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Aus Community Geek Girls gov20 Government society5 Tech Uncategorized

Sadly leaving the NSW Government

This week was sadly my last week with the NSW Government, Department of Customer Service, formerly the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation. I am sad to be leaving such an exciting place at such an exciting time, but after 12 months of commuting from Canberra to Sydney. The hardest part of working in the NSW Government has been, by far, the commute. I have been leaving my little family every week for 3, 4 or 5 days, and although we have explored possibilities to move, my family and I have to continue living in Canberra for the time being. It has got to the point where my almost 4 year old has asked me to choose her over work, a heart breaking scenario as many will understand. 

I wanted to publicly thank everyone I worked with, particularly my amazing teams who have put their heart, soul and minds to the task of making exceptional public services in an exceptional public sector. I am really proud of the two Branches I had the privilege and delight to lead, and I know whatever comes next, that those 160 or so individuals will continue to do great things wherever they go. 

I remain delighted and amazed at the unique opportunity in NSW Government to lead the way for truly innovative, holistic and user centred approaches to government. The commitment and leadership from William Murphy, Glenn King, Greg Wells, Damon Rees, Emma Hogan, Tim Reardon, Annette O’Callaghan, Michael Coutts-Trotter (and many others across the NSW Government senior executive) genuinely to my mind, has created the best conditions anywhere in Australia (and likely the world!) to make great and positive change in the public service.

I want to take a moment to also directly thank Martin Hoffman, Glenn, Greg, William, Amanda Ianna and all those who have supported me in the roles, as well as everyone from my two Branches over that 12 months for their support, belief and commitment. It has been a genuine privilege and delight to be a part of this exceptional department, and to see the incredible work across our Branches.

I have only been in the NSW Government for 12 months, and in that time was the ED for Digital Government Policy and Innovation for 9 months, and then ED Data, Insights and Transformation for a further 3 months.

In just 9 months, the Digital Government Policy and Innovation team achieved a lot in the NSW Government digital space, including:

  • Australia’s first Policy Lab (bringing agile test driven and user centred design methods into a traditional policy team),
  • the Digital Government Policy Landscape (mapping all digital gov policies for agencies) including IoT & a roadmap for an AI Ethics Framework and AI Strategy,
  • the NSW Government Digital Design Standard and a strong community of practice to contribute and collaborate
  • evolution of the Digital NSW Accelerator (DNA) to include delivery capabilities,
  • the School Online Enrolment system,
  • an operational and cross government Life Journeys Program (and subsequent life journey based navigators),
  • a world leading Rules as Code exemplars and early exploration of developing human and machine readable legislation from scratch(Better Rules),
  • establishment of a digital talent pool for NSW Gov,
  • great improvements to data.nsw and whole of government data policy and the Information Management Framework,
  • capability uplift across the NSW public sector including the Data Champions network and digital champions,
  • a prototype whole of government CX Pipeline,
  • the Innovation NSW team were recognised as one of Apolitical’s 100+ teams teaching government the skills of the future with a range of Innovation NSW projects including several Pitch to Pilot events, Future Economy breakfast series,
  • and the improvements to engagement/support we provided across whole of government.

For the last 3 months I was lucky to lead the newly formed and very exciting Data, Insights and Transformation Branch, which included the Data Analytics Centre, the Behavioural Insights Unit, and a new Transformation function to explore how we could design a modern public service fit for the 21st century. In only 3 months we

  • established a strong team culture, developed a clear cohesive work program, strategic objectives and service offerings,
  • chaired the ethics board for behavioural insights projects, which was a great experience, and
  • were seeing new interest, leads and engagement from agencies who wanted to engage with the Data Analytics Centre, Behavioural Insights Unit or our new Transformation function.

