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!
Digital Freedom Foundation is launching a new celebration around Free and Open Educational Resources called Education Freedom Day which will be celebrated on January 18th 2014 (Saturday). We really hope this celebration can provide a great introduction to the general public what Open Educational Resources (OER) is, its benefits and how vibrant your local community is.
Please help us to promote EFD by using our EFD countdown and banners. If you have contacts with either your local schools, colleges, universities or some open education projects please visit the EFD wiki, create your event page and register your event! If you have any question, please join and ask our EFD mailing list or IRC channel #efday @ Freenode.
Happy Education Freedom Day!
Our long term sponsor, Google has launched its Code-in 2013 program, an online contest to introduce 13-17 year old pre-university students to free and open source software development. The contest is similar to the Google Summer of Code program for older students in that it gives participants the opportunity to work with mentors from carefully chosen free and source software projects on real-world coding and related tasks like QA, documentation and more. Over the last 3 years over 1200 students from 71 countries have participated. We hope to expand the program this year and would appreciate your help and that of the members of your community to spread the word to girls around the world.
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