Slides and audio now available for the Open Education Workshop

Last month I coordinated the ASK-OSS Open Education Workshop, which was great!

We’ve now got all the slides and audio online so check it out. Some great outcomes were achieved including a series of sector requirements and ideas for how to move towards open education in 2009. Everything is linked from the event page above 🙂

Open Education Workshop 2008

This Friday I’m helping host Open Education Workshop 2008, an ASK-OSS and NSW DET supported event about all things open in education (Open Resources, Open Source, Open Standards, Open Collaboration, etc). It should be a great event and will hopefully pave the way towards more Open Education in Australia for 2009!

The event includes great speakers from education in Australia and abroad as well as loads of case studies, and time for strategic discussion and planning. Should be great!

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 🙂

Cape Town Open Education Declaration

This is a really interesting read, and a great initiative for openness (software, standards, collaboration) in education!

We are on the cusp of a global revolution in teaching and learning. Educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use. These educators are creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge. They are also planting the seeds of a new pedagogy where educators and learners create, shape and evolve knowledge together, deepening their skills and understanding as they go.

The Cape Town Open Education Declaration

Also I’m working on the ASK-OSS (Australian Service for Knowledge on Open Source Software) project again, helping with some newsletters, case studies and information services. Should be fun and the newsletter is quite useful.

Linux Australia “cover girl” ;)

So I recently did a casual interview with Liz Tay from IDG about working in IT and being a woman in IT. It was a casual discussion and I thought it would be done in a short one page interview. It turns out she wrote it down verbatim for a 4 page article about “an interview with Linux Australia’s cover girl”. Funny!! 🙂

The space between two moments

These last four weeks have been pretty crazy. I haven’t had a moment to really catch up on anything, but I’m slowly getting there so for people waiting on me please keep being patient 🙂

First there was two weeks on the road. A week in Canberra talking to Government people, universities, corporate types and of course community people about FOSS. I’m putting together some pretty interesting documents which should get some good support from Australian Government Agencies, so stay tuned for that.

Then I helped run a seminar for ASK-OSS and spent a few days in Brisbane running the same conference up there. Both events were a lot of fun and very interesting. It was great to meet Dan Ravicher who is a great speaker, and his partner Alex who is a street smart lawyer defending the rights of disadvantaged people in New York! Alex was a very cool lady to meet! It was wonderful to meet with Mark Webbink again, I hope everything is going ok Mark.

Then this last two weeks, I’ve been sick. ‘The flu with my RSI starting to play-up again’ sick. Not very nice, particularly when one has soooo much to do!

I had loads of wonderful people from SLUG come around on the 26th and pitch in to help pack up all the global Software Freedom Day team packs for shipping on Monday. It was a great day, and we packed up basically 150 packages in just under a day. Many thanks to all those people (plus Jeff and Sridhar) 😉 who put in a champion effort!

What else. We’ve had teams register late for Software Freedom Day almost every day, so it looks like there will be over 200 teams this year, and it is only the third year! I’ve got an event running in Sydney which has technologists, journalists, politicians and culturalists giving talks, as well as some useful workshops so it should be a lot of fun for anyone in Sydney who can come along 🙂 And I’m chatting to Alice Brennan today from Triple J about covering Software Freedom Day on HACK, the week day afternoon news on Triple J (and one of my favourite radio shows). More details on that when I know.

Phew! What are we doing today, Brain? …

Thanks Canberra FOSSites :)

Yesterday afternoon a bunch of wonderful people came to meet for a coffee/beer at the All Bar Nun in Canberra. It was a great few hours and awesome to catch up with everyone that came (and a few new faces to attach to nicks :). I met up with Chris Smart who is behind the Kororaa project, Kristy Bennetts, David Symons (bimberi), Paul Wayper, Steve Walsh, Ingrid Finnane, Antti Roppola, Justin Freeman and more 🙂 Thanks everyone! I’ll definitely be coming back to Canberra soon as there were so many yummy dinners offered 🙂

I’ve also been talking to a bunch of Government agencies about FOSS and there will be some great new case studies of FOSS in research available on the ASK-OSS website in the coming weeks. Also, anyone in Sydney next week should take the opportunity to come along to a free legal and research seminar about FOSS, with Mark Webbink and Dan Ravicher speaking. Details on the ASK-OSS website.

Canberra truckin’

So I’m in Canberra all week this week, mostly in meetings about the ASK-OSS project, and a few Government meetings talking about FOSS. It has already been great, and there is a group of us putting together a statement recommending the use of Open Standards in Australian Government, which I’ll post as soon as it is finalised. We are also looking at doing a guide for FOSS software development in the public sector. Pretty cool stuff 🙂

I’m hoping to catch up with some of the local FOSSers, but I’ve missed the CLUG meeting, so I’m hoping to catch the programmers SIG and maybe a few people for a coffee/beer 🙂

Open Source Legal and Research Seminar

For all those interested in research and legal matters, the ASK-OSS project I’m working on is holding a great event including Mark Webbink (Red Hat Deputy General Counsel), Dan Ravicher (Legal Director at the Software Freedom Law Centre), Rob Pike (Google), Gernot Heiser (NICTA Program Leader) and Carl Middlehurst (NICTA General Counsel). It should be an awesome event, so check it out and click thought to the NICTA page for registrations. August 15th In Sydney, and a related event happening 17th August in Brisbane. Both linked from the ASK-OSS page.