It was wonderful to work with such a fantastic group of people and I learned a lot, including from the incredible leadership team and my boss, William Murphy, who shared the following kind words about my leaving:

As a passionate advocate for digital and transformative approaches to deliver great public services, Pia has also been working steadily to deliver on whole-of-government approaches such as Government as a Platform, service analytics and our newly formed Transformation agenda to reimagine government.

Her unique and effective blend of systems thinking, technical creativity and vision will ensure the next stage in her career will be just as rewarding as her time with Customer Service has been.

Pia has made the difficult decision to leave Customer Service to spend more time with her Canberra-based family.

The great work Pia and her teams have done over the last twelve months has without a doubt set up the NSW digital and customer transformation agenda for success.

I want to thank her for the commitment and drive she has shown in her work with the NSW Government, and wish her well with her future endeavours. I’m confident her focus on building exceptional teams, her vision for NSW digital transformation and the relationships she has built across the sector will continue.

For my part, I’m not sure what will come next, but I’m going to have a holiday first to rest, and probably spend October simply writing down all my big ideas and doing some work on rules as code before I look for the next adventure.

Categories
Geek Girls Personal Tech

Fake geeks prey on us poor lonely “true geeks” – 4 realz yo

Note: apparently it hasn’t been completely obvious to a few people so just saying up front, this is a mock blog 🙂

Don’t you hate it when you go to a geeky event, and you see a guy dressed up as Mal or Ironman or Wolverine (swoon) and it turns out they are just a booth babe, or worse, a sales guy. It’s like, the biggest let down! OMG! They are obviously purposefully poaching on us poor lonely and desperate geeks and frankly we’ve had enough! If you aren’t a true geek, then pretending to be one is worse than poaching, it is maliciously playing with the hearts and minds of the people who run your networks, and read your email, and could, with very little effort, utterly destroy your life and reputation online.

Do you feel me?

Even worse, I hate when you meet a cute guy who does turn out to own a computer, but also turns out to be a total Windows fanboi. Raving on and on about his 1337 VB skills, or how everyone that picks on Windows 8 totally sucks because no one has even seen it yet but it is totally “awesum”. He despises “freetards” because they are all so unrealistic about the industry and “it’s not like Linux has even made it on the desktop anyway, so who cares?”. Yeah, Windows fanbois are totally fake and should stop pretending.

Then you get the Apple banbois. The ones who wear berets because they think it is fashionable, maintain a pretentious sense of (secretly self) loathing about geeks and pretend to be passionate about design and typefaces because it helps them get laid given the demographic of the vast majority of Mac users. An Apple fanboi will lament about how Steve Jobs was Gandhi, Einstein and Jesus in one man, and wear turtlenecks because they think it makes them just like Steve. Apple fanbois are fakers who should stop pretending and learn how to be a true geek!

Then you get the device geeks. You know the ones, who always have the latest gadget regardless of the brand, who like to show off their immensely huge collection of apps, and who think installing an upgrade to Angry Birds somehow makes them technically competent. I got news for you chum, you are a fake geek! Stop it!

You know when you meet guys who talk about being a sysadmin ninja, or a gun at games development? FAKE! I have studied martial arts for 21 years and you sir, are no ninja. You couldn’t hit a wet towel and you couldn’t fire a gun to save yourself. Your limp wrist and shoulder muscles would buckle from the kick back so just stop. We won’t be tormented like this!

Finally you might get lucky enough to meet a guy who can program in a real language, can run his own infrastructure, is into gaming and loves to throw around Star Wars and Evil Dead III quotes. But then he expects you to stay in the kitchen, or give up work entirely to look after the kids by yourself, or he wants you to not beat him in Tekken or Call of Duty ‘cos his friends might laugh at him being “beaten by a girl” and frankly he doesn’t want the competition at home. Geek guys who turn out to be misogynists are the most annoying kind of fake geeks, because they have forgotten that true geekiness has nothing to do with gender, and they encourage geek girls to reject either their geekiness or their girliness. You guys need to be put down, you are the worst kind of fake geeks. No rly.

