I wanted to get this post done sooner, but the demands of the holiday caused a delay.
First I want to familiarize readers with what NYSCATE is:
NYSCATE is an organization of dedicated technology using educators, committed to transforming teaching and learning, in order to provide our children with an education that prepares them to live satisfying and productive lives. [more]
A Little History:
I worked for several months as a Fedora Ambassador, Ubuntu Member and Ubuntu LoCo leader to try to get a booth at this event and submitted a presentation proposal. My presentation proposal was accepted, but I was unable to secure the funding necessary to purchase a booth. While it was frustrating not to be able to advocate for F/OSS on the vendor floor it was rewarding to see several other F/OSS presentations make the ‘grade’ and be approved.
My presentation, Educational Technology and Equity in Today’s Schools, was well attended, for a closing day presentation, and was also well received by the audience. Most of the audience was unfamiliar with F/OSS and were impressed with the quality and depth of the software choices an educator has when using F/OSS.
Fedora and OLPC:
Through the hard work and effort of an RIT professor and a fellow Fedora Ambassador, Karlie Robinson of On-Disk.com, there was a F/OSS presence on the vendor floor. Karlie reported that the booth was a success, but she still saw the opportunity to make more of an impact. [more]
I think that there is an opportunity to educate teachers and educational leaders about the possibilities F/OSS holds for their communities. I plan on doing the following in the upcoming year:
- EdTech Day 2010 (Ithaca College)
- Get a booth and man it with fellow F/OSS advocates from both the Ubuntu LoCo and Fedora Ambassadors
- Submit at least one presentation proposal (would like to have other F/OSS advocates propose enough to have a F/OSS track)
- NYSCATE 2010
- Work with Fedora (RedHat), Ubuntu (Canonical) and some Linux hardware vendors to try and finance a booth on the vendor floor
- Submit a proposal for a 4 or 8 hour F/OSS immersion experience
- Submit at least two proposals for presentations pertaining to F/OSS in education
I truly think that exposing the education ‘market’ to F/OSS can have a far reaching impact. It can reduce the cost of educational software to tax payers while closing the gap in the ‘digital divide’.