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[seul-edu] Beta 2 Press Release Draft --NO MORE CORRECTIONS TO LAST DRAFT

If you had corrections to last draft, please carry them forward to this one.

The only unsolicited change I made was to tinker with the headline. For those 
modifications I left out, I hope I explained my decisions adequately in my 
replies. If you feel I'm giving you short shrift, let me know.

I am concerned about one matter, which is that we get this finalized in time for 
the translators to do their mojo before Tuesday. Are there any list members who 
have weekday-only access to the list? If so, when do we call this done and give 
it to the translators, while simultaneously giving these parties full access to 
contribute to the release?

Monday noon, P.S.T. would work for me. Translators, how long do you need? And in 
what time zones do you live?



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 http://www.schoolforge.net.

In November of 2001, members of the online groups SEUL/edu 
(http://www.seul.org/edu), Open Source Schools 
(http://www.opensourceschools.org), the K-12 Linux in Schools project 
(http://www.k12os.org), and the Open Source Educational Foundation 
(http://www.osef.org) decided to develop a central organization to provide help 
for educators seeking 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 
many 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 more 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 

Visitors to Schoolforge.net are invited to review our 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. 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 to put behind us the day when computers were used to teach 
students how to use branded computer products, and to lock hapless school 
districts into a never-ending treadmill of hardware and software spending," Loss 
says. "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 that sent you this release, or

Doug Loss
(570) 326-3987