[Ambassadors] The Education Strategy

Jack Aboutboul jaa at redhat.com
Tue Aug 19 22:49:51 UTC 2008

Hello Everyone,

I realize that some people have been confused, perplexed and perhaps 
annoyed at the lack of information being disseminated about what is 
going on vis-a-vis some programs being planned in the educational 
realm.  After my brief comments at the NA ambassadors meeting a few 
weeks I would like to outline what has been going on to provide some 
clarity as well a grounds for discussions for everything.  Let me start 
by saying that I apologize if it seemed like this was being done in 
secret, which it absolutely isn't, its just the choice was made to keep 
everything quiet until we could make some formal announcement in the 
coming months and that lead people to believe we were trying to cut 
people out of the process, which is not the case at all.

First of all, let me make a few thing we are *NOT* trying to do clear, 
based mostly off concerns people have brought to my attention:

1. Create a private initiative - Again, we were just being mum until we 
could make sure we would get the most press punch out of this.

2. Uproot/Replace/Rename/Repurpose the Ambassadors program - This is 
absolutely not true one iota!!!  The purpose that we are considering 
this initiative to be a separate entity has nothing to do with anything 
malicious.  This is intended to be a pilot program and we thought it 
might be less of a burned on Ambassadors if it was run by one person 
initially, figure out if it has legs, gain some organic growth and then 
integrate it into the fold rather than stick in a whole bunch of new 
people with seemingly narrow-focused objectives into an already ongoing 
and vibrant Ambassadors program.

3. Replace current Ambassadors who are students - Again, not true.  We 
really would like everyone to keep doing the great job they are already 
doing, day in and day out.  We didn't start by approaching these 
ambassadors, because strategic partnerships with certain key 
universities are important to Red Hat as well as Fedora and we are, and 
I especially have been, working on building those bridges for the past 
few weeks.  We don't want to kick anyone out of place, on the 
contrary--we are trying to make more places in which people can be.

That being said, I am going to highlight some key pieces of strategy 
which for better or worse comprise our Fedora Education Strategy and 
feel free to comment on and/or disagree with any of these--thats why I'm 
putting this out, to get everyone involved in the process:

1. Open Source Curriculum - We are working with a talented group of 
people to try and put together both a platform and set of course 
materials in order to teach people and students world wide how to 
program using modern software engineering methodologies and with a focus 
on Free and Open Software tools and philosophy.

2. Campus Reps - A US Pilot program to try and get students on college 
campuses involved in Fedora and general FOSS advocacy.  Initially, they 
will all report back to one person within Red Hat who can be help 
responsible and accountable for all this.  Purpose is two-fold, first, 
students advocate for open source and fedora on their respective 
campus.  Second, they provide eyes and ears on the ground and work with 
students and faculty to find interesting opportunities.  Students also 
provide a face for us to the faculty which is familiar to them which 
doesnt seem like its some corporate backed scheme to recruit students 
without paying their sometimes insane fees.  Reps have a few basic 
responsibilities, mainly holding one event a semester, whether it be a 
tech talk or info session about something fedora or open source related 
and maintaining good rapport with faculty to try and make new 
opportunities spring up.

3. Red Hat High 2.0 - Redefine RHH as a program working with the 
country's elite science and math high schools in order to get students 
familiarized with open source at the high school level.  This ties in 
with the Open Curriculum.  We know there are a number of similar 
initiatives but none which focus around getting students familiarized 
with open source.

Thats basically that, I'm sure everyone will have more questions and 
comments and suggestions, so let's get everyone involved in this.  What 
do you think?


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