Let's Open up! An Open Source Webinar/Community Call

Hello dear community,

2020 is upon us and we are restarting the biweekly Community call schedule. This year we would like to use that slot to feature topics, projects and community members.

@erik_lonroth has agreed to open the roaster with a webinar on Open Source Software.

1. Webinar “Let’s Open Up!”: 28th of January, (Tuesday 18:00 to 19:00 CET)

2. Webinar “Knowing the Problem”: 11th of February, (Tuesday 18:00 to 19:00 CET)

3. Webinar “Working together!”: 25th of February, (Tuesday 18:00 to 19:00 CET)

1. Let’s Open Up!

Learn about how to use and support opensource!

One of the learning from @erik_lonroth 's workshop on teaching teachers open source was that "‘Not even software developers’ seems aware of the fundamentals of open source and the four freedoms. ".
After working with and researching Open Source Software for years, he wants to share his learnings and tips with us and work on figuring out how to further the FOSS environment.

For this session - the short agenda is as:

  1. Welcome everyone and short introductions.
  2. A presentation of the outcome from the “Teaching teachers open-source workshop”.
  3. Plan next IRL meeting (topic, venue, event marketing).

Everyone welcome to participate that wants to help build an edgeryders community on open source.

2. Webinar “Knowing the Problem”:

The first Meeting offered a very interesting discussion with some great FOSS activists with firm tech backgrounds. During the last week, @Emile and @felix.wolfsteller have explored the situation of It and opensource education in their regions (see posts below). DIscussing those findings and the connected questions such as "Do they (the “end users” (Teachers, students, etc. ) know there is a problem?"
WE will try to invite some experts from the teaching background and discuss further the direction and form off an approach to further Opensource in teaching.
@Emile, maybe you could also talk a bit about sustainability for Open source projects? how to make opensource projects sustainable @Emile, would be great to have you there!

3. Webinar “Working together!”

In the third discussion, we want to sketch out a concrete plan for further collaboration via an intensive full-day workshop and whom to invite to that event.
@erik_lonroth, looking forward to see this project and your workshops grow!

or the FOSS environment (@felix.wolfsteller, what do you think would be a good topic?)

Please add those interested in the topic and those who should become interested :):
ping @MatsK, @unclecj, @asimong, @matthias would you also be interested in joining and maybe contributing or inviting some more people?

Edgeryders Team is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Biweekly Community Calls
Time: 28th Jan, 11th of Feb, 25th of Feb, 18:00 CET (every second Tuesday)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 306 321 0325

6 Likes

@MariaEuler sound great, thanks for the ping. I’ll see if some of the participants from the re:web session that are active on ssb would be open to also participate — I don’t recall exactly who was in that session :laughing: — when a time is set!

Besides me (totally my topic, attendance not possible on 21th Jan) I guess all the people involved with Software Development (at least @hugi and @matthias come to my mind) should be pinged?

The topic is extremely broad, a one hour slot will surely not suffice to satisfy the speakers and participants needs :). Maybe it makes sense to label this as part of a series already (Lets Open up! “Open Source and < 3 main discussion points >”) or “Towards Freedom: The FOSS environment”).

2 Likes

@felix.wolfsteller, great idea! Let’s make a series starting with the 28thof Jan. We can brainstorm here for the topics and featured participants! :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Indeed fits my interests. However, I’m not available on the 21st or the 28th. I’ll keep an eye on it as the series continues.

ping @NeilS, @Mialek, @felix.wolfsteller, @Emile, @sammuirhead, @tom_markam, @rebecca, @asimong, @mattiasx, @helioloureiro, @MatsK, @unclecj, @akenyg, @ellewe, @Johanna, @ErikBjare You might be interested in joining :slight_smile:

1 Like

I unfortunately cannot make it as I’m organizing a 3D printing workshop at my university’s new makerspace, but I added a minor update to how to make open source sustainable and would love to get a summary of what was discussed (a brief one is fine).

1 Like

@MariaEuler, @felix.wolfsteller, @erik_lonroth, @johncoate

Thanks for the call. I was reflecting a bit afterwards and I thinking of it at 50,000 feet while picking up a new leash for my dog.

The background is I have been listening into a few of the OCI lab mena lectures, and chose to dig down into one of the books/models that they are using to aid the mena entrepreneurs. @Wajdibr is using concepts from Steve Blank; and summarizes part of the “Four Steps to Epiphany” Part of the narrative below is exploring some of those topics within the problem we discussed.

When reading this book they describe defining a hypothesis then testing it out with your perspective clients. The test is partially to answer these questions:

  • The customer has a problem
  • The customer understands he or she has a problem
  • The customer is actively searching for a solution and has a timetable for finding it
  • The problem is painful enough the customer has cobbled together an interim solution
  • The customer has committed, or can quickly acquire, budget dollars to solve the problem

And the book continues to describe the {End Users, Influencers, Recommenders, Economic Buyers, Decision Makers, Saboteurs}; all of which would exist in either at a national or kommune scale within the education system in Sweden.

While business related, the anecdote on “Customer Validation” is quite telling, since some of the solutions may fit this model.

“You need to pick up the phone and call the top five accounts on your sales pipeline. Ask them this: If you give them your product today for free, are they prepared to install and use it across their department and company? If the answer is no, you have absolutely no customers on your forecast who will be prepared to buy from you in the next six months.”

This I don’t know, and could be more rhetorical in nature, is there “pain” being felt from current solutions? This might be more of an open question we could explore.

