Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses

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Joanmarie Diggs shares her vision about what is missing in order to make a successful collaborations between FOSS communities and Universities.

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Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses

  1. 1. Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs
  2. 2. 2 Topics ● Win-Win Solutions that Dont JustWork™ ● Putting the Professors in the Drivers Seat ● Building a Better MouseTrap ● Getting Involved Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  3. 3. Free Software + Academia ` A Win-Win Solution that Doesnt JustWork™
  4. 4. 4 Academic Institutions • Unite theory and practice • Provide real-world, marketable skills • Be seen as “cool” and innovative Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  5. 5. 5 Free Software Communities • More users • More contributors • More people who know about Free Software Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  6. 6. 6 Corporate Contributors • More, and more-qualified, job applicants • Get to be known by the candidates they want • Work with candidates before hiring them Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  7. 7. 7 It Should JustWork™ • Everyone wins • GNOME welcomes newcomers • GNOME succeeds with student contributors: ✔ Google Summer of Code ✔ Outreach Program for Women ✔ HFOSS Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  8. 8. 8 (Where are all the professors???) Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  9. 9. 9 Barriers to Entry } 1. Unfamiliar tools 2. Undetermined projects 3. Unidentified resources Every semester! 4. Unanswered questions 5. Unforeseen obstacles 6. Unestablished curriculum Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  10. 10. 10 Root Causes ● Semesters have a fixed schedule ● Courses have fixed learning outcomes ● Faculty are expected to be in control ● Academia is a closed culture ● Faculty have limited time to teach ● Research is seen as a “better investment” Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  11. 11. The “Season of Code” Problem ` A(nother) Win-Win Solution that Doesnt JustWork™
  12. 12. 12 How Could It Possibly Fail? ● Real needs ● Supportive mentors ● Great ideas ● Backing organizations ● Enthusiasm ● Infrastructure ● Time ● Financial support Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  13. 13. 13 New A11y Project Outcomes • GNOME Voice Control – Abandoned • MouseTrap – Abandoned • VizAudio – Abandoned • Dots – Severely neglected • Compiz eZoom – Severely neglected • Vedics – Severely neglected • Simon – Thriving Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  14. 14. 14 Post-Mortem Results • Students move on • Accessibility is not “shiny” • Accessibility is highly specialized • Existing team members have full plates • An entity to ensure continuity is essential Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  15. 15. Outreach Program for Professors + foss2serve ` Putting Professors in the Drivers Seat
  16. 16. 16 Educate the Educators ● Community norms • Build tools ● Communication tools • Patch creation ● Issue trackers • Localization ● Version control • Releases Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  17. 17. 17 Provide the Tools • A module (new or existing) • Infrastructure to maintain that module • Ongoing mentorship Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  18. 18. 18 Give Professors Ownership • They set their road map (i.e. projects) • They allocate their resources (i.e. students) • They perform code review (i.e. assessment) • They control their module (and their semester) Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  19. 19. 19 Eliminate Barriers to Entry 1. Unfamiliar tools Steep learning curve 2. Undetermined projects 3. Unidentified resources 4. Unanswered questions 5. Unforeseen obstacles 6. Unestablished curriculum Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  20. 20. 20 Academic Efforts • TOS – teachingopensource.org Community of academics and developers • HFOSS – hfoss.org Humanitarian-centered to attract more students • foss2serve – xcitegroup.org/foss2serve New NSF-funded series of projects Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  21. 21. 21 foss2serves Main Goals • Professional development for faculty in FOSS • Small-group learning communities – Connecting academia with FOSS projects – Faculty become core participants – Creation and sharing of learning materials • Increase student interest in computing Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  22. 22. 22 foss2serves Participants • Red Hat – POSSE FOSS immersion experience for instructors • GNOME – Outreach Program for Professors Ramp-up and support for long-term participation • (Your organization or institution here) Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  23. 23. 23 Eliminate Barriers to Entry 1. Unfamiliar tools Steep learning curve 2. Undetermined projects 3. Unidentified resources 4. Unanswered questions 5. Unforeseen obstacles 6. Unestablished curriculum Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  24. 24. 24 Project Goals • Financially self-sustaining • Not limited to computer science • International collaboration • Professors mentor new professors Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  25. 25. 25 Project Goals (cont.) • Modules gain communities • Modules become core GNOME • Students remain as contributors • Expands to include high schools Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  26. 26. The Pilot Program `Building a Better MouseTrap
  27. 27. 27 MouseTrap ● Standalone GNOME application ● Mouse control via webcam head tracking ● Written in Python, based on OpenCV ● Created during GOPA: 2008 ● Contributed to during HFOSS: 2009 ● Last non-localization code change: 2010 Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  28. 28. 28 Short-Term Goals • Make the module GNOME 3 compatible • Define the modules road map • Establish expertise in academic participants • Explore/create course material for student involvement Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  29. 29. 29 Medium-Term Goals • Regular releases • Significant contribution by students • Incorporation of the module into courses • Increased visibility of students participation Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  30. 30. 30 Long-Term Goals • Module being included as GNOME “feature” • Users actively participating • Students and faculty doing core development • Many disciplines and institutions contributing Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  31. 31. Getting Involved `
  32. 32. 32 Program Participants Sought • Computer Science • Art, Graphics Design • Technical Writing • Foreign Language • HCI, Usability • Marketing • Special Education • Others Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com
  33. 33. 33 GNOME Accessibility Team Alejandro Piñeiro Joanmarie Diggs apinheiro@igalia.com jdiggs@igalia.com Western New England University Heidi Ellis Herman L. Jackson ellis@wne.edu stoney.jackson@wne.edu Drexel University Gregory Hislop Sean Goggins hislopg@drexel.edu sgoggins@drexel.edu Nassau Community College Darci Burdge Lori Postner darci.burdge@ncc.edu lori.postner@ncc.edu Facilitating Student Participation in Free Software within Academic Courses Joanmarie Diggs | jdiggs@igalia.com

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