of role, and I am certainly for a more vital
group, let's look at our mission.ÂÂ
I think David's made some very good points. It's great to advocate certain projects, but if you're struggling with just trying to getÂa schoolÂdistrict to accept open source software in the first place, other priorities come first.
Here's the "mission" statement from the Web site:

"SchoolForge's mission is to unify independent organizations that
advocate, use, and develop open resources for education. SchoolForge
is intended to empower member organizations to make open educational
resources more effective, efficient, and ubiquitous by enhancing
communication, sharing resources, and increasing the transparency of
This is important and this is where individualÂusers can help improve communication between different projects and recommend they share resources and intercooperate when possible. The more communication we can help facilitate between different projects that could cooperate or share resources, the better.
ÂÂSchoolForge members advocate the use of open source and
free software, open texts and lessons, and open curricula for the
advancement of education and the betterment of humankind."
This, however, is also very important, especially to those of use who are working with others that don't know enough about or aren't anxious to accept free and Open Source resources. I think the case studies at the web site are helpful and if we could do more to show the effectiveness of using free and Open Source, that would be very helpful for Districts that haven't accepted Open Source yet. It's not just cost savings that will bring schools over to Open Source. Our District claims it's interested in cost effective ideas and improvements, but I've yet to see them act on any of them. Other factors, like support when there are issues and just finding ways to motivate people to change the status quo are important when advocating Open Source to non Open Source users. If we could work on some ways to help people switch more easily, help motivate themÂand to make them feel more secure about switching (letting people know that there are ways to ensure support is available if needed and how to go about getting it), maybe that would be useful. I think more case studies and sharing some project plans on how to implement these kinds of changes and what the results were from switching would be very helpful.Â
We also have to keep in mind, some places FLOSS will make a difference on a District level and as a standard and in some cases, it'll have to win educators over one person at a time. It would be nice if we could offer resources, ideas, etc.Âfor both these levels. If Schoolforge members have resources to help advocate Open Source, the web site might be a good place to share them. For instance, sharing slide shows on switching to Open Source via the web or references (like http://www.ncose.org/node/3 which was posted to the list a while back) can be very helpful. Also, for those wanting to make the switch, Schoolforge could offer help figuring out what the best choices for the person or organization are. The web site's software list is a very good start in that direction, but being able to talk to other users and ask pros and cons is also very important.
I think there's a lot of opportunity to share knowledge and resources, to help let others know what's going on with projects and to inform people whatÂfree and Open Source resources areÂcurrently available out there just waiting to be used.

----- End message from lmemsm@xxxxxxxxx -----


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