3 Likes

Erik will hopefully reply, but I got the impression that the pain is something insidious that comes from early conditioning to using a few set products from the biggest companies, some of which give their stuff free if you take ads along with it. There are video services in the USA for schools that has this same business model. One is https://www.schooltube.com/
They seem harmless enough. But the orientation is definitely towards being an enduser and not part of those who create, except inside those products.

When we were on our phone call I had the thought that there are forces trying to move the Net closer to being more like the auto industry. And in some ways it is already there. But as long as there is open source, it doesn’t have to be like that and can still be an amazing creative medium for seemingly anything you want to do.

But I also think that civics and social responsibility are topics schools try to teach - how to be good citizens. In this day and age, that cannot be divorced or separated from information technology and its mass use. So, in addition to learning how to be creative by trying or studying open source, it has a civics lesson and philosophy built right into its core. Maybe if educators were more aware of this…?

1 Like

ping @zmorda

Another aspect of this we touched on in the call is how strongly the big companies will oppose the proliferation of open source if it competes with their own products. I think Erik used the term “war.” I agree.

Do any of you remember the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project that Nicholas Negroponte and others set up 10-15 years ago? That was an open source laptop that could even be powered up with a hand crank. It was designed to be as disruptive as it was useful. The Director of the project was former Media Lab Director Walter Bender (Nadia and I know him pretty well - and he is still a friend.)

In 2007 or 8 I was in Cambridge on a job interview. I visited Walter in his OLPC office. I knew the project was struggling but wasn’t clear on why. He told me that when they arranged with Ecuador and one neighboring country, maybe Peru, not sure, to bring a big number of those laptops to the kids in those countries Microsoft and Dell both went to the leadership of those countries and told them straight out that if they do not abandon the OLPC project completely, Microsoft and Dell (and who know what other companies, but those two for sure) told them that they would no longer support the government offices that rely on Office and Dell computers. I’m sure you can guess what happened next - OLPC was denied 100% by those countries. The chilling effect was pervasive and was a big part of killing the project.

Those guys do not screw around. To me this is yet one more reason why open source needs to grow, not shrink. I think also that anyone who opposes smart city stuff with a viable alternative or reason not to do it will encounter similar opposition.

4 Likes

Thank you very very much @erik_lonroth for your presentation of your findings and championing this topic and the development of something that can help the spread of FOSS in teaching!

I would like to post the next invitation in a few teacher groups on Facebook if that ok?

@zmorda, maybe some OCI lab participants are also interested in this discussion and would join in?

Looking forward to the next call on this topic on the 11th of Feb. Same time (18:00 to 19:00 CET), same Zoom Room ( https://zoom.us/j/3063210325).

Should I make a new post?
What should the focus topic points for this meeting?
Who would like to add their perspective?

2 Likes

Funny enough I bumped into somebody some days ago, who is school director, informatics teacher and co-creator of the curriculum of IT courses for schools in one of Germanys federal state.
Did not sound too bad (they want to play a lot with https://scratch.mit.edu/ apparently, and relatively few product-based application teaching â la: “This is how Adobe Photoshop looks like”). Also he said that the teachers really want to teach informatics but are rather scared. So they do offer workshops for teachers where the teachers learn how to implement the curriculum within their school and these workshops are very well visited apparently (overbooked).
The general situation is different though, because in that federal state it is not mandatory for the pupils to attend the informatics course (pupils have some choices what they want to pursue) and other details of the school system.
The time and setting did not allow for full-on discussion about open source, underlying values and all the sweet stuff we touched in our call, but interesting coincidence.

2 Likes

super interesting - do you know if they would be up for a chat with us?

I do not think we are there yet and I doubt that we will stay in contact - but who knows. Right now I do not see me investing time in networking in that direction - there is too much leads to follow in other directions.

Fair enough. But maybe you could forward a link or invitation to the discussion here?

Thank you very much :slight_smile:

2 Likes

In a moment of “out of curiosity” I ran though my local districts curriculum to see if there were any opportunities that would lend themselves as openings for using open source tools. This is partially due to the fact that while I know the equivalent exists in Sweden, my swedish skills are pretty loose. This was also to see if this problem has been solved elsewhere :wink:

The takeaway from this quick check is there is most of the goals and outcomes are pretty much in the 3-r category; reading writing and arithmetic — with a foundational text overlying outcomes at https://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/ed/pdf/K12/curric/TechnologyVocational/TechnologyEducation.pdf for the broader region.

A few items that are very interesting from this latter document:

  • They have applied a competence model (see page 5.)
  • No technology is proscribed, but the actions are (ibid.)
  • Ethical dilemmas are highlighted. (ibid.)

The IT education curriculum also doesn’t mention any vendor, but highlights to use appropriate tools such as python or R to meet learning objectives. https://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/ed/pdf/K12/curric/TechnologyVocational/ComputerScience110.pdf

I’m not sure if this is helpful; and if I look at the model above; with the low awareness of open source solutions, does the “End User” know they have a problem?

1 Like

ping @erik_lonroth ^^

1 Like

I updated the first post to include 3 dates and titles for the webinar series and started posting invitations to a few teacher groups on Facebook. (ping @erik_lonroth
also ping @NeilS, @Mialek, @felix.wolfsteller, @Emile, @sammuirhead, @tom_markam, @rebecca, @asimong, @mattiasx, @helioloureiro, @MatsK, @unclecj, @akenyg, @ellewe, @Johanna, @ErikBjare You might be interested in joining :slight_smile:)

Looking forward to the next discussion :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Hello, here is a reminder for the call today:
Join Zoom Meeting