19:06:37 <danielsmw> #startmeeting Being Present - A Beginners Guide to FLOSS Outreach in Education (Karlie Robinson)
19:06:37 <zodbot> Meeting started Sat Dec  5 19:06:37 2009 UTC.  The chair is danielsmw. Information about MeetBot at http://wiki.debian.org/MeetBot.
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19:07:18 <danielsmw> We'll start in just a second, passing around the XO-1 to play with
19:07:31 <danielsmw> This same presentation was given at the Ontario Linux Fest.
19:07:55 <danielsmw> Karlie: stop me if I go over your head or talk about RIT specific stuff
19:08:37 <danielsmw> Karlie: the company I worked for made SD card operating systems for the XO.
19:08:57 <danielsmw> Karlie: then give one get one (G1G1) ends, so I head to a meeting about the OLPC in Jan 09
19:09:50 <danielsmw> I met Stephen Jacobs, and RIT prof, who wanted to teach about XO.
19:10:06 <danielsmw> I also learned that Fedora developers got some XO's to test Fedora 10 on.
19:10:19 <danielsmw> Karlie: meanwhile, FUDCon is going on at Boston
19:10:32 <danielsmw> David Nalley was talking about participation in Fedora-OLPC SIG
19:10:46 <danielsmw> the week afterwards, he creates the Fedora Developers XO program, announce Feb 7th.
19:11:24 <danielsmw> Karlie: Keeping track:  we get the OLPC sig in Jan, the XO program in Feb, and in March 13th RIT launches the class for devloping 4th grade programs
19:11:34 <danielsmw> We're the 4th grade math team
19:11:54 <danielsmw> karlie: remy [in the room] is an old friend, now a fellow at RIT
19:12:40 <danielsmw> Karlie: how did this meeting result in RIT students receiving FOSS development course work as part of formal education?
19:13:07 <danielsmw> Karlie: so I took needs and resources and plugged them in, like plugging routers and switches into the network
19:13:20 <danielsmw> Karlie: I can't code; I cannot code... if it requires a terminal window, I won't do it
19:13:40 <danielsmw> In this case, I'm just keeping the mental map of who has resources and who has needs.
19:14:22 <danielsmw> All of this eventually connects to teachingopensource.org
19:14:39 <danielsmw> All I had to do was set up these initial connections, and then stand back and watch things happen
19:15:15 <danielsmw> Resources: OLPC contributors program: http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Contributors
19:15:24 <danielsmw> Teaching open source: http://teachingopensource.org
19:15:53 <danielsmw> If you are leaving a higher education in a CS field and you do not know how open source development works, you're at a disadvantage
19:16:03 <danielsmw> Before the great recession, OSS was just there
19:16:15 <danielsmw> But now they don't have money to buy things; "What was that free stuff you were talking about?"
19:16:38 <danielsmw> I tell the kids: think of yourself as an electrician... plumber... you can think of software as a product to sell, or of yourself as someone with a skillset
19:17:48 <danielsmw> If you leave your higher education without that mentality, you spend too much of your [parent's] money with an education that won't get you anything
19:18:12 <danielsmw> Karlie: that was it for me; what do we want to do, Remy?
19:18:27 <danielsmw> Remy: So really fast: Hi, I'm Remy Decausemaker
19:18:39 <danielsmw> I'm a hacktivist: an activist and a hacker.
19:18:58 <danielsmw> I commbine OSS with campaigning and politics
19:19:08 <danielsmw> I worked on some open voting stuff in NY and such
19:19:54 <danielsmw> I took the stuff I learned in legislative/campaign finance research
19:20:08 <danielsmw> But I'm here to talk about education here
19:20:14 <danielsmw> I went to RIT to setup a hackfest
19:20:32 <danielsmw> In the time I was at RIT, the professor asks me: "What do you do for a day job? you should be here."
19:20:39 <danielsmw> As an activist, putting in the footwork gets you places.
19:20:51 <danielsmw> Before I knew it, I was TAing classes and redesigning the website...
19:21:10 <danielsmw> Now that you have some background on me, I'll pick up where Karlie left off
19:21:43 <danielsmw> Remy: I sat in on the class last semester, and from there we hooked up some of the OLPC kids with projects they had to do
19:21:55 <danielsmw> Which means Sugar and OLPC gets code, and they get their projects
19:22:05 <danielsmw> The hackfest I mentioned earlier is happening next weekend
19:22:30 <danielsmw> We want to be working on the Great American Hackathon at RIT
19:22:42 <danielsmw> I'll explain abit about what it is
19:22:48 <danielsmw> Who's heard of the sunlight foundation?
19:22:55 <danielsmw> It's a leading transparency group in America
19:23:02 <danielsmw> They have an arm called Sunlight Labs
19:23:20 <danielsmw> They're hot in the political world right now, getting lots of buy-in
19:23:43 <danielsmw> They spearhead a lot of the hacktivism stuff
19:23:52 <danielsmw> But this Hackathon is worldwide.
