Education Freedom Day! So it is time to look around and see if there is an event nearby. If not, you have a few choices online. There are of course the projects we mentioned previously, but you could also decide to get in touch with one of the many projects we have listed on our resource page. Last but not least, if you're just discovering Education Freedom Day and still want to do something be aware that there is an Open Education Week running in March, date around which we will run our second Education Freedom Day next year. Note as well that a few event organizers had to take the decision to delay their event because of local incompatibilities (summer holidays, Chinese New Year and the likes). So make sure you look at the dates events are being run. With all that being said you can as well just pick today as a day to contribute to one of the many Free Educational projects you are familiar with. Don't hesitate to join us on #EFDAY and talk to us in case of doubt, or just to cheer us up!
And of course, Happy Education Freedom Day to you all!
Still presenting a few of the exciting things to contribute to on EFD and this time we will cover our own projects: Greenboard and RUR-PLE. They both cover the needs of the younger generation, one in generic teaching and one in programming. You could summarize Greenboard by saying it mixes technology with traditional teaching while RUR-PLE is really about teaching programming to kids. As our own events will be happening early March, we will work on our projects on Saturday 18th and welcome anyone interested to join us on the EFD IRC channel to participate. Our work will span from maintenance tasks such as upgrading some of the software we use to marketing and translation work such as better wordings and splitting some of the courses to allow easy deployments. All this being very high level we definitely encourage anyone interested to join us and update the agenda to better focus our work. We are planning to be available from 14:00 UTC+8 to when it is over... So see you all on Saturday!
Yet another day and another project needing some love on Education Freedom Day: the Open Education Handbook! Started in September 2013 and initiated by the Open Education Working Group from the Open Knowledge Foundation, the Open Education Handbook initially intended to cover Open Data use in education but has quickly evolved into a document extending to the different aspects of open education, such as resources, data and culture and how those fit together. While it is currently the second version, the targeted final release is for October 2014.
So on Education Freedom Day, the people from Campinas in Brazil, together with interested participants either locally or remotely, will work on a Portuguese translation of the Open Education Handbook. Note that the event is actually happening on Monday 20 January and should you not live in the area feel free to contact them through our Portuguese mailing list. Of course if you are more generally interested in contributing to the Open Education Handbook then looking at the Open Education Working Group mailing list is probably a good way to start.
As Education Freedom Day is just around the corner we would like to highlight a few of the possibilities of participations during that day. We are indeed very happy to see projects contributors getting involved and we would like to highlight the Open Book Project lead by Jeffrey Elkner, Kevin Cole and a few others running their own event in Washington, DC. The Open Book Project has for us some special significance as we are also involved in Free Software advocacy and running educational groups which cover how to program at a young age. Definitely learning to code early enough is a good thing for every one as it teaches you the fundamentals of problem solving and logic. We have been using software such as RUR-PLE ourselves but the Open Book Project goes further and provides all kinds of books, tutorials and courses around the Information & Communication Technology with quite an extensive part on Python itself, split well enough not to bore the kids (or at least that is how we feel). Jeffrey Elkner is also involved in the Guido van Robot programming language which is very similar to the RUR-PLE we love. So why do we care about Python in education would you ask? Well that is probably because the language is simple and close enough to the English language and allows you to do wonders at the same time. So rather than learning something that is only useful within its educational context, why not make the slight extra effort to learn something that is also used by real developers? And it is all Free Software!
Of course those materials are usable by either teachers, students or self-learners and EFD will be a day where you can either join the team in Washington DC or get in touch with them and see how you could contribute without being on site.
We would like to wish all of you a happy new year and hope the best will happen to every one of us.
2014 is an important year for SFD and the Digital Freedom Foundation. We have now extended our celebrations to four in a year as the Free Software philosophy extends to more and more places. We have also merged one of our side activities, Greenboard, which is about building a totally Free and Open Source curriculum to meet the tremendous need for technology that everyone is facing and especially the unprivileged groups, at the lowest possible cost. While currently only available in Chinese (as it is where it is developed) we are slowly translating it into English.
So to summarize we will be celebrating the following events this year:
- Education Freedom Day: Saturday January 18th
- Hardware Freedom Day: Saturday March 15th
- Culture Freedom Day: Saturday May 17th
- Software Freedom Day: Saturday September 20th
You can of course find more information on the related websites or ask us questions through the appropriate mailing lists.
Last but not least, we are headed towards our tenth year of existence and this would not have been possible without you and without all the supporting organizations which have followed us around the years, namely Canonical, Google, Linode, the FSF and FSFE, Creative Commons, FreeBSD, Joomla!, the Open Clipart Library, Foundation Ceata, Linux Magazine, Linux Journal, Ubuntu User, Admin magazine and smart developer.
This year we will also try to raise more funds and hopefully hire someone to help us full time as it is starting to be a busy all-year-round activity. Hopefully this will make us more active and responsive to all the requests we are getting and better overall.
So thank you all and let's make 2014 unforgettable!
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