Introduction

Hello,

my name is Teemu Arina, partner and CTO of a privately held company called Ionstream Ltd. / Dicole.

I’ve been working with Open Source software in education since 1998. I have created several Open Source projects, notably a groupware and learning environment called MimerDesk and just recently a social software called Dicole, which is continuing the work I’ve done with MimerDesk in the past in a slightly different (and imho more interesting) setting. I’m doing consultation and software development on the field of collaborative and social software technologies. You can read my personal weblog for an insight of what I find interesting at the moment.

I have been part in founding a legal non-profit organization called Vapaat ja Avoimet Ohjelmistot Opetuksessa VOPE Ry (Free/Libre and Open Source in Education Association). The other members of the organization are going to write together with me on this group weblog about issues related to the use of ICT, Open Content and FLOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software) in education. We might invite guest bloggers to write articles related to the topic of the weblog.

We will begin our commentary on these issues through a 4-day Comenius 2.1 Contact Seminar which official title is "Towards Open eEurope – Challenges for Teacher Education".  It’s organized by Palmenia Centre for Continuing Education, Vantaa, at the University of Helsinki.  The seminar will be held parallel to the European Schools Projects
(ESP) Conference “Learning goes mobile” in collaboration with the
Comenius 3 networks Comp@ct and ECOLE on March 9-13, 2005 in Finland.

I’ve been promoted as one of the organizers of the second workshop in the Contact Seminar called "Open Source Software as a tool in developing education and training". Basically I’m designing the structure of the workshop and leading it through with Timo Tervo from Palmenia.

Because of a recent positive experience in analyzing certain emerging technology trends through a scenario methodology, I have chosen for this workshop a similar approach. The idea is to construct a couple of different future scenarios of FLOSS in education based on interviews and analysis we have done before the workshop. We will present these future scenarios and ideas in the contact seminar and hopefully offer a broader view for the audience of the importance of FLOSS/Open Content in education and set it as a starting point for conference attendees to reflect on and think about the future and how FLOSS might affect their own scenarios.

We have so far interviewed the following people: Stephen Downes, Alan Levine, Knut Yrvin, George Siemens, Teemu Leinonen and Antti Kauppi.  The interviews were mainly conducted and recorded with a free VoIP service called Skype. We are currently analysing these interviews and the resulting podcast (audio recording in digital format for broadcast purposes), summarized transcript and constructed future events will be available on this website as we progress.

Interviewing was a lot of fun and as a conclusion I think that we are going to continue this work on interviewing various people on the field of FLOSS in education and present their ideas here for further discussion. We are beginning a conversation here and I welcome you all to join in. If you have ideas or suggestions, please comment below.

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