Intro
  • Mike Huffman's letter - very right-on.
    • Roadmap: Need on-ramps. Need to identify and clear the ways for the implementation of OSS in k-12. Quote from Mikes email to me about this.
    • The “shot heard around the world"

Themes
  • Turn this into a blog post (the whole session). "Why Open Source Software is so important to education." Very similar to talk on "Why Web 2.0 is so important to education." Same thing, just deeper.
  • The need to be able to share successful practices
    • Randy Orwin and deal made: If teachers will go through transition, $ saved by using OO.org spent on professional development. $60k this summer of $85k in professional development.
  • The need to document results. What is success and how is it measured.
    • The need to bring together in one locations the documents/information that demonstrate the importance of OSS.
  • The involvement of Students
    • Student maintenance / development
  • The need to understand decision-making in schools
    • "Mike Huffman / Jim Hare" model: don't sell Linux, sell results or success
    • Personal perception: OSS has been trying to work from the ground up, show teachers, expect acceptance and change. Doesn't recognize how school decision-making is structured. The gap between CTO and teachers/pedagogy. Jim Hare: only goes to top decision-makers, others get on board or get fired...
    • 4-year rule for learning about Libre/freedoms. Therefore...
    • Lead with educational benefits.
    • Teachers way too busy. Solutions have to save them time.
    • Don't ignore freedom benefits--need to remember importance of--but decisions won't be made on the Libre philosophy, they will be made on practical benefits of implementation.
    • The need for clarity on support/maintenance costs: 1) that they will be less with OSS, but 2) that they will be there!
    • The need for support--a community that is real, or commercial
  • Larger issues that schools / ed tech face: Why have computers in school? And do they make a difference?
    • Right now, the answer is mostly "no."
  • Larger cultural movement and the ability of OSS to play a significant role
    • Tim O'Reilly: open source is canary in coal mine, collaboration and peer development as a cultural/human historical moment. Bigger than the printing press. Open Source both responds to and can facilitate this change in education.
    • The revolution in education and the role of Open Source - a huge connection made
      • Changes in pedagogy toward 21st century skills: skills that are not new, but that the open technologies promote and facilitate.
      • "Passion:" a passion for technology, and for learning.
    How does OSS provide added value to enhance and extend learning?
        • Participatory
        • Mentoring / apprenticeship model
        • Open code
        • Passion. Purposeful engagement.
    • Leads to: Duality of roles - Double burden/solution/opportunity:
      • Open Source as a value/model
      • Proponents of technology in education. Teachers don’t know what to do with computer free or not free. But OSS people do because they have been involved in "personal engagement" as a part of their work. As people discuss the culture of schools and the need for change for the 21st century the OSS community has something of significance to contribute. The understanding that technology can be TRANSFORMATIONAL. (Also knowing that we don't know fully what those transformations will be).
  • The commercial vendor "issue" in Open Source
    • Proprietary software companies & OSS turned commercial
    • They have sales forces / support teams. Developers --> Sales/Support --> Customer. OSS: Developers --> Customers.
    • They are selling solutions that may or may not actually help education
    • The motives are different (mostly)
    • Competition is good, but they may not feel that way
    • The need for some form of consolidation to get vendors to be responsive. "they still think they are in charge"
    • Aren't going to roll over and die / in some cases, can give away for 0. How does OSS community feel about that?
  • The importance of teacher training.
  • The value of "killer" apps.
    • Word processing meant at work, for me, a machine in a back room that you signed up for time on. Then came spreadsheet, and the computer became a needed personal tool. What is the "spreadsheet" for education? (Again, this is under the larger theme of transformation technology understanding.)
    • This was called "non-intrusive" techologies.
      • Moodle
      • Wikis
      • CMS
  • Role of government:
    • Legislation of open standards / documents can really help
  • The need to define the big "WHO?"
    • Particularly difficult in the OSS world (non-commercial)
    • We talked about a lot of things that needed to get done, but "who" will do them?
  • The importance of student involvement
    • Certification? Would one of the commercial OS companies be interested in this? RH already with RHH, but not liking market...
    • The "idea" of student involvement and how OSS coincides with constructivist educational theory
  • The need to teaching OSS.
    • Hardly discussed in schools. Hardly discussed here. Why?
  • Global Group
    • Danger of "US-centric"
    • Many success stories outside of US, more than within
    • But still nobody overwhelmingly successful
    • Lots of commonalities, even with the political/cultural differences. Enough commonalities to make it worth working together