Open Source and Education at Ohio Linux Fest

I got the opportunity to meet with a bunch of enthusiastic Linux users recently at Ohio Linux Fest. It was really great to see so many people get together to discuss the ways they are contributing to Open Source software and seeing the ways it is impacting people’s lives. While there were so many great talks, there were a few that I think Kids on Computers volunteers and students can really appreciate.

Jim Johnston and Darla Wise gave a great presentation on how they are using free and Open Source software to teach Statistics. The found a way for schools and teachers to have the software they needed to teach their students. They talked about how it can be difficult for schools to get the budget to buy the proprietary versions of software like this. This is something that we are very familiar with at KoC.

Another great talk that would resonate with KoC folks was by Don Vosburg. He described how the school he works with didn’t have the money for their IT infrastructure. So they switched to using a lot of free and Open Source software. Now years later, he has a better setup, and is empowering the students there to help learn and even manage the servers that they depend on.

All in all it was a great conference. I got the chance to speak to many of them and encourage them to help spread these great ideas with KoC. Next week I’ll be at another conference, Secure WV. Hopefully there will be some more great education success stories, and maybe even a new volunteer or two.

– Jeff Pullen

I’ve included a picture of me (Left) arriving at the conference with other members of my local Linux user group.OhioLinuxFest1

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