19:24:09 <danielsmw> Basically, Sunlight setup a project list of transparency projects
19:24:18 <danielsmw> At the hackfest, people can sign up for projects to work on
19:24:46 <danielsmw> Since we have the OLPC thing going on at RIT, we cancelled class on Tuesday and students will be working on the hackfest
19:25:13 <danielsmw> Karlie: when we first started doing open source stuff, I noted: you guys don't do an open source here.
19:25:24 <danielsmw> But we have a red hat lab there, and there's firefox on every computer...
19:25:32 <danielsmw> You're using it, but you aren't doing it [Open Source]
19:25:40 <danielsmw> You're not fiddling around under the hood; getting dirty.
19:25:44 <danielsmw> They said: we don't have to! We're RIT!
19:26:03 <danielsmw> Karlie: This class started didn't even get underway until January, and now we're in our third quarter now.
19:26:22 <danielsmw> one thing we're finding is that (surprisingly enough) they're receptive.
19:26:32 <danielsmw> We have to work on not overpushing them, because they push back
19:26:39 <danielsmw> We have to let them get to it by themselves
19:26:48 <danielsmw> It's like a game of psychology; we market it, rather than sell it.
19:27:10 <halfline2> #fudcon-room-9
19:27:13 <danielsmw> One other thing you have to know about me is that I volunteer as a small business counselor as well
19:27:22 <danielsmw> Generally with technology marketing and stuff like that.
19:27:37 <danielsmw> So with RIT, and with teaching open source,
19:27:42 <danielsmw> what we have to do is not think about what we want to say
19:27:47 <danielsmw> but what the school needs to hear
19:27:55 <danielsmw> and it's not like we're shovelling shit, but we have to figure out
19:28:02 <danielsmw> what's important to them and what's important to us
19:28:09 <danielsmw> So it fits into both ideas of success
19:28:14 <danielsmw> We have to look for places where we both agree.
19:29:36 <danielsmw> Question: I run into that a lot, where I hit a bump where I can't get people to be receptive to marketing open source
19:30:01 <danielsmw> Karlie: We talk about the pipeline in marketing; with RIT, the pipeline of people to get through was short, but normally it can be pretty long
19:30:47 <danielsmw> Remy: so when we talk about these frames, there's frames for dealing with selling products, etc.
19:30:47 <danielsmw> I'm coming at this as an activist; lots of these kids haven't seen open source before
19:31:21 <danielsmw> Steven: how to you find that person to bring these ideas to them?
19:31:34 <danielsmw> Remy: if you look a while back, most people at open source were hackers and programmers
19:31:42 <danielsmw> These days, many people doing this are designers or artists
19:31:55 <danielsmw> So the new people coming into this have to be pushed through the movement's issues such as OSI
19:32:05 <danielsmw> The people who do this stuff now are _not_ developers first
19:32:14 <danielsmw> They're living in the free software world from before them
19:32:43 <danielsmw> Karlie: Steve Jacobs is able to disguise an OSS development class into a feel-good sugar coated "we're teaching kids math" thing
19:33:08 <danielsmw> Karlie: we can say that now we ran't throwing away a few thousand lines of code for a project,
19:33:29 <danielsmw> Karlie: but we're in millions of lines of real code and this is marketable for the university as a practical skill
19:33:41 <danielsmw> Remy: when you can quickly build tools tha tsolve problems, people immediately buy in
19:34:07 <danielsmw> Karlie: sometimes they just get some guy with some idea for some website, he asks "Is $4000 too much to pay for a 5-page websheet?"
19:34:16 <danielsmw> Damn right it is! Then we tell them about Drupal, etc...
19:34:27 <danielsmw> And they say: you mean I can start with the finishing touches?
19:34:55 <danielsmw> Remy: and that exact idea of connected people with needs to people who have the talents is what Sunlight Foundation and others are doing.
19:35:45 <danielsmw> Dia: it seems things have gone well with RIT, but what weapons can we get to get the schools that aren't as welcoming to OSS?
19:35:57 <danielsmw> Karlie: the first weapon you can use is just to keep your eyes and ears open
19:36:21 <danielsmw> I listen to bitch-session about "This doesn't work and blah blah blah!" From there, I can adjust to see what they need
19:36:44 <danielsmw> Who plays mahjong here? It can take 15 minutes to clear a board or so... for my brain, I can clear it in under 8 minutes
19:36:59 <danielsmw> Because I can see the patterns and relationships. I don't expect everyone to have that insanity built in.
19:37:07 <danielsmw> What I can say though is that I am looking for apprenticeships.
19:37:28 <danielsmw> I can come up with a strategy to help you overcome these issues; just tell me what the problem is and give me some background.
19:37:41 <danielsmw> Remy: if you don't have somebody like Karlie for those inroads, I use this approach
19:37:57 <danielsmw> You have to have a faculty channel; someone with buying in the OSS movement
19:38:08 <danielsmw> that's number one.
19:38:19 <danielsmw> if you don't have a faculty champion, you need someone else with intiative.
19:38:39 <danielsmw> Another university put in privacy initiative on their network about net neutrality, etc.
