Teach Students Open Source

I just finished reading a great article in EDUCAUSE Review titled Open Source: Narrowing the Divides between Education, Business, and Community. Jim Whitehurst has a great explanation for why we should be teaching our students on and about open source software (so great, I wish I had come up with it first :) )

We live in an increasingly global community. Gone are the days when working for a company in an office meant serving a small geographic area from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Today’s graduates will work in a matrix environment where projects cut across organizational and geographic boundaries, requiring cooperation and communication. Open source uses the power of collaboration to provide students with hands-on learning and to equip students with an expanded skill set that is very attractive to businesses.

Open source better prepares students for the business world by exposing them to real-world problems and encouraging learning through the completion of real tasks. Open source amplifies a “hands-on” approach to learning by connecting students to a community of users in an effort to solve problems. Open-source developers don’t rely on textbooks; they rely on the knowledge base of other developers with whom they connect through community forums, building off of one another’s ideas to create a solution that is eventually shared with all. To this extent, open source better prepares students for future job experiences and allows them to complete, while they’re still in school, work that’s being used by the global open-source community.

Open source also teaches students useful skills that can be applied across other coursework and classes. Students have the opportunity to work with many more code bases in open source than are found in traditional student projects. This strengthens skills in collaboration, project management, and testing and encourages a well-rounded computer science education, making students more marketable in the business world.

Make sure you read the entire article and send it on to the decision makers in your institution. Jim touches on many points that are right in line with my ideals and the ideals of libraries in general.

New MaintainIT Webinars

Don’t miss the January webinars from the MaintainIT crew:

Effectively Collaborating with Other Libraries and Partners: A MaintainIT Book Club Discussion
When: 01/06/2009 11:00am – 12:00pm Pacific (Noon Mountain/1 PM Central/2 PM Eastern)
Registration link: Effectively Collaborating
Duration: One hour

Every month, MaintainIT hosts an online book club discussion. We select a chapter from one of the free Cookbooks, invite people to read it, and then meet to discuss. January’s Book Club Topic is: Collaborations can enhance the library’s ability to serve your community and make library services more visible and valued. Working collaboratively opens up possibilities and enables libraries to share and conserve resources, reach new audiences, and expand services and programs. Are you interested in learning more about effectively collaborating and building partnerships? Read the chapter, register for the webinar, and then join the conversation!

Assistive Technology: A Free Webinar
When: 01/14/2009 11:00am – 12:00pm Pacific (Noon Mountain/1 PM Central/2 PM Eastern)
Registration link: Assistive Technology Webinar
Duration: One hour

Learn about assistive technology!

Using MaintainIT Resources for Technology Training – a Webinar
When: 01/15/2009 11:00am – 12:00pm Pacific
Registration link: Train-the-Trainer Webinar
Duration: One hour

Do you train library staff to use technology? If you do, please consider attending this free one hour webinar. Learn about resources for trainers and hear about training happening in the field

A Need for Speed: Measuring and Managing Bandwidth — a free webinar

When: 01/20/2009 11:00am – 12:00pm Pacific (Noon Mountain/1 PM Central/2 PM Eastern)
Registration link: Need for Speed: Bandwidth Webinar
Duration: 30 minutes

Does it ever feel like your high-speed connection to the Internet is somehow trapped in the slow lane? Are you experiencing the 3 PM chug? There are tools you can use to monitor your network performance and there are techniques you can use to manage bandwidth. Join this fast-paced and interactive webinar to find out more. Take 30 minutes out of your day to learn from the experiences of others and get something started. This is a part of the MaintainIT Cookbook webinar series where contributors to the Cookbooks share their insights, their secrets, and what you can do to get started with projects like theirs.

Stay Informed

The Informed Librarian sounds like the kind of service that I’ll love and hate. Why hate? Because I won’t be able to find free access to all of the new articles it points me to :) Check it out for yourself:

The Informed Librarian is a monthly compilation of the most recent tables of contents from over 312 titles – valuable domestic and foreign library and information-related journals, e-journals, magazines, e-magazines, newsletters and e-newsletters.

Found via LISWire.

Free webinar on open source

Make sure you mark your calendars, invite your colleagues, and share info about this event with all of your library friends:

Date: Mon, Nov 24, 2008
Time: 2:00 PM EST
Duration: 1 hour
Host(s): Brenda Hough

Why are some libraries making the decision to use free and open-source software? Popular reasons include: it’s free! It’s customizable. You are vendor-independent. Security and reliability are also cited as benefits by users.

Is open-source software right for your library? How can you get started? Join this FREE webinar to learn more.

Blogging Scholarship

Still in school? Got a blog? Well this might be the way to get an awesome scholarship:

Do you maintain a weblog and attend college? Would you like $10,000 to help pay for books, tuition, or other living costs? If so, read on.

We’re giving away $10,000 this year to a college student who blogs. The Blogging Scholarship is awarded annually.

Check it out!!

Facebook 101

Yesterday I found 2 of my cousins on Facebook, only to find that they had no idea how they got on Facebook in the first place :) I started looking for tutorials that started with the very basics, but didn’t find anything up to my standards so I started my own Facebook 101 guide.

Now that the rough draft is done, I’m thinking of ways to organize it better and what else to add. I’m up for suggestions. Keep an eye out for changes over the coming month.

Technorati Tags:

Should we not train older generations?

This is an interesting response to a question posed by Stephen Baker from Business Week.

@diabolicalpnthr responded (in 2 tweets): “It kills productivity to have to explain social media and new technologies to the older generation in an office. It’s hard to get an older… coworker to try new things, so you end up a)explaining all the time or b)doing it for them.”

Yikes!! As someone who is out there training all of the time this is disappointing. I hope that my training hasn’t gone without making a change. I also don’t agree with this negative view! There are always people who don’t want to learn new things or who take longer than others to train, but that doesn’t mean that we should give up.

Read other responses in Stephen’s post.