So, I guess it’s too much for a geek girl to find a real geek guy, one who looks like Wolverine or Mal, who can talk my language, use the same tech, play the same games, treat me like a human being and not disagree with my particular flavour of geekiness in any way shape or form.

Or perhaps we should all just chill out and let Bartlet be Bartlet.

No one has a monopoly on geekiness, and there are many flavours of geeks out there. It is actually really awesome that being geeky is becoming popular because we need more people to get on the path of tech literacy, whatever their incentive. Otherwise when the machines come our army will be very small 😉

For another fantastic and better written blog post about this is John Scalzi’s “Who Gets To Be a Geek? Anyone Who Wants to Be“. Read it, now! 🙂

Note: This mockblog post is inspired by a good article by Daniel Griffiths (‘Fake Geek Girls’: How Geek Gatekeeping Is Bad For Business) which responds to the growing number of articles berating “fake geek girls”.

It’s incredible to me how idiotic some people can be, how short sighted they are in their own quest for self importance. Personally I love the fact that being geeky has become trendy, has become something people aspire to. As a geek I want to encourage our society to embrace and be empowered by technology, not shut down a person because they “aren’t a true geek”. What does that even mean anyway? So I hope you enjoyed my trollish response to the quite pretentious “Booth babes need not apply” article by Joe Peacock. Hey Joe, the article didn’t start too bad, but by the end it just got stupid. But well done for bringing an important discussion to the fore.

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Aus Community Geek Girls

Belated Ada Lovelace tribute to Stephanie Bendixsen (@HexSteph)

Ada Lovelace Day is a yearly event to celebrate awesome women in IT and tech who inspire. It’s about both celebrating girl geeks and also breaking down stereotypes to encourage more young girls and young people generally into IT.

This year I wanted to do my Ada Lovelace tribute to Stephanie Bendixsen (Hex), the new Good Game presenter and all round awesome gaming geek. You can also follow her on twitter as HexSteph, on Tumblr, on her facebook fan page, she has a couple of amusing vids on Youtube as justsurreal and of course I recommend watching Good Game :).

I first came across her on Good Game – one of my favourite shows to chill and reconnect with my inner gamer 😉 – where she joined as co-host in October 2009. I’ve watched the show for ages, and I think she’s doing an amazing job.

Some people whinge about it not being the same as it was with Junglist (the co-host before her) but I think they both have a different style, and they both are awesome. Personally I find her approach really funny, quirky and excellent for the show. Bajo, the other co-host is – as always – fantastic!

It should be said I usually look at the Good Game Review of a new game I’m considering, those rubber chickens have currency! 🙂

The reason I wanted to write a bit about Hex is because she is an unapologetic and extremely enthusiastic gamer who has inspired me this last year and who I think is a great role model. She loves gaming: she loves playing, talking about and researching games and her commitment and presentation style has been awesome.

I look forward to meeting and gaming with her some time 🙂

She had strict parents who were very anti-gaming, so no consoles or anything that looked like a game in the house. When she discovered the wonderful world of text-based RPGs she found she could play and her parents assumed it was homework or research.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWgcyaX07_I&feature=rec-LGOUT-exp_fresh+div-1r-2-HM[/youtube]

Hex did her time doing tech support while she was at uni, and has possibly one of the world’s coolest jobs – playing and reviewing games. There is a short biography on the Good Game website worth looking through.

I guess another thing about Hex is that she has copped the widest possible range of human emotion online, from vitriol to over the top fanboiz, and has seemingly dealt with it all with good grace – another good lesson to learn from 🙂

I think Hex is doing great work for the industry and for gamers, has inspired me and will be someone to watch as her career progresses.

