volunteers needed for public event on April 29th
I am urgently in need of 2 or 3 volunteers from the local Ubuntu community to help out at a public event on April 29th (next Tuesday) promoting FOSS in schools. The event is called FOSS FEST, and it is taking place in Watertown, MA, about 1 mile west of Harvard Square. (See the bottom of this message for full details, and http://tinyurl.com/278q42 for a map.)
FOST FEST is the first public meeting of a new user group named MOSSSIG--"Moving to Open Source Software in Schools". It is an offshoot of a state-wide organization called MassCUE (Massachusetts Computer-Using Educators), whose membership includes teachers, technology specialists, and IT staff from schools all over the state. MassCUE started up 25 years ago, and until now it has been focused almost exclusively on proprietary operating systems (Windows & Macintosh) and applications. MOSSSIG's mission is to introduce teachers, IT folks, and school administrators to the benefits of Ubuntu and other Open Source tools, and to assist them as they begin to integrate FPSS into the K-12 school environment.
The target audience is teachers, IT staff, and administrators from elementary, middle, and high schools in the greater Boston area. I've received more RSVPs than I expected, and I need a few more hands on deck to greet people at the door, answer questions, give away Ubuntu CDs, et cetera. We need help between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m., but if you can commit to at least one hour that would be fine.
If you can do it, please CALL me ASAP at 617-605-7429.
Saint Stephen's Armenian Elementary School
47 Nichols Avenue, Watertown, MA
On April 29th, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School in Watertown is opening its doors to the community for FOSS FEST. This event will focus on Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) in K-12 education. We are inviting teachers, IT staff, and administrators from the greater Boston area to come and see for themselves how FOSS can meet many or all of their educational computing needs. Visitors will be able to "test drive" Ubuntu, Open Office, Tux Paint, and other Open Source programs, and to learn from local experts how to bring FOSS into your own school.
The schedule for the FOSS FEST will be as follows:
4:00 p.m. - Doors open. Visitors can "test drive" Ubuntu Linux, Open Office, Tux Paint, and other FOSS products in our computer lab. Local FOSS experts & educators are available for informal discussion.
4:30 – Introductory remarks by Michael Selva (MOSSSIG founder), followed by a keynote address by Warren Luebkeman from RESARA, an open source service provider and systems integrator from Nashua, NH (http://www.resara.com). Mr. Luebkeman will present case studies of schools that have successfully adopted open source solutions.
5:15 - Question & Answer session, followed by product demonstrations, informal discussion, and a chance to browse our literature table and pick up copies of free software
6:00 - Concluding remarks by M. Selva
St. Stephen's is located in East Watertown, 1/2 mile from the Watertown Mall. It is accessible by public transit using the #71 MBTA bus running between Harvard Square and Watertown Center. If you are driving, ample parking is available on the street and in a private parking lot across the street from the school. For a detailed Google map, follow this link:
If you plan to attend, please RSVP via email (email@example.com) or telephone (617-605-7429).
MOSSSIG’s mission is to promote the use of Free & Open Source technology by elementary, middle, and high schools across the Commonwealth, and to lend support to the individuals and teams who are pioneering this effort. In addition to our new web site, we are also launching a specialized listserv so that teachers can obtain help as they explore the new world of Open Source.
Free & Open Source Software is a unique approach to software development. The human-readable source code is in the public domain where it can be examined and improved upon by other programmers. This has resulted in products that are developed and updated in response to the actual needs of users, and that provide specific solutions to problems that have not yet caught the attention of the commercial software sector.
What is the attraction of FOSS for educators? The initial reason that many schools move to Open Source is to save money. With no licensing or upgrade fees, FOSS products can be deployed in a classroom, computer lab, or an entire school at a fraction of the cost of doing so with proprietary solutions from Microsoft and Apple.
In addition to cost savings, there are significant educational advantages as well. FOSS encourages users to ask lots of questions, to find their own answers, and to work with others to develop new solutions to problems. It is therefore an excellent match for school environments that value open inquiry and collaborative learning.
For more information about MOSSSIG and FOSS, please visit our Web site: