[OSGeo-Discuss] Vision for an OSGeo education program

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Fri Oct 28 12:30:52 PDT 2016

<changing email title to a solution focus>


I love your OSGeo educational vision. Its practical, it has a clear 
vision, it sounds achievable, it is something which could start small 
and then scale, and I think it has the potential to inspire people to 
contribute to it. If it attracts a few motivated and driven 
contributors, I believe it has all the hallmarks of a successful Open 
Source project [1]. I want in!

I can also help out with setting up processes and reviewing documentation.

I think the first step to work out is our vision, and then clearly 
define our first few releases, ensuring they are achievable. Randal, 
you've made a great start on that. Maybe something like:

* Simple for teachers to use.

* Focus on quality over quantity

* Has clear teaching goals.

* Makes use of cool, inspiring use cases that kids will connect with and 
find relevant.

* Maybe a really engaging use case would be to allow kids to add the 
school's basketball hoop to Open Street Map, and then know that their 
contribution will be around forever

* Re content, are there national or international learning guides we can 
trace back to? If proprietary vendors are linking back to these, and we 
do the same, it will provide opportunities for teachers to mix-and-match 
classes, similar to switching applications which all access datasets 
using the same WMS standard.

One of the key requirements we are going to need is user feedback. 
Having teachers report back on the success of their classes, describing 
what they'd like to achieve so that we can help implement it for them. 
Randal, as you appear to have already built that connection, I suggest 
you'd be the best person to start defining what the first classes should 
look like?

What should be our first target audience? What age group? Who is 
prepared to drive that?


On 29/10/2016 1:54 AM, Randal Hale wrote:
> The way I look at it - and this is from watching Teachers at the 
> school: Imagine getting a disk full of software. Have a colleague come 
> over and repeatedly poke you in the head while you try to figure out 
> what is on the disk and where the instructions are. In a few more 
> minutes have someone come over and start singing while you are getting 
> poked in the head. Maybe someone pours water in your shoe in another 2 
> minutes.
> It needs to be that simple. That's what the ESRI folk are doing 
> "Lessons, 'free', and here is the Documentation".
> Simple: software, x directories with x lessons.
> A giant Red button with "Don't Panic" in nice friendly letters.
> On 10/28/2016 10:39 AM, Angelos Tzotsos wrote:
>> So according to Randal, to reach out to schools we need a scaled-down 
>> and lighter OSGeo-Live build (probably without the server side 
>> applications), with different documentation included. Maybe based on 
>> Edubuntu?
>> I volunteer to make a custom OSGeo-Live iso for kids, but we will 
>> need lots of feedback and volunteers to shape up a new documentation.
>> Last year I had the chance to teach several hours of OpenStreetMap to 
>> school kids in a municipality initiative and I can totally agree that 
>> things are different with kids. They did not seem to have much 
>> difficulty with the OSGeo-Live UI, but we ended up playing with iD 
>> and less with desktop applications, like josm.
>> just my 2c
>> Angelos
>> On 10/28/2016 04:55 PM, Randal Hale wrote:
>>> If I can just chime in (I told my cat I wasn't).
>>> The kicker in this is ESRI is deeply entrenched everywhere. They've 
>>> entire groups of people just focused on "giving to schools". I was 
>>> at the helm of rolling out a full ESRI rollout to a school in 2012. 
>>> We had a 50 seat lab setup. I ended up moving them over to FOSS4G 2 
>>> years ago - and I need to go back and update their setup (they don't 
>>> know how). The school is Title 1 (which means the school is very 
>>> poor). The computers are better than what they normally get - BUT - 
>>> they will be using them longer than what they need to. They will be 
>>> unable to run the next version of ESRI Software. The computers can 
>>> still run FOSS4G software.
>>> The teachers here in the US (and I have no doubt this is the case 
>>> everywhere) are stretched thin. That's what makes ESRI so nice. They 
>>> show up and go "here is a curriculum (of sorts) and here is 'free' 
>>> software". It's a short term win. They have people targeted to do 
>>> just that.
>>> So what would Randy do (and I've thought about this more than I care 
>>> to mention) to introduce FOSS4G into the schools:
>>> A bootable disk with FOSS4G software (I am partial to QGIS - other 
>>> things exist) and not everything like the OSGEO Disk. A few select 
>>> pieces of software with a purpose:
>>>  * 10 lessons of 1 hour apiece to work through that are student
>>>    oriented (maybe pick an age range - 12-16)
>>>      o Start globally and work down to locally. Maybe we have different
>>>        local datasets.
>>>  * An explanation for the teachers. They don't understand like we do -
>>>    they need us there for hand holding and encouragement. They can
>>>    manage kids - We need to help manage the lessons. I'm not a teacher.
>>>    I can teach adults - but not kids - it's a whole different game.
>>>  * A spot where teachers can get the lessons (NOT GITHUB) and the disk
>>>    (maybe we combine all things into a bootable USB stick).
>>>  * Help - a place where they can get help (NOT GITHUB). My town has 30+
>>>    schools. If more than 1 does this I can't be everywhere. ESRI put
>>>    out a call for Geomentors. We put out a call.
>>>  * We have COMMUNITY - I don't believe ESRI currently does. They have
>>>    an advertising budget. 20 years ago they had community. We have
>>>    momentum now. Community is greater than an Advertising budget.
>>>  * Advertise it. Ask for help from the teachers.
>>>  * Update it.
>>> I know I'm asking for a lot - it's time intensive - but I think it's 
>>> 100% doable. I go to speak at 2 colleges on GIS Day on nothing but 
>>> FOSS4G.
>>> We've got all the pieces to make this work except time. I'll carve 
>>> out some time if this gets going.
>>> I wished the cat had stopped me. Now I'm in it.

