Drumbeat/events/Festival/program/FOSS classroom

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Turning FOSS projects into learning environments


Free and Open Source Software projects provide the raw material for a great learning space: source code that is free (as in freedom) and open to study and experiment with, developers with real world experience and an existing infrastructure for distributed collaboration (communication tools, version control, etc.). In recent years, educational institutions and FOSS projects have started promoting these ideas (see for example OpenSource@Seneca and Mozilla Education. Other successful experiences involve 3rd parties connecting projects and learners (see Open Hatch) and/or funding for mentoring/tutoring (see Google Summer of Code).

What do you want to achieve? (goal)

  • Share experiences on teaching from within FOSS projects. Distill the main requirements for such experiences to work.

Who should come? How many? For how long? (audience)

  • Educators and learners interested in using FOSS projects as learning environments.
  • Active members of FOSS projects willing to participate in mentoring programmes.

• Any number of participants between 5 and 30

  • The discussion/brainstorm can be limited to 2h. Some activities can span longer: a (digital?) board where participants can add ideas and interesting projects.

What will they do when they get there? (activities)

  • Hear about existing experiences (David Humphrey from Seneca College, Open Hatch), what works and what doesn't.
  • Discuss other success (and failure!) stories.
  • Brainstorm about possible improvements to existing experiences.
  • Suggest projects/institutions interested.

What will you / they have at the end? (outputs)

  • A set of good practices for both sides (FOSS projects and learners/educators).
  • A list of projects and institutions interested in participating in similar experiences.

Additional background and context

Related links