Great work Hex, and keep on kicking butt, literally 🙂

Categories
Aus Community FOSS Geek Girls

Happy Ada Lovelace Day – Silvia Pfeiffer

Today is Ada Lovelace Day, and below is my blog about a female geek I admire! Get writing your Ada Lovelace Day blog post, sign the pledge and add a link to your role model blog post to the Geek Feminism wikia page! This would be a great assignment for teachers to take to their schools to get students knowing about famous and accomplished women in technology 🙂

silvia_thumb

Silvia Pfeiffer

I chose to do my Ada Lovelace blogpost on Dr Silvia Pfeiffer. Silvia has been a friend for many years, and she continues to be a technical, professional, academic and personal inspiration. She also let’s me stay over when I’m visiting Sydney and helps maintain my addiction to excellent takeaway Indian food, so this is my way of both showcasing Silvia as a fantastic ICT role model for women and girls, but also as a thank you for being such a role model for me 🙂

Silvia has a broad swathe of skills and accomplishments. She is a software developer, project manager, AV guru, Open Source project lead for Annodex, Open Media advocate, co-founder and CEO of an up and coming Australian video metrics company called Vquence and much more. She used to work for the CSIRO as a researcher and software developer, and has forged a fascinating career around video and online media, putting her on the cutting edge of technology and emerging markets.

next2_sylvia_narrowweb__300x3280

Silvia has also put substantial time into voluntary community community projects, including as a member of the Sydney Linux User Group committee, on the Pearcey Awards board, the head of AV for linux.conf.au 2007 (which was the best video/audio coverage linux.conf.au has ever seen), a constant participant in various open media and open standards events and committees, a participant in online accessibility work, the coordinator and founder of the Foundations of Open Media Software workshops, co-founder of OLPC Friends, and a volunteer for various Open Source events including Software Freedom Day, SLUG events, OLPC Friends events and more.

Some of the things that really amaze me about Silvia include her constant optimism, professionalism, business smarts and how she manages to balance all this while simultaneously being a fantastic mother, who for many years did this as a single parent.

Her wonderful son is learning programming – just like Mum – so who could ask for a better role model on Ada Lovelace Day 🙂

silvia-pfeiffer

If you want more information about Silvia, check out her brief biography, her blog, and the many articles she’s written.

Categories
Geek Girls

What are you doing for International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is coming up on the 8th March. Considering I’m in a new town and all, I’m not sure what I’m going to be doing, but I was recently told about a women’s lunch get together in Sydney happening on the 6th that sounds fun.

IWD Brown Bag Lunch
Our plan is simple: bring your own lunch and join us to support International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) charity and network with likeminded people. Entry is free, gold coin asked to help cover room rental costs and donations to IWDA will be collected separately.

Sounds like fun 🙂 And I know a lot of really awesome geek women will be there like Kate Carruthers and Spiderlily Redgold. Should be fun!

There is also an Aussiechix Python gaming hackfest on March 14th which should be awesome! And a FITT IWD Lunch event which is $120 a head unless you are a FITT member, which is $90 a head. Add events in your community to the comments below.

Even if you aren’t going to any event for IWD, take a moment to think about all the women in your life, their challenges and achievements, and about how you are helping contribute to a world where negative gender discrimination is eliminated. Of course, IWD is also a great opportunity to think about any negative discrimination, and how we can equal the playing field for everybody 🙂

And don’t forget about Ada Lovelace Day, March 24th! Blog about an awesome geek woman you know!

Categories
Aus Community Geek Girls

WordPress and other tools for education

Recently I have run both a general information day, and then a half day WordPress training event at the Presbyterian Ladies’ College in Sydney, for a class of year 6 girls (~12yr olds) and their teachers. I have been exceptionally impressed by the vision of Chris Waterman, the Director of ICT there, as he really understands that in modern society it is vital for children to have versatile (and safe) online skills.

If we show students how to … do all the cool brilliant things we know should be done with ICT, then we have started the revolution.

Chris Waterman from his blog post on the topic

The school is undergoing a wonderful project with the year 6 girls wherein they will be blogging as a normal part of their life and schoolwork, as well as incorporating one-to-one connectivity devices so the girls are able to create digital content and publishing anywhere, anytime.

