I spent Monday and Tuesday hosting a meeting of the FLOSScom project at Milton Keynes (I always have some sympathy for European partners – while Milton Keynes has its virtues, I’m sure it struggles to compare with Porto or Thessaloniki where our partners are). One of the deliverables (in EU project speak ‘workpackages’) is a summer school which both aims to demonstrate the principles of how learning in open source communities occurs and also to be about these communities, ie it is FLOSS in both subject and process.
One of the differences between FLOSS projects and much of education is that in FLOSS you have a definite project that you sign up for. In education you may not know what it is you want to work towards, because you don’t know what you don’t know. This is rather akin to Socrates Meno’s paradox which goes something like ‘how can I inquire about something which I don’t know anything about?’ In our form it is something like how can I sign up for a project when I don’t know what it is I need to know.’ Anyway, our proposal is that in the summer school the learners (who will ideally be both experienced FLOSS members and novices) will create a course, which is analagous to the software project in the open source world.