It must be the warmer weather. Ubuntu happenings are springing up everywhere in Boston. Just five days after Boston fans gathered at an upscale downtown nightspot to celebrate the release of Hardy Heron, Ubuntu’s latest operating system, a local school technologist kicked off a new organization to promote open source software in education.
Michael Selva, who works at Saint Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School in Watertown, Mass., attracted some 25 teachers and technologists to the kickoff event for a new group called Moving to Open Source Software in Schools, or MOSSIG, drawing attendees from many nearby communities and as far away as New Hampshire and Maine.
An offshoot of Massachusetts Computer Using Educators (MassCUE), the new group aims to wean educators from proprietary software. In November 2006, Selva himself became an advocate of open source after finding Saint Stephens’ computer hardware and software out of date and too expensive to replace. Converting a Dell server and 11 workstations to Kubuntu, a version of Ubuntu, and obtaining open source software for work and education proved just the ticket, he said.
Selva plans to follow up with working meetings on the first Tuesday of every month during the school year, starting at 7 p.m. May 6, at the school. He also plans an adult education program in open source for teachers and a hotline at email@example.com. He can be reached at (617) 605-7429 or firstname.lastname@example.org.