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[ox-en] ::fc-announce:: Forum: Learning from Free Software, Sydney June 2

              ••• LEARNING FROM FREE SOFTWARE •••
                  teaching the net generation

    A forum on free software in secondary and tertiary education
    hosted by the University of Sydney’s Arts Informatics program

    6pm-8pm Thursday June 2, 2005
    Rogers Room John Woolley Building
    University of Sydney

    RSVP by May 30 essential: 9351 2226
    or patricia.ricketts

•• Chair
    Dr Chris Chesher
    Director of Arts Informatics

•• Panel

    Dr Elizabeth Gordon-Werner
    NSW Department of Commerce

    Roger Buck
    Studio of Arts And Sciences

    John Tonkin
    Arts Informatics, University of Sydney

‘Free’ and ‘open source’ software are increasingly viable in educational contexts as alternatives and supplements to commercial software. Beyond its price, free software is attractive for the open and participatory models it offers for making and sharing knowledge. However, there remain significant practical and institutional obstacles to their widespread adoption.

This seminar is the first in a series on “Teaching the Net Generation” organised by the Arts Informatics program at the University of Sydney. This series aims to bring together educators from secondary and tertiary institutions to discuss practical and policy issues around using information and communication technologies in teaching and administration. The panel will discuss examples of free software being used in education, as well as the implications of creative commons licences and systems for collaborative authorship such as wikipedia.

‘Free’ software is most famously successful in Internet technologies such as the Apache web server, and the GNU/Linux operating system.  More recently, though, educators have taken up open source learning management systems like Moodle or LAMS, as well as blogs, wikis and web content management systems in teaching and administration.

The panelists will present brief talks that will be followed with an open discussion of the role of free software in teaching network literacy and fostering cultures of collaboration.

Free software needs to offer better user experience, more comprehensive documentation and more effective models for supporting users. Therefore open source and free software communities increasingly need involvement of people beyond the traditional information technology sectors, including educators and those in the humanities.

The ‘Learning from free software’ seminar is presented by the Arts Informatics program, which co-ordinates the Bachelor of Arts Informatics, an undergraduate degree based on a cross-Faculty collaboration between the Faculty of Arts and the School of Information Technologies in the Faculty of Science. Arts Informatics is also home to a growing research program concentrating on the intersections between information technologies and the humanities.  

Refreshments and light snacks will be served.
Entry is free, but RSVP is essential.
For further information, see the Arts Informatics website:

Event info (including a link to a PDF brochure and map):
< page=events&id=infosem2005>

-- -
Dr Chris Chesher                 Woolley Building S314
Director                         (02) 9036 6173
Arts Informatics Program         mob  0404095480
University of Sydney
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