[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[seul-edu] Beta draft of initial public announcement for Tuesday

William Abernathy wrote this for us with recommendations from David Bucknell
and me.  Read it and give us your opinions quickly, so we can revise it if
needed and let our translators work on it.  We'd like to have it available
and ready to go in all languages by Tuesday.


THE INTERNET, January 8, 2002 -- Schoolforge, a global coalition of online
groups dedicated to promoting open resources in education, announced its
formation today. The online project is located at

In November of 2001, members of the online groups SEUL/edu
(http://www.seul.org/edu), Open Source Schools
(http://www.opensourceschools.org), and the K-12 Linux in Schools project 
(http://www.k12os.org) decided to develop a central organization to provide
help for educators seeking to pursue the advantages of open resources and
open source/free software. Composed of twenty-six open-resource-focused
educational organizations on five continents, the all-volunteer Schoolforge
project hopes to harness the collective strengths of educators by enabling
them to share technical and pedagogical expertise far beyond the confines of
their districts.

"For too long," says SEUL/edu leader and Schoolforge spokesman Doug Loss,
"our any projects suffered from isolation and low visibility. Our lack of a
unified organization often meant that our efforts as educators and as
technologists were wasted on duplicating each others' work, neither building
on each others' successes nor learning from each others' failures."

Schoolforge is intended to help its member organizations to:
    * introduce open resources, including free/open source software, to
primary and secondary educational settings;
    * help educators use and develop open resources, including free
curricula and free software;
    * foster local and global volunteer support networks to implement
free/open source educational solutions; and
    * provide open forums for educators to share information with
colleagues, and with corporate and governmental educational stakeholders.

Schoolforge member organizations are made of volunteers, teachers and
technicians in elementary and high schools who are committed to harnessing
the Internet and open resources to help teachers teach and help students
learn. Contributions to open resource projects are free and open to anyone
who desires to use them, and can never be withdrawn from public use.

Schoolforge's member groups will bring the power of open resources to
primary and secondary educators. While some groups are focused on bringing
open source and free software resources to schools in need of low- or
zero-cost alternatives to proprietary software, other member organizations
have broader goals: "When we use the term 'open resources,' we mean a lot
more than free software," Loss says. "Open resources are educational tools
made by educators, for educators, sharing the experience they've gained in
both the classroom and the lab. That can include everything from folk wisdom
to lesson plans to technical documentation."

Visitors are invited to review case study files from SEUL/edu, including
successful free software deployments in schools from Pasco, Washington to
New York City, from Zacatecas, Mexico, to Aldgate, South Australia and to
read thought-provoking articles from educators around the world at Open
Source Schools. In addition to these technological successes, Schoolforge
member projects such as the Open Book Project (http://www.ibiblio.org/obp/)
and the new OpenSchooling Project hope to empower educators to create a
free, standards-compliant curriculum for K-12 schools.

"We're hoping," Loss said, "to put behind us the day when computers were
used simply to teach students how to use branded computer products, and to
lock hapless school districts into a never-ending treadmill of spending on
hardware and software. We don't want another teacher ever to have to learn a
proprietary interface, only to have his or her experience rendered useless
with the next product upgrade or business failure. Open resources promise to
make technology a powerful tool for education, not the other way around."

The Schoolforge member organization or individual that sent you this
release, or

Doug Loss
(570) 326-3987