Monday, June 26, 2006

Open Souce in K-12 Email List Started

On one of the technical Linux/Open Source lists I am subscribed to, a teacher complained about the lack of a mailing list for Free and Open Source Software for the non-technical users in schools.

As I'm working currently on a book on the use of Free and Open Source software in K-12 schools, and have talked to hundreds of teachers at our Open Source labs at the NECC and CUE.org shows, I think the complaint is reasonable. I think there is a huge group of teachers interested in FLOSS programs who will absolutely not be ready for, or want to be on, a list that is highly technical. They are just at the stage of looking for something that works, that they can use in their classroom, and that doesn't cost them anything. They aren't ready to wrap themselves around the whole discussion of Open Source Software, and it's not fair to expect that they will do so at this stage.

There needs to be an easy entry point, and while there are some good websites that do this (see below), I don't believe there has been an email list for them. So: http://groups.google.com/group/k12opensource/. We'll publicize the list at NECC and hope that it makes a difference moving forward.

I'm also starting a wiki that we'll make public in the next few weeks as well that will hopefully add to the resources in this arena.

For those who are interested, there are other K12 Open Source resources available at the following websites:

http://k12edcom.org
http://www.K12LTSP.org
http://www.K12LTSP.com (K12LTSP map)
http://www.K12Linux.org
http://www.K12OS.org
http://www.netc.org/openoptions
http://www.TechnologyRescue.com
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