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Re: SEUL: Target for rough outline for SEUL website

On Wed, Oct 20, 1999 at 02:58:31PM -0400, Doug Loss wrote:
> > I think Roman might have been thinking of something more flashy.
> > But hopefully we can find a way to make something visually
> > interesting while satisfying the other issues as well.  Stylesheets
> > and tables have a lot of flexibility without weighing a site down
> > much at all.
> > 
> Agreed.  I prefer stylesheets to tables for presentation suggestion.

Aren't they pretty orthogonal?  At least, I can't think of any way to
do table things with stylesheets, or vice versa.

> > Here's my initial list:
> >   * HOWTOs for educators
> >   * Case studies
> These might often be the same thing.

I think they are pretty distinct.  A HOWTO is "how you do this" while
a case study is "how I did this".  They are both at once general and
specific, but in opposite ways: a HOWTO is general about what you are
trying to do, but specific about the skill it teaches.  A case study
is general in that it deals with a complete environment and solution,
but specific in that it only shows one solution to one problem.

A HOWTO is great when it applies.  But when you are setting up 
something serious with Linux -- like a complete Linux environment or
something -- you'll get more out of a case study that deals with how
everything fits together in a practical way.

> >   * Software database
> >   * Schools using Linux (database?)
> Would this be another aspect of the case studies?

I was thinking of the lists that people have started making.  GEO,
I guess, and Bob has a list as well.  This doesn't imply anything
more than an email or web address, though it should be linked to a
case study if it exists.

> >   * Mailing list info
> >   * Mail archives
> >   * Seul-edu member bios
> This could potentially get pretty large.  Should it be in the form of a
> database with keywords for skills and interests for each member, thereby
> allowing it to be searched for people with specific entries?

Right now we have less than a dozen.  I don't think we need to plan 
anything more than putting them up.  If or when they become more complete,
then maybe it will be worth it to do more.

But the simple solution really is simple -- convert the emails (with
people's permission -- more so than the archives, this is an explicitly
voluntary thing to have up) into HTML.  Allow people to edit them if
they want, or submit new bios I guess.

> >   * Pointers and links (perhaps with the possibility for user-added links?)
> How would this work?

I'd never come upon these, but while my girlfriend was looking around
on the web she found a number of sites that had forms where you could
add an address to the list.  In part, something to make the website
link back to an interested party.  It's a simple idea.  But I think it's
popular among the sorts who have guest logs and that sort of thing, and
so it just hasn't become popular in the more computer-oriented sites.

How it might actually work is having a special page for such user-added
links, and we might verify them and add them to the main list if they
seem apropos.

Having it be a web form makes it really easy for someone to submit a
link, and we might get a wider variety of links.

> >   * Mission statement, manifesto
> >   * Linux propoganda
> >   * Support page/forum/mailing list
> >   * IRC info (specific channel, logs?)
> Should these last two go with the mailing list stuff above?

Yeah, that fits into the general mailing list stuff.  It might be nice
if there was a #seul-edu channel on the IRC server, but that might
not be really necessary.  The logs (if they were to exist) would be
similar to mail archives.

The support page I mentioned wasn't meant to mean mailing list info,
but a new mailing list for support, or some other sort of forum.  I
brought this up before -- someplace where people using Linux in 
education can ask non-education Linux questions.  These come up on
seul-edu@seul.org now, and that's fine, but if there's a seperate
list we can really encourage people to use it as a resource.  Hopefully
most or many of the current subscribers to seul-edu@seul.org would
join it as well, but that's not necessary.

> >   * Developer info -- CVS, docbook, EduML, whatever else comes up...
> >   * Computer Education news
> >   * Seul-edu news
> >   * Curriculum
> > 
> > As to curriculum, I'm thinking of any lesson plans or activities for
> > teachers on anything related to computers.  It could be a word processing
> > lesson plan, not particularly attached to any specific word processor.
> > We should encourage teachers to submit any materials they themselves
> > make, as well as offering editting of any such materials.
> > 
> I agree, so long as whatever's there applies to Linux as well as other
> systems.  We shouldn't become a site for Mac and/or Windows proprietary
> stuff.

True, but I doubt anyone will really submit anything that couldn't be
used on Linux.  It would be odd when the L stands for Linux.  I don't
think it's worth it to say that it has to include Linux -- it seems
negative, and I don't think it will be necessary.

> > I think it would be nice to offer anyone who submits stuff an
> > email@seul.org mail alias as well -- it's kind of a way to bring them
> > into seul and create some potential permanance, while being relatively
> > easy to do.  Or it could be some web space, or something... anyway,
> > something to offer.  This isn't the same as free email... if it's free
> > people won't value it ;-)  But if it requires some sort of participation
> > it actually means something.  Plus it puts the seul.org name out there.
> > 
> This is something Roger has to rule on.  It could potentially use quite
> a bit of system resources.

Web space could take a lot of maintenance, even if it doesn't take much
resources.  But email aliases are pretty easy all around -- resource and
maintenance.  I think it would be the best place to start.

> > I'd like also to consider how to help new Linux users to become more a
> > part of the community.  In part, this is just having some good links,
> > a mailing list, etc.  Both as something to explore further, and by
> > having a little of the Linux Community right here (it's hardly like
> > there's a linuxcommunity.org for them to visit -- this is it).  Then
> > there's notions like netiquette, which is much more developed among
> > the net-addicted Linux users than the average teacher.  I'm sure
> > there's other things -- I think approaching this explicitly would be
> > helpful.
> > 
> So that would be the, "Not Being a Clueless Newbie HOWTO" for educators?

Exactly :)  I think you could even call it that.  It is important
for kids too -- if they learn about email, they should learn about
chain letters (and pyramid schemes) as well, since they'll get those
too.  Those sorts of things -- learning about the Internet from 
people who aren't trying to direct you to a portal.

< Ian Bicking                 |  bickiia@earlham.edu                >
< drawer #419 Earlham College |  http://www.cs.earlham.edu/~bickiia >
< Richmond, IN 47374          |  (765) 973-2824                     >