Already a year has passed since the last edu-team jabber meeting and therefore we took the opportunity to get in touch with the fellows again. Although the jabber channel was not as crowed as last year, it was nevertheless an interesting and inspiring meeting.
Guido introduced his work in the wiki and explained the stakeholder framework. That approach is a categorization introduced by Anne Østergaard (pdf) and very appealing to the edu-team, since it allows us to structure the many bits and pieces of information. As Guido also pointed out in that blog post, we face an interesting paradox. Many are interested, but still the fsfe-edu mailing-list is quite a low traffic one. The stakeholder framework with its seven categories reduces the complexity of our cause and hopefully enables people to easily make a difference on the ground.
Maëlle, another edu-team member and currently intern of FSFE presented the revised leaflets. One is targeted at students and the other one at school administration. After the public test at the BLIT (Brandenburger Linux-Infotag) it was decided to split and specialize the leaflets even more. This allows us to better adjust the arguments towards schools or universities and make use of specific vocabulary and example scenarios. Download your copies today and start the discussion in your neighborhood!
The comments made during the discussion show that we are on the right track, when segmenting the topic into small portions. As several participants noted, the reasons for Free Software based education are very convincing but only aim at rational considerations. A sucessful strategy therefore should also include emotional aspects to challenge the well known FUD and worries related to change (a subtle, but nice example).
By now there is still a lot of white space – at the wiki, on the mailing list – but that changes. The edu-team works on it. However, by leaving the work solely to the team, our common cause wont progress as fast as needed (and expected) by the interested public. With you contributing, the work will be much easier and less for all of us ;) Specificly your help with the wiki is much appreciated: share information, case studies, contact and background information you have about the different stakeholders so that others can benefit from your experience. Subscribe to the fsfe-edu mailing-list and start a discussion about facts on the ground or ideas what to do and meet like-minded people from all over Europe. In any case you might also want to contact the edu team, be it to upload content to the wiki or help with $something.
One immediate result of the jabber consultation is the idea for a monthly edu-team jabber meeting to improve and broaden communication within the team. Since this has a focus on details and work in progress, we wont publicly announce it, but surely will keep you updated via blog posts. Also it seems like a good idea to continue with the public jabber meetings (the system-hackers already have enabled access for non-fellows).
On a personal note, i was impressed about how much we benefit from the diversity of the different european cultures. A french participant highlighted the importance of the administration to make the change while a german proposed to focus on the parents. I guess each will contribute in the area of their expertise and at the end of the day can benefit from the combined work. Being an european (non-governmental) organisation is really much fun and produces an amazingly manifold picture.