Below are some of the resources around the tools I taught, as well as some documentation that may be useful for others.

I hope to see comments from some of the PLC students and teachers! Remember to always only use either your first name, or a nickname, and to not post any identifying information. The PLC student and teacher blog will be an internal project for a while so they can get used to the technology and be comfortable with the internet safety best practices.

Technical and general notes

  • Open Source Software Training: Technical Notes – includes information about finding, using and supporting FOSS applications for schools. pdf or odt
  • Open Source Software Training: General Notes – includes information for teachers and management. pdf or odt

Links to training, documentation and other information about WordPress and blogging

  • Main WordPress website – useful for general information.
  • Introduction to blogging – information about blogging and how to approach your own blog.
  • In your blog you can create blog posts, or static pages. Blog posts are for new stories, your homework, and other ongoing information. Static pages can be used for your favourite music, or links for your friends, or a page about your pets – ie, for information that isn’t changing.
  • Themes!! Find thousands of cool themes to customise your blog. I expect to see all the Year 6’s at PLC with awesome blogs that look great and are fun to read. Remember, if the theme isn’t in your “Appearance” section in your blog configuration section, then you just need to get the IT team to install your theme for you.
  • Check out the WordPress Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section if you run into issues.

Ideas for using blogging in the classroom

  1. Get the students to post their normal existing homework into their blogs as normal practise (rather than email or printing), and include as part of their homework the review and commenting on a few of their peers’ work. Get them to draw names so they are continually commenting on different students’ work.
  2. Have a series of questions for students to answer written up on the board in class, and direct the students to write the questions into their blogs in bold, with the answers in normal font. You could choose the post the questions on your teacher blog, and have the students either respond to your blog post in the comments with their answers, or post a link to their blog posts in your comments as a useful way to collate all the blog post answers to your homework.
  3. Have the students write an essay on their blog, along with photos, web links, video content and audio interviews.
  4. Encouage students to do their creative works on their blogs on a regular basis. Perhaps a weekly short story, artwork, or piece of music they have composed.
  5. You could have an “eportfolio” category, and students add posts they are particularly proud of to that category such that when browsing to the students blog, a person can select the eportfolio category of posts and get the best and most representative works by the student for a basic online portfolio.

Internet safety

I am not an expert in Internet safety for children, however the following links were kindly given by Concetta Gotlieb, an amazing teacher/blogger/researcher based in Sydney:

Animation and photo modification software

On the day I also briefly covered the following applications. Please make sure you look up “gimp tutorial” or “inkscape tutorial” on Youtube for more great information:

Quick thanks

A big thank you to the teachers, ICT team and the students who participated in the training. I know the girls will love blogging and using some of the Open Source tools we discussed. So good luck and have fun!

Categories
Geek Girls

Ada Lovelace Day – Blog about a geek woman you admire – 24th March

Ada Lovelace Day is coming up, and I’ve been meaning to blog about it for a while. Basically the day is about highlighting awesome women in tech, and the purpose is to provide great role models for young girls such that they might be inspired to get into IT for a career.

Recent research by psychologist Penelope Lockwood discovered that women need to see female role models more than men need to see male ones. That’s a relatively simple problem to begin to address. If women need female role models, let’s come together to highlight the women in technology that we look up to. Let’s create new role models and make sure that whenever the question “Who are the leading women in tech?” is asked, that we all have a list of candidates on the tips of our tongues.

So, think of an awesome tech woman you know, in particular the quiet accomplished geeks in the wings, and blog about her on Ada Lovelace Day. Sign the Ada Lovelave Pledge and let’s see if we can get a few thousand role model profiles. Would encourage you all to also link your blog post to the Geek Feminism Wikia site where I’ve added a new page for female geek role models, so add any other links you can think of that are useful.

