Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'd Rather Be With an Animal, Part 1

My life is very adventurous. It seems that every time I go away something HAS to happen. I arrived at FSOSS earlier today and as you probably guessed, something happened. Stay tuned after the jump, because it really is quite an interesting and, even I have to admit, funny, story.

A quick summary of day 1 of the symposium first. Got in, got to Seneca, Got there right in time to see Greg moderating his panel. I've been mostly involved in the Teaching OSS @ FSOSS track, and pretty much spent all day in that room. What came out of it were some really good ideas. One particular idea which struck me the most were the alternative models for engaging the academic community. Specifically, one which came up quite a bit today and one which I mentioned before to a few people, is getting academic schools other than CS/CE, mainly business and law interested in Open Source. Personally, I think its a great idea, particularly since from a research perspective, there maybe more practical implications for a Business major or a Law major surrounding Open Source, than there might be coming from CS/CE.

At 2:00 was our big parlor meeting type thing revolving around finally putting together all the disparate pieces in order to get re-focus our energies surrounding Open Source in Education and advancing the cause. Our big idea was that we need some neutral, third-party space in which we can begin to coalesce and join up in a unified voice. The first steps, we agreed, was getting up a list of current institutions and individuals who are already doing Open Source education well so that we stop reinventing the wheel and create a pool which we can draw from. Some sort of consortium was thought to be the best idea and we are starting slowly but surely. For now, anyone who is doing any open source in academia related stuff would do themselves well by checking this site and maybe adding to it:

After we disbanded, the real fun happened when I wanted to track everyone down again when they went to dinner. On second thought, I'll post up the story in the morning because I'm tired and want to go to bed. Just know for now that it doesn't involve anything getting broken and is sort of a Twilight Zone meets Jurrasic Park type of tale.

Okay, really tired, going to sleep. To be continued...