Sunday, June 17, 2007

"Ask Me About....."

As I start to pack up cables, CPUs, lamps and LAMPs, swag and pillows in preparation for the Hadj to Bethel, I am thinking about the incredible opportunity that these next few days present. These are my favorite conferences of the year and if I had to pick my very favorite thing about these NELS/FOSSEd conferences, it would not actually be the food (though that is really a close second) but the fact that I learn something from every single person I talk to, eat with, listen to and drink among. From incredibly knowledgeable network people to first year teachers for whom this is their first tech conference, everyone has some expertise to offer. People that have never seen FOSS software and were dragged to the conference by a friend offer great insight as to how people view our world from the outside. And the people who are actually coding some of the magic will really listen to concerns and feedback in a way that really doesn't happen at national development conferences. Usually I am having so much fun that I forget how amazing this fact actually is.

So I always start thinking about this time of ways to turbo-charge this process. Could we ask people to provide a digital picture of themselves and 3 topics that would go under the heading of "Ask me about..." Topics like RAID installation, classroom FOSS use in K-2, international FOSS conferences, magic shell commands, good introductory books on OpenOffice, FOSS Library software, educational software horror stories, or backup strategies for rural tech coordinators. And then we post all this on a wall in the science center.

And beside it a huge sheet of paper (how analog!) where people leave questions like "How do I connect two computers to share files on linux machines?" or "Has anyone gotten a Ubuntu LTSP to support Flash 9 and where do I find you?" or "Is there FOSS software for Macs?" Then someone would leave their name saying they can help with that questions and by checking the other board the questioner can seek out that face at some meal or break.

Perhaps something to be discussed this year for implementation at a future conference. where did I leave that hub......

1 comment:

David Trask said...

What an awesome idea! I'll bring some cameras! We'll need paper (if I can remember what that is) and markers. This should be pretty cool.

FOSSED 2008 Conference Schedule!

The 2008 FOSSED Conference schedule is now posted...get it here CLICK HERE

Conference Sessions listed here

Great sessions! Great presenters! ALL driven by YOU! Check the session descriptions (always a document in progress) here:

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NOTE: This session list is currently in development...some sessions may be added and a couple may disappear, but for the most part things will give you a very good idea of what is being offered at FOSSED 2008