Thanks everyone! Please also pass this information on to schools and teachers you know, who in turn can use the profiles as role models for students. Female geek role models are important for for young women and for young men, because if every new young geek already knows a few female geeks, then perhaps the assumption that we don’t exist won’t pervade 🙂 Plus it will encourage more girls into the industry which is awesome.

Categories
FOSS Geek Girls Personal

Being a woman sometimes sucks

Every so often I come across particular behaviours towards women that really make me feel uncomfortable, upset, frustrated or just plain angry. I just had a comment posted on an old blog post of mine about women in IT:

Wow-this iss uch a popular site.

Why is it however, that when you women do something that men have been doing for ages (without any fanfare or blowing our own trumpets), it’s such a massive acheivement????

Tht’a the problem these days-women are so up themselves, men don’t wamt to know them.Thats the REAL reason why women can’t find men..but of course, that’s not the womens fault…is it??

What a load of bitches.

The post was apparently from a “Hugh G. Rection”, which of course demonstrates the maturity and spinelessness of this particular individual. I was going to just ignore the comment, but it just irked me so I thought I’d write a blog post why.

The behaviour never ceases to surprise me, and in one way I hope I never cease to be surprised, because I would hate to think I’d ever just accept it.

I was talking to a male friend recently and he said he had accidentally offended a female geek by making a crass joke about “jugs”, and I spoke to him about how it isn’t about the crassness. I know many women (and I’m one of them) who can be very rude or crass at times. It is because things like my friend’s joke about jugs, or the comment on my blog above, or being avoided at geek conferences because I’m female, or the occasional death threats against women or women groups, or, or, or…. all these behaviours are constant reminders that I am a woman, when my gender really shouldn’t make any difference. This constant reminder of my gender is thrust upon me and most women I know in IT, and this differentiation unfortunately builds the foundations of some really negative (albeit much less common) behaviours towards women in IT. I am just another geek, the same as a male geek is just another geek. People will always have a reason to disagree about code, opinions, or whatever, but I am really sick of my gender being a reason to be targeted, something that has to be pointed out as being different or somehow weird.

I try to remain positive constantly, and am always saying that we can only improve the environment by coming together as a community to deal with negative behaviours (including sexism, racism, and any other antisocial and destructive perspectives). I usually try to live the change I want to see and I understand that a lot of sexism isn’t done with malicious intent and I myself try to refrain from sexist (or other negative) humour or perspectives. This isn’t a men vs women issue, in fact most men I know are wonderful people, and some are more upfront about smacking down sexism than a lot of women, for whom doing so would often enough incur unwanted attention. Ultimately there is a latent sexism in many parts of the world that I’ll have to deal with regardless, but I would like to ask the Free and Open Source community in particular to please be considerate of the people around you, and try to ensure that whatever project you are in, you are doing your best to make it an open and friendly environment for anyone to get involved. It is after all meant to be a meritocracy, meant to be about freedom and personal empowerment. Let’s try to minimise the impact of old world biases on our awesome community.

In response to the comment above, right now in many countries (including Australia) there is a mistaken perspective that there are no women in IT, that we’ve not really played much of a role, and as such IT is somehow a masculine thing to do. None of these perspectives are true, however the myths are turning many young people (and particularly young women) away from the industry. FOSS in particular is supposed to be a community where anyone can succeed according to their skill and effort. By allowing incorrect perspectives about the industry to flourish, we are not ever going to have a good cross-section of society participating in FOSS, and FOSS – like politics – needs to be openly participatory and representative. Also, we can see in various FOSS projects that gender, politics, religion and other potential barriers to personal interaction can be bridged through common base values and goals.

I believe until any person can participate in any FOSS project without their gender/race/religion being a thing of mockery, hatred, curiousity or any other differentiation, then we are not being true to the philosophies of software freedom or technocratic achievement. Being treated like a human being, and with some basic level of empathy and equality should be a reasonable base expectation for everyone 🙂

Categories
Geek Girls

Women in IT around the world!

