[K12OSN] NELS & FOSS-Education Association

Bryant Patten opensource at whitenitro.com
Wed Jun 21 19:58:21 UTC 2006

Once again, David and Matt put on an awesome NELS gathering in Bethel, 
Maine.  Thanks guys!

Much fun, lots of swapping of stories and expertise, and as others 
mentioned, more teachers - which is really exciting.  The food was 
again fabulous - tough to complain about roast beef, shrimp and 
chocolate cake (to give an example of one excellent meal).  I just 
don't understand why David doesn't ever mention the food  :)

We also discussed the idea of starting an association 
(group/co-op/guild/organization) of Open Source and Education 
consultants.  Not surprisingly we ran smack into a definition of who 
should be in this group but as a start we said the target is people 
whose primary focus of their for-profit business is helping schools use 
open source.  There were several of us at the conference (David Trask - 
CopperDog, Matt Oquist - Majen, Chris Johnson - Dirigo, Bill Sconce- In 
Spec, Inc., Bryant Patten - White Nitro) who met and tried to answer 
some of the following questions:

	1) How many FOSS and education consultants are out there in the US?  
(5? 50? 500? 5000?)
	2) Would such an organization help? (make school admin people feel 
FOSS is legit, share resources, sponsor conferences)
	3) Should it be free or charge dues? (Dues could fund NELS-like 
conferences in other parts of the country)
	4) Who should join? (consultants, schools, product companies...)
	4) Does something like this already exists?

I have discussed this idea with some other consultants and plan to 
bring it up with people at NECC as well.  I volunteered to push this 
forward for a bit and see what happens so please let me know (on list 
or off) any thoughts, resources or suggestions.

Bryant Patten
White Nitro, LLC
opensource at whitenitro.com

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