Open Source Development in Higher Ed–the new form of community service?

I went to Campus Technology today to get an article entitled, if memory serves, “why IT staff are different from other people” or something to that effect. I wanted to blog about it in a nature vs. nurture context. Perhaps I still will blog about it someday. Anyway, I went there and saw their headline article about Seneca College’s work with Fedora. This is a nice partnership–students gain real-world experience while benefiting the greater community. I sent the link as well as a link to this guy at Oregon state to the chair of our Computer Science program and another faculty member in that group. They’re going to bring it up with the curriculum committee. Cool!

Many higher ed institutions emphasize “community service” in their “co-curricular” offerings: volunteer work, internships, etc. I think contributions to the open source community are a great example of this type of service and hope we can sponsor such an opportunity at our school’s “office of community engagement.”

Plus, I like the whole “community service” sentence aspect of this work, too. Like, “Dude, I was busted for smoking pot and they sentenced me to 40 hours of Mozilla extension compatibility bug fixing.”

4 Responses to “Open Source Development in Higher Ed–the new form of community service?”

  1. slack said:

    May 29, 08 at 2:05 pm

    I was very excited to see the news about Seneca. I made sure to send some of that information to the Computer Science faculty that think open source is at least interesting. Although, its surely difficult for someone in my IT group to influence the faculty. Need to work on that.

    I wonder what kind of curriculum certification Seneca’s computer science program is subject to.

  2. skvidal said:

    May 29, 08 at 10:33 pm

    slack: Seneca is in Canadia, so who knows if they have certifications at all! 🙂 (kidding)

    admin: if you need someone to ping the right people about the seneca stuff let me know I’ll be happy to give you the various folks home numbers 🙂

  3. Sukey said:

    May 30, 08 at 4:30 pm

    I can’t comment on your post because I haven’t read it yet – I’m still reeling from the login/password trauma.

    I’m glad to see that I’m not alone – that others made it safely to shore.

    Open software – ok, today I finally got my mail-order Firefox tee-shirt w/free “Japanese” stickers (I assumed cute anime-style but they’re just the Mozilla/Thunderbird/Firefox logos).

    The tee is awesome, not only ’cause it was a clearance sale, but because, well just read the Mozilla store description:

    “Japanese design and Firefox style blend together on this one of a kind shirt featuring the popular anime character, Foxkeh.”

    Get your own while supplies last

  4. admin said:

    May 30, 08 at 5:54 pm

    “Foxkeh” –I think some faculty wrote them to me in an email… 🙂

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