Recently I was involved in a project profiling awesome women in IT from all around the world. It was a cool project and some really awesome women from all kinds of backgrounds. It was a lot of fun and I’d recommend checking it out. I think there are some great role models there for young people to encourage them to get into IT, and of course it helps fix some of the issues around bad stereotypes in IT 🙂

I’m helping them do an easier to browse html implementation of this (probably in WordPress) but in the meantime, enjoy!

The Oceania profiles
The Oceania profiles
Categories
ASK-OSS Aus Community FOSS Geek Girls Government Gung Fu OLPC

Catch up, and what’s to come!

This last 3 weeks have been insane. So much cool stuff, and I keep thinking “I need to blog about this or that, and then not making the time! Below is a quite recap of the cool stuff I’ve done and been involved in over the last few weeks. I have a few lengthy blogs posts coming up to cover some of these in detail, but in the meantime, I AM STILL ALIVE EVERYONE! 🙂

New Zealand trip
Jeff and I planned to take a short holiday, unfortunately on the day Jeff remembered he hadn’t got his passport renewed after it was stolen in Malaysia. Argh! I ended up going anyway, spending two days snowboarding at Mt Hutt near Christchurch with a friend (hi Glynn!), then a few days hanging out with Glynn and Jayne in Wellington doing Pilates, training with an awesome Shaolin Gung Fu master, and hacking on OLPC related work in preparation for an upcoming trip for the Aussie OLPC trial I’m helping rollout (more details on that later, so please don’t ask yet! 🙂 I got to catch up with the Wellington “Friends in Testing” OLPC group and got inspired to start a regular OLPC usergroup in Sydney, to be announced at SLUG in the coming week! All in all a tiring but awesome holiday 🙂

Aussie OLPC trial
I’m running Australia’s first serious OLPC trial which has been technically challenging, and has consumed _all_ of my time over the previous few months. It has been awesome and I’ve have just now finished the implementation. The documentation will be made publicly available (and put on the OLPC wiki) in the coming week or two. We’ve basically done a world first of focusing on the remote collaboration and child support element of what the OLPC vision and technologies can deliver, so I’m really excited to be involved in this, and hopefully the lessons we learnt will assist many others 🙂 We connected up 3 schools, such that specialist teachers can provide support to children in remote areas. Very interesting and the children are thriving with the tools they are playing with. I did a trip to the two remote locations, and we had a film crew come with us who are making a short internal doco, which may hopefully be able to be publicly disseminated over the coming months.

Linuxchix Microconf
Today I’m participating in a Linuxchix Microconf, a bunch of awesome women from Sydney and Melbourne participating in a video conference where people in both locations are presenting to the combined group real time, and it has been great. My talk is in an hour (just finished my slides 😉 and the day has covered a huge range of topics. All have been recorded and I believe will be made available for everyone. Awesome job by Alice, Mary, Sun-Hee and a huge thanks to Google for the resources. They provided the venue, videoconferencing, and a tasty spread of catering!

Coming up!

  • Documentation and publishing of all OLPC stuff plus kick off of bigger regional community project
  • Malaysian Government event on FOSS, and FOSS MY, I’ll be speaking about building FOSS community building and stuff happening in Governments. I’m really excited about going to Malaysia both to see the country, and to learn more about their approach to FOSS, which seems to be pretty cool. I’ll try to live blog during the event.
  • Open Education Workshop – ASK-OSS in collaboration with the NSW Department of Education is launching a workshop on Open Education to both share knowledge, and to start trying to understand the needs of the sector, and making a strategic plan for Open Education in Australia. This is meant to be broad to include FOSS, Open Standards, Open Knowledge, and open collaboration methodologies amongst much more. If you are in education and interested in openness, come along and participate!

Anyway, much more blogging to do, and I’ll try to be less slack even though there is so much going on 🙂