FOSS heros and heroines in Egypt, I put forth a call to arms for volunteers, supporters, and sponsors for the first time OSED event is held.
Event: Open Source Education Day 2011 - new event Location: Misr University for Science and Technology, 6th of October, Egypt Date: Monday 16th of May, 2011
Q: And who are you?
A: Hello! My name is Salwan Asaad (aka ZenithSal), I'm a game and software developer studying computer engineering at Misr University for Science and Technology. I'm a strong believer in the open source idea and initiative, and I contribute every now and then to open source projects, usually C++ and Python.
Q: What is OSED'2011?
A: Open Source Education Day, a day of enlightenment for IT students and educators.
Q: What do you mean? What's the problem??
A: Wanna be IT specialists and Computer Engineers are often fighting and struggling with closed-source software that they were forced to study and use, software that is usually awfully outdated, restrictive, and/or expensive for the educational institute. So rather than paying for better equipment and facilities, they are paying for limited outdated software. Furthermore, most of these solutions don't really help students in their education, their appreciation for the field, or their future.. And the Results? a graduate computer engineer who doesn't know how to use a computer, or an IT specialist who can't write a Hello World in any programming language! that's the reality of things today. This MUST change NOW, for years we had open source software that follow the latest standards, trends, and that is constantly maintained and updated.. software that is unlimited, that is closer to the machine allowing a better understanding, that costs nothing and runs on anything!
To be clear, this isn't about converting end-users from Windows to Linux. It's about fixing the problem at the source so to speak, converting Universities and students to use open-source software in their education. And this can be done gradually and over a period of time for a smooth transition.
Q: But how are we to do that?
A: The only tool we have is the power of actions and words. We show them, not just tell them. We involve them, pull them in, rather than just presenting our ideas and what we think is better. To try to achieve that, I'm planning to make use of animated graphics and sounds. So that if I couldn't convert anyone, I'll at least ignite interest in exploring alternative solutions in the audience. I invite you all to try doing the same using whatever means you see fit.
Q: Ok , what kind of activities will OSED event involve?
A: I have 3 activities planned so far: - Open Source for Education: a presentation/show that explains the problem I highlighted above and talks about solutions and the future of education (1 hour) - FOSS Open Forum: a number of open source and linux gurus hold a discussion about using open source software compared to commercial closed source via a QA with the audience (1 hour) - A mini-linux install feast through the event, if only to demonstrate how it's done. Live-cd handouts if OSED gets sponsorship.
That's effectively a 2 hours activity. The university has given me about 6 hours possible for the event along with a theater room and presentation equipment. I'm open to whatever activities you guys see valid within the context of the event.
Q: How can I help?
A: If you have the knowledge, the time, and the will, you can help organize the event? or you can participate in the event as a volunteer? a linux guru? or if you can help get the word out and can help with sponsorship, you can perhaps support OSED?
Q: How can I contact you?
A: Here is how:
- Email: email@example.com
- Facebook: Salwan A. AlHelaly
- Twitter: twitter.com/zenithsal
- Mobile: 0114245106
Meetings will be held for organization and planning, probably in Cairo.