Kids are creative. Just watch them when they’re given the freedom to do so.

Help give a group of kids the chance to become more than consumers on their technology.

KDE is participating in the Google Code-In this year from November 21, 2011 to January 16, 2012. Kids from 13 to 18 can participate as coders, videographers, documentation writers and more.

Please pass the word along to teachers who might care and, of course, parents and the kids themselves.

Get more information starting here: http://dot.kde.org/2011/11/19/google-codein-2011-chance-next-generation-join-kde

KDE is a group of enthusiastic free software (free as in freedom) people. This is an opportunity for kids to get a mentored experience being a creative contributor to a real software project.

Will a kid you know be contributing to the next generation of software, or will you just encourage them to consume the next game that comes out?

What keeps FOSS from being well-accepted in schools?

I think John Spencer may have the big reason pegged.

Read his whole blog post at ComputerWorld.

…teachers generally do not love their IT.

Their attitude (speaking from long experience) is split into two. The first thread is that they see computers and associated equipment merely as tools to get a task done. In this context familiarity and reliability trump all other requirements.

The second thread is best described as ‘careerist’ or approval-status related.

A display of ICT skills is rated according to its approval index. Thus a slick MS PowerPoint presentation projected from an svelte i-Pad in front of Ofsted or parents accrues credit whereas a quick RAM upgrade or mastery of Blender would not.

His conclusion: “Start selling to women.”

Are “It’s cool.” and “You can hack the code.” the wrong recommendations?

What do you think?

Another list of Open Source Software for Education from Datamation.

http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/osrc/article.php/12068_3831751_1/50-Open-Source-Apps-Transforming-Education.htm

The list isn’t all for Linux. Windows and Mac software is included, and some of the stalwarts are not there, but you already knew about them, right?

What other software have you used to “transform” your classroom?

FOSS for Teachers presentation tomorrow. It is the second in the “road show” series of presentations for MOSSSIG which is a special interest group of the Massachusetts Computer Using Educators, Inc.

Southeastern Massachusetts SIG (SEMSIG)
March 31, 2009 at 9:00 AM
H.A. Yelle Elementary School, 64 W. Main Street, Norton, MA

Host: Lynn Wiegel, contact if you plan to attend [lwiegel AT NOSPAM norton.k12.ma.us] (translate the address, humans!)

Directions:
From North:
Take 95 South to 495 South. Take exit 12 onto Rt. 140 Norton. Follow 140 to the lights at Rt. 123. Take a right onto Rt. 123. The H.A. Yelle Elementary School is on the left. Park in the circle in front of the building and enter via the front door.

From South:
Take 95 Norton to 495 South. Take exit 12 onto Rt. 140 Norton. Follow 140 to the lights at Rt. 123. Take a right onto Rt. 123. The H.A. Yelle Elementary School is on the left. Park in the circle in front of the building and enter via the front door.

Hope I’ll see you there!
–Algot

Martin Owens has prepared a very useful visual guide that is just right when you want to explain the concepts of open source to someone. Martin is actively leading the Massachusetts Local Ubuntu Team. The team meets monthly and has a strong interest in getting open source software into use in Massachusetts schools.

http://doctormo.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/foss-understanding-foss-visual-guide/

Thanks, Martin.