19:38:56 <danielsmw> Years later, we came back and had an open access university talk
19:39:12 <danielsmw> and they agreed to many of these open concepts by convincing them that they were already agreeing to do it.
19:39:19 <danielsmw> Use the socratic method.
19:39:39 <danielsmw> Karlie: [pulls up teachingopensource.org]
19:39:57 <danielsmw> One thing we're working with with Prof Jacob is this website, which we try to keep up to date.
19:40:09 <danielsmw> You can use the things on this site as leverage for your school.
19:40:26 <danielsmw> We had some OSS people visit RIT and mention that they were going to open a lab at Carnegie Mellon
19:40:36 <danielsmw> Then at RIT they said: We want a lab! we want it to!
19:40:43 <danielsmw> It's really a psychology thing.
19:40:55 <danielsmw> Remy: if you can point to another university already doing these things -
19:41:03 <danielsmw> Steven: yeah, a lot of universities don't want to be first
19:41:17 <danielsmw> karlie: we're doing this so you can have a platform to apply finishing touches
19:41:24 <danielsmw> Dia: any other univ.'s doing this?
19:41:35 <danielsmw> Karlie: Seneca is doing it as well, longer than RIT did.
19:41:50 <danielsmw> Those are two independently developed examples.
19:42:21 <danielsmw> I know there are some people working on converting courses into open source versions
19:42:37 <danielsmw> Where at RIT we're still doing the warm fuzzy fluffy stuff, pretending to produce software,
19:42:43 <danielsmw> At Seneca they really are.
19:42:52 <danielsmw> If we're pretending, the Seneca guys are bad-ass.
19:43:38 <danielsmw> Professor: The C++ classes, which were closed source, we converted to open source, using repositories, developing in teams, etc, leraning how an OSS community works.
19:44:05 <danielsmw> Ben: are you aware of the trinity college stuff?
19:44:23 <danielsmw> Karlie: there's some stuff going on at Renasslear Polytech, etc...
19:44:42 <danielsmw> The biggest thing with teachingopensource.org, we're taking bits of goodness from higher education and making something of it.
19:45:14 <danielsmw> There's a school in new york, a high school, where they want to emulate what we're going on teachingopensource.org
19:45:26 <danielsmw> Steven: I did better talking to high school students --
19:45:46 <danielsmw> Karlie: high school students take their hacking skills and use them for good instead of evil, that's what I et to
19:45:56 <danielsmw> Bob: I haven't been to the site since earlier, but um--
19:46:13 <danielsmw> Karlie: not a whole lot
19:46:20 <danielsmw> Bob: I teach at seneca too, and I'm in a project to bring open source ware to seneca, and I've been talking to the guys doing the OCW stuff
19:46:32 <danielsmw> There's a document that addresses the issues Dia was talking about
19:46:49 <danielsmw> Is that a direction we can go?
19:46:55 <danielsmw> Karlie: take a business card and email me?
19:47:16 <danielsmw> And a lot of things too with the open content, is...
19:47:39 <danielsmw> I got an email from a Fedora Ambassador doing ebooks in Hong Kong, who wanted to open source some textbooks,
19:47:50 <danielsmw> and he wanted to GPL it; I said you should do CC with this.
19:48:36 <danielsmw> Remy: so, we're jsut about done, a couple minutes left. Any questions or campaigns or sites or suggestions?
19:49:07 <danielsmw> Karlie: there's an article in these booklets down on the swag table about the XO-1, with notes about what we did with this stuff.
19:49:39 <danielsmw> And there were a few Reporter magazines floating around (the student newspaper magazine) with an article about this program in there as well.
19:50:29 <danielsmw> Remy: once we get into the hackfest portion of FUDCon, I'll look into working with this, working with other Fedora stuff to build these utilities needed to connect people outside of higher education with the university system.
19:50:37 <danielsmw> If any of you are hacker types, look out for that this weekend.
19:50:51 <danielsmw> Karlie: And I'll be floating around during the day, although I have a bad habit of not making it to the other talks...
19:51:04 <danielsmw> So look for these [magazines]; they're good ammo for your own univeristies.
19:51:24 <danielsmw> Steven: the other thing is that the education systems are incredibly underfunded
19:51:36 <danielsmw> So open source makes sense
19:52:07 <danielsmw> Karlie: a teacher told me "I have kids without computers"
19:52:18 <danielsmw> and I said that our LUG could have an installfest and round up old computers?
19:52:39 <danielsmw> That gets the OSS mindset into the schools at well, because it cost nothing to give those kids better utitlity in schools.
19:52:53 <danielsmw> Steven: I was looking at the reservations, and the OLPC fits right well in that market, and --
19:53:30 <danielsmw> Karlie: I was talking to this guy at the OLPC developer program asking for XOs because he wanted to do some language specific schools because he wanted to do some localization for tribes in the west...
19:53:42 <danielsmw> Steven: most are run locally through dept. of indian affiars, it's complicated.
19:53:55 <danielsmw> Karlie: If we can snag Adam Holt, he can tell us more about it.
19:54:22 <danielsmw> We'll wrap it up there. Thanks for coming!
19:54:24 <danielsmw> #endmeeting