I'm currently sitting in the Frontiers in Education (FIE) conference., but my brain's too jumbled to give an actual event update, so you'll get the non-event stuff instead.
First, just-the-fun-stuff: Red Hatter and former Fedora Project Leader Paul Frields is teaching an after-school activity for his kids' elementary school, a Python workshop for 5th graders. He's using a custom thumbdrive-bootable pulled Fedora Remix to provide a consistent computing environment across the school's computer lab and will be putting his curriculum online -- something to watch! Read more at Paul's blog post.
I've been working on a research proposal with the goal of settling on one project idea by Halloween. It has to do with "engineering education and open source practices," but beyond that I hesitate to call anything stabilized. The current version is incoherent, rambly, impossible to execute, raises questions about ethics... but "release early, release often" tells me that the quicker I get it out there, the quicker it'll improve. I managed to get 3 feedback rounds in before the end of FIE (2 incorporated, 1 which I still need to factor in) and have promises of 4 more very soon, and some pointers to resources I need to spend time tracking down. Fail faster!
Finally, our SIGCSE 2012 workshop got accepted. It's called "Welcome to Makerland: a first cultural immersion into open source communities," and here's the abstract.
Participating in free and open source (FOSS) software communities provides students with authentic learning while supplying instructors with a wide variety of educational opportunities including coding, testing, documentation, professionalism and more. However, instructors may be unfamiliar with how FOSS communities work and therefore may be reluctant to involve students in such communities. This workshop is a subset of material used in Red Hat's Professors' Open Source Summer Experience workshop, now in its third year of successfully providing a ramp to FOSS projects for instructors. These instructors have demonstrated success in involving their students in FOSS
communities where students have contributed code, interface design, and more.
Intended audience: Computing educators at the college or high school level interested in involving students in open source software projects in any capacity (testing, coding, documentation, design, project management, observational shadowing of a large-scale project, etc). The workshop may also be of interest to pre-high school computing educators and members of the open source community. No experience with open source communities or contribution is necessary.
If you're interested in attending, helping, contributing materials, getting copies of materials (they'll be open-content and posted online, of course) or want to get involved in any way, drop me a line and we'll figure out the best way for you to participate.