[TOS] Ian Weller is working on TOS infrastructure this summer

Matthew Jadud mjadud at allegheny.edu
Mon May 23 17:49:34 UTC 2011

On Mon, May 23, 2011 at 00:16, Mel Chua <mel at redhat.com> wrote:
> If it's not on here, it's not going to be in Ian's queue. (And if it's
> filed, it means he'll *consider* it when he does weekly priority scans
> on what to work on for that week -- there's far more work to do than can
> humanly be done!)

Hi all,

Last week at SoftHum 2011, a number of faculty (several of whom are on
this list) had the opportunity to come together and collaborate on
work related to the teaching of FOSS. We also spent some time talking
about the state of the community, the infrastructure for supporting
that community, POSSE curricula, and several "next steps." This
material will be coming on-line over the next few weeks---many of us
came back to a pile of work at the end of the term, and updating wikis
and the like will happen Real Soon Now.

There were three infrastructure points that we wanted to see move
forward, one of which is already being addressed (mailing list
access). A second was site design/content, and a third had to do with
tools for introducing FOSS. (If

2. Site Design
Our community is less about content and more about people and
connection. As such, we'd like to suggest that in any site refresh
consideration that we move to a more communication-centric model --
focusing on content feeds (blogs, Twitter/Identi.ca, ...) of members
of our community as opposed to a largely static wiki that sees little
use. As Mel's "dashboard project" goes forward, it would be a good
place for dashboard elements from community work to be featured.

3. Tools
Without rehashing previous discussions, it would be incredibly useful
for new FOSS/POSSE participants to be able to have a "hub" for FOSS
exploration and development without any barriers/hurdles.

* A planet
* An IRC bot (and logging)
* An etherpad instance

Based on previous POSSE workshops, these tools consistently come out
as being (1) incredibly useful for faculty working with students in
FOSS, and (2) are hard to set up/maintain. Ideally, a POSSE
participant from Bob Jones University should be able to walk out of
the workshop with "bju.teachingopensource.org" and those services
available from that location.

Ultimately, we think that having

* Version control
* Bug Tracking
* ... (something else that isn't in my notes)

would be very useful for new FOSS educators to be able to learn and
experiment on -- even going so far as to provide a space for their
students to learn and experiment.

Based on our own experiences, and feedback from POSSE participants, it
is clear that there are hurdles to mastering the tools of and learning
how to interact with online communities. Faculty need a space in which
to learn, and they need a place to bring their students into that
learning as well. I don't know what the "right" way to move this
forward is, but it would be good for the community if we had better
tools available for the upcoming POSSE cohort (end of July).


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