[K12OSN] The HOSEF Way

Rob Owens robowens at myway.com
Tue Feb 8 14:26:38 UTC 2005


In my opinion, it is not unreasonable for you to be paid for your time.  After all, the teachers get paid, don't they?  The real charity is that you are teaching the school how to handle their own IT needs.   

If you were charging for your services but keeping details of the inner workings of the IT structure to yourself, then you might be labelled as profiteering.  But charging for your services and teaching the school to do it without you is certainly charity in my book.


 --- On Mon 02/07, R. Scott Belford < scott at hosef.org > wrote:
From: R. Scott Belford [mailto: scott at hosef.org]
To: k12osn at redhat.com
Date: Mon, 07 Feb 2005 17:56:20 -1000
Subject: [K12OSN] The HOSEF Way

I'd like to share with you how we have organized in Hawaii to create <br>more education opportunities for our children.<br><br>I am not a teacher.  I do not sell software or hardware.  I try very <br>hard to teach schools and non-profits how they can build a culture of <br>self-reliance and sustainability by using OSS, recycled computer <br>equipment, and the existing braintrust in their organization or <br>community.  I do not get paid.<br><br>Like many others, I want to earn money from OSS.  I see how much our <br>schools already spend, and it easy to see my share.  The thing is, I'm <br>afraid.<br><br>I'm afraid that if I use my entrpreneurialism to extract a few more <br>dollars that belong in the hands of a teacher or a principal that the <br>decay of America's education infrastructure will become more eminent.  I <br>am afraid that if we don't provide more hope to our youth by showing <br>them that *they* can install a server, set up a lab, and then do it for <br>the s!
chool next door, then we may never again educate another programmer <br>like Eric.  I am afraid to profit from our schools when they need so <br>much help from people like us.  That is not the HOSEF way.<br><br>Just like the rest of you in your respective school districts, we have a <br>great and diverse group of folks in Hawaii who care about OSS and <br>education.  Just like every other state, we have a LUG.  We decided a <br>few years ago that we needed an entity to provide the charitable <br>back-end to our efforts, and I'd love to see every state do the same thing.<br><br>You see, software developers are lucky.  By working together on <br>programs, they have something around which they can organize.  Those of <br>us completely unwilling to program anything beyond the /etc directory <br>can feel left out when looking for ways to help.<br><br>To give average folks like myself a way to learn about linux while <br>helping our schools, I founded HOSEF, The Hawaii Open Source!
 Education <br>Foundation.  We have a simple mission: to prom!
 ote and 
sustain the use of <br>Open Source Software through advocacy, outreach, support, and the <br>accumulation, restoration, and contribution of donated computer hardware <br>from the general public.<br><br>Incorporated as a non-profit, we have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status.  This <br>enables UH to provide mirror capacity, for local schools to donate <br>storage space, and for local businesses to write off their donated <br>computer equipment.  By donating computer labs to numerous schools, we <br>now use these very facilities on weekends for meetings, classes, and "to <br>turn the wheel of refurbishment."<br><br>Think of it as your LUG in Action.  By organizing around a charitable <br>mission like recycling hardware for use as thin clients, you can build <br>competency, promote Linux, and bridge the proverbial digital divide. <br>Plus, you get to meet one another, interact, and to build and grow your <br>  social network.<br><br>Make no mistake, though.  Giving schools hardware wi!
th no chance at <br>self-reliance simply perpetuates the problematic culture of support <br>dependency.  We like to say that 16% of what we do is give away <br>hardware.  From there we focus on classes, support, training, and <br>competency with the goal being to teach the school not to need anyone <br>but itself for support and its community for computers.  Easier said <br>that done, but imagine the financial ramifications for our schools.<br><br>Just as anyone who ever open sourced their app has learned, it is <br>amazing who will come out of the woodwork to help if you give them the <br>chance.  We have certainly learned this with HOSEF as we continue to <br>find more and more people who want to help.<br><br>Can we help every school, right now, for free, if they want to use OSS? <br>  No.  Not yet.  Are we self-sustaining beyond the goodwill of a bunch <br>of volunteers? No, not yet.  But, isn't this kind of like any OSS <br>project where the main supporters actually earn!
 their income from other <br>sources?  Isn't your state's sch!
 ool mone
 better spent on curricula <br>enhancing applications and documentation instead of commodity hardware <br>and software?<br><br>Think about it.<br><br>Organize<br>Incorporate<br>Get tax-exempt status<br>Recycle and Donate PCs<br>Install and Sustain OSS<br>Watch your local economy grow<br>Go make money off of the private sector<br>Support your favorite OSS project<br>Organize...<br><br><br>--scott<br><br>-- <br>R. Scott Belford<br>Founder/Director<br>The Hawaii Open Source Education Foundation<br>PO Box 392<br>Kailua, HI 96734<br>808.689.6518 phone/fax<br>scott at hosef.org<br><br>_______________________________________________<br>K12OSN mailing list<br>K12OSN at redhat.com<br>https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn<br>For more info see <http://www.k12os.org><br>

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