On 29/10/2016 12:56 AM, SERGIO ACOSTAYLARA wrote:
> Thank you Jeff for your great answer to my ¿call? It's a pity the Geo4all Teacher Training and School Education Thematic Group (http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/GeoForAll_TeacherTraining_SchoolEducation) isn't as active as I think it should be as I find it's the group that can best answer to this "huge opportunity" as you call it. Sure Bridget is doing great work and we need to publicise it much more. We here are also doing hard work in order to disseminate the use of FOSS4G in schools (post -in Spanish- about last news:https://gvsigbatovi.wordpress.com/2016/10/25/jornada-taller-en-ceibal-y-creacion-de-equipo-de-seguimiento-gvsig-batovi/) but we surely need to work harder. It is not an easy task but it deserves doing the effort. It`s scaring to know that "youth -only- learn what ESRI means". We all know this provision of free ArcGIS online organization accounts to all K-12 schools in the US (note this: ALL K-12 SCHOOLS) is not at all philanthropic. Cameron, I agree with your idea and I can help with it.
> Regards,
> Sergio Acosta y Lara
> Departamento de Geomática
> Dirección Nacional de Topografía
> Ministerio de Transporte y Obras Públicas
> (598)29157933 ints. 20329/20330
> http://geoportal.mtop.gub.uy/
> ________________________________________
> De: Discuss<discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org>  en nombre de Jeff McKenna<jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com>
> Enviado: jueves, 27 de octubre de 2016 21:34
> Para:discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> Asunto: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Sharing sad news from the web...
> Maybe what we are missing are the existing OSGeo-led education labs
> inside highschools - I was cooking now and thought of the great work
> being done by Bridget Fleming with the South African highschool
> geography teachers.  How can we publish and share this great work, and
> spread that out to other highschools around the world - can OSGeo's
> Geo4All committee make that its focus now?
> Anyway, 'food' for thought!
> Thank you again Sergio for bringing this to everyone's attention.
> Night all,
> -jeff
> On 2016-10-27 6:04 PM, Jeff McKenna wrote:
>> >Hi Sergio,
>> >
>> >Thank you for sharing this news.
>> >
>> >I'd like to take this opportunity to take a moment for us, our
>> >foundation, to look in the mirror.  Like this article points out
>> >strongly (yet indirectly), we still have much work to do to reach the
>> >youth of today and tomorrow. And I don't mean the United States or any
>> >one country, as I see this in my own backyard in Canada and everywhere I
>> >travel for OSGeo: a focus on universities and industry (where the money
>> >and funding is), and a pure lack of focus on those fresh energetic and
>> >unbiased minds of youth in highschool and middleschool.  I see it each
>> >year in the Geo4All day (or PostGIS day, or GISDay, whatever we all call
>> >it) where events are held for university students and industry
>> >professionals, all over the world - the problem is those attendees of
>> >the events already know the thrill of the Open community, of geospatial,
>> >of our passion.  We miss the focus on today's youth.
>> >
>> >I always tried to speak to the back row of the theatre, to sing to those
>> >at the very back too shy to come forward yet so eager to be part of the
>> >spotlight, part of the community, and I put much focus on those rarely
>> >heard of communities and countries around the world, giving them the
>> >spotlight and the microphone to shine and grow and be seen and heard on
>> >the world stage - well, the time is now for us to give that spotlight to
>> >the youth as well.
>> >
>> >Now that Geo4All is the official education committee for the OSGeo
