FOSS in Education: It teaches you twice (if not more)

John "Maddog" Hall

Vendors respond to universities...

  • university discount
  • student editions
  • Universities turn to Microsoft
  • "Lock them in when they are young."

Goals of University?

  • Create a thinking electorate, thinking workforce
  • Research: public research with public money, private research with private money

Importance to Country

  • local jobs (high tech)
  • balance of trade
  • eliminate piracy
  • security of country (economic, military, longevity)

Do not be afraid of the word service:

  • more than just "installing software"
  • this is Brain Surgery
  • this is like being a lawyer

Things to Teach in the New Model:

  • how to do distributed development
  • how to license sofware
  • how to develop formal standards
  • how to motivate software developers
  • how to locate and engage the community of users and developers
  • how to innovate, everywhere, always


  • fundamentals
  • comparison evaluation
  • how to share
  • Do not teach specific products

Hackerteen (brazil):

  • create hackers, not crackers by teaching them real skills, create pride, self-confidence, employ them
  • Computer based training
    • used japanese style cartoons to RPG plot
    • psychologists and group work once a month
    • karate belt style advancement


  • hackerteen graduates now employed
  • heckerteen interns teaching at favalas and telecentros
  • Hackerteen is a "for-profit" business


  • computer centres created from "bombed out" stores that are cleaned out and refitted with recycled computers. city pays people to staff.
  • reverse blight happens, new stores are opened up. telecentros become "cultural centers".


  • photographic museum of Alf Kumalo who taught poor kids to do photography, was using photoshop to do digital imaging.
  • photoshop encourages piracy: uses GIMP instead.

Software Piracy:

  • people outside of Beijing make 60 USD/month = 10 months to buy MS Office


Kuali Project


  • students see how software works
  • easy exchange of research results
  • creation of free software
Last modified 10 years ago Last modified on 2009-05-22T06:07:23+09:00