[K12OSN] In tough times...knowledge is power....FOSSed 2009 Register today!

David Trask dtrask at vcsvikings.org
Sat Apr 25 17:41:18 UTC 2009

Good day everyone!

By now either your school has or is about to wrap up Spring Break and
you're ready to begin the final push toward summer.  Sometimes we'd like
to think that it's downhill from here, but in my experience, this is the
hardest time of the year.  Nonetheless, onward we go.

As you are all well aware, times are tough.  Not just for us personally,
but for schools and companies as well.  All over the world schools are
faced with some tough decisions about budgets, spending, and how that
impacts technology in our classrooms.  Unfortunately when times are tough
it becomes difficult to figure out how we're gonna' get through it all. 
Many schools are faced with possible layoffs; not buying any new hardware;
trying to get yet another year out of that aging computer lab; sticking
with that server for another year; weeding out the software budget to save
money; and simply going without.  Fortunately there are things you can do
to help you deal with what lies ahead.  LEARN  Knowledge is power in times
like these.  Just as many folks go back to school to learn new skills when
the economy deals them a blow...so can we in a manner of speaking.

When things are going well it's easy to hire consultants, buy new
hardware, or simply maintain the status quo....but when things get tight
it's time to learn about new methods and alternatives.  This applies not
just to the techies, but to the classroom teachers as well. 

FOSSed is a great way to learn some of those skills, network and discuss
options with others, and gather skills and knowledge to carry you further
in the year to come.  FOSSed is unlike most other conferences in that we
offer 3 days of immersive hands-on learning combined with an
"out-of-class" atmosphere at meals and in the evenings that is condusive
to great conversations and even greater "informal" learning thorugh
interaction with your colleagues.  Personally, I've gotten some of my
greatest ideas from these conversations and I'm happy to share as well.

Professional development is a right and a necessity!  This is why FOSSed
was created in the first place....to help teachers and IT personnel learn
more about using Free and Open Source Software and new online technologies
in their schools and classrooms.  We have lots of great sessions this year
taught by folks just like you!  Are you a techie?  Boy do we have sessions
for you!  Everything ranging from reusing that old lab and turning it into
a fast new thin-client lab to setting up a very powerful
router/filter/proxy server....or even learning all about deployment with
FOG.  Are you a teacher...a tech integrator?  Great!  We have some
fantastic sessions for you as well!  High school and middle level folks
can learn about teaching basic computer programming, using online tools to
create personal learning networks, and so much more!  Elementary teachers
can learn all about teaching beginner computer skills, using online tools
to replace expensive software, using tools to teach and interact with
other classrooms around the state, country, and even the world! (Catch Deb
White's awesome session on using Twitter in the classroom)....and a whole
lot more.  Every year teachers learn new and exciting things that enable
them to "fire up" their classrooms and enhance learning without spending
additional money.  Everyone can learn more about Moodle, Mahara, Elgg, and
many other technologies to help us out with distance/online learning,
digital portfolios, and more.  All these items are little or no cost and
can greatly change the way you teach and manage IT in your schools. 
Professional development credits (CEU's) are available from the University
of Southern Maine....there's a small fee (around $20) for the official
transcript....you can get credit for attending FOSSed! 

FOSSed is very affordable.  EVERYTHING is included!  Rooms, meals, and a
fantastic learning experience!  You come, park the car, and enjoy 3 days
of hassle-free learning and comraderie.  $495 for on-campus and for those
who live nearby...save a little at $455 (off-campus).  Everyone who
attends is invited to join us the second night for our legendary reception
and banquet....all included in the cost!  (thanks to generous sponsors) 

We're flexible!  Need to register, but pay at the conference?  No problem.
 Need to do something creative to pay for it from different funding
sources?  Gotta' wait until July 1st for the new fiscal year budget? 
Again...let us know and we'll do everything we can to help....we want YOU
at FOSSed 2009.  ACTEM members can take advantage of a great professional
development benefit for up to $400.  Don't feel guilty....that's what it's
there for...and you're encouraged to use it!  In fact, ACTEM is one of the
generous sponsors of our banquet!  Go here to learn more about the
professional development benefit and how to take advantage of it....it's
easy!  http://www.actem.org/Pages/ACTEM_ProDev/index    (also...we've been
doing this for year...feel free to email me with any questions and I can
help you out)

Visit the FOSSed web site to learn more and to register today!  Register
soon!  FOSSed is coming up in just a few weeks!  http://fossed.com

Check out the flyer....view the sessions....suggest a session....and much
more!  http://fossed.com   Email me with any questions you may have...hope
to see you at FOSSed this year!  Register soon!  (Even if you don't have
all the financial details worked out yet...register...so we can get a
better count for planning purposes)

David Trask
FOSSed 2009
copperdoggy at gmail.com
(207) 446-2738

David N. Trask
Technology Teacher/Director
Vassalboro Community School
dtrask at vcsvikings.org
(207)923-4305 (direct)

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