>> >foundation, we can use that committee to tackle this huge hole, or
>> >rather this huge opportunity.  Maybe the Geo4All committee feels that
>> >they are indeed handling this already, in the highschools etc, and this
>> >message can help Geo4All promote and recruit more champions for their
>> >existing work.  Great!  I'd like to hear of our equivalent for this
>> >ConnectED initiative by Esri, focusing on the youth (and not directly on
>> >universities), of how youth learn what "OSGeo" is, what "OSGeo" means -
>> >as this article strongly points out, youth learn what "Esri" means,
>> >indeed Esri continues to do great work and focus on that huge future
>> >market of youth.  But what are we doing as the OSGeo foundation? Talking
>> >here about that can help build this momentum.
>> >
>> >Just how many highschools and middle schools are involved in our Geo4All
>> >initiative by OSGeo's education committee?  Can someone come up with a
>> >total from the list of current labs?
>> >https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Edu_current_initiatives   What does that
>> >total tell us?  How can we improve on that total?
>> >
>> >I actually was on the stage and handed an award to about 4 highschool
>> >students in person at the FOSS4G-Europe event in Como last year, on
>> >behalf of OSGeo; I saw their passion and spoke with them right after the
>> >session, they were thrilled to be included in this community.
>> >This was an award led by the Geo4All committee, so, this is an example
>> >of their great work with the youth of today - but I bet few knew of that
>> >award, well we can hopefully change that here through Sergio's wakeup
>> >message.
>> >
>> >I hope this message brings all those passionate leaders out there in
>> >OSGeo's Geo4All committee here, with their great examples of their work,
>> >and we can use this news shared by Sergio to help change this myth that
>> >OSGeo isn't a part of the youth activities today, get more press on the
>> >great work by the Geo4All committee of OSGeo (as mentioned by Cameron),
>> >and gather more champions to keep spreading our passion to the youth of
>> >tomorrow - as I've said many times, we're currently hiring champions
>> >
>> >-jeff
>>> On 10/28/2016 09:16 AM, Jeff McKenna wrote:
>>>> As if someone is reading this ha, a tweet just came across my desk: 
>>>> https://twitter.com/GIS4Teachers/status/791981572991746048
>>>> So, we need to also get into that huge K-12 market, plant the open 
>>>> seed early :)  A challenge indeed.
>>>> Think on this over the weekend,
>>>> -jeff
>>>> On 2016-10-27 12:36 PM, SERGIO ACOSTAYLARA wrote:
>>>>> Sadly, only ESRI seems to exist for some in the USA...Imagine the
>>>>> consequences of
>>>>> this: 
>>>>> http://www.pobonline.com/articles/100610-gathering-up-geospatial-pros-to-meet-massive-market-growth
>>>>> Sergio Acosta y Lara
>>>>> Departamento de Geomática
>>>>> Dirección Nacional de Topografía
>>>>> Ministerio de Transporte y Obras Públicas
>>>>> (598)29157933 ints. 20329/20330
>>>>> http://geoportal.mtop.gub.uy/
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Discuss mailing list
>>>> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Discuss mailing list
>>> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>> -- 
>> Angelos Tzotsos, PhD
>> OSGeo Charter Member
>> http://users.ntua.gr/tzotsos
>> _______________________________________________
>> Discuss mailing list
>> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> -- 
> -----------------
> Randal Hale
> North River Geographic Systems, Inc
> http://www.northrivergeographic.com
> 423.653.3611rjhale at northrivergeographic.com
> twitter:rjhale
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

Cameron Shorter
M +61 419 142 254

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