What Open Source developers can do for teachers: volunteer to speak in a classroom

I keynoted the Computer Science Teacher’s Association annual conference on July 16th. I gave a talk about how open source developers can help teachers, and what I’ve learned about teaching programming to beginners. The slides are available, although not completely informative about what I said. I plan to write up what I said in that talk after OSCON is finished. Here’s part 1 of the talk.

My pitch to the teachers was: send me an email, and I will find a free and open source community member to give a 15-20 minute talk in your classroom. Lots of teachers are taking me up on it.

To get this done, I set up a form for FOSS community members to provide their contact information. I’ve gotten 163 people as of 8:20am PT July 24. Thanks so much everyone! I know quite a few of the people who have filled out the form, and there are a ton of new people as well. I’m incredibly excited about this. We can all do a lot of good by actually meeting the teachers in our local areas!

Anyone is welcome to sign up, in any location. We have gotten volunteers from every continent except Africa so far.

Most of my teacher contacts are in the US, and I know a few teachers in Germany. If you know teachers who’d like speakers, I’d love to hear from you as well.

I’ve also started a conversation with a few developers about creating an app for connecting teachers and FOSS community members. We’ve got some code in a repo, and a couple people interested in an API for use in some neat remixing applications.

If you’ve got some Django or front-end experience, and you’d like to donate a little time, we’d be happy to have you join us in developing a tool for managing the contact process. I really want the introductions between people to continue to be a “warm handoff”, but it would be nice to remove me as a single-point-of-failure.

I’m setting up a meeting next week. Just ping me either on this post or via email.

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