ILUG Cochin has successfully conducted a five day training program for the students of Thodupuzha Educational District. The training started on 21st. There were 65 students in total. They were from 8th and 9th class. The camp was organized by District Educational Office (DEO), Thodupuzha at Sacred Heart Girl’s High School, Muthalakkodam, Thodupuzha.
The aim of the training camp was to help students in creating and maintaining a website/blog using WordPress and how to use GIMP for editing pictures before uploading it to a website. WordPress, one of the most popular blogging software, help people to create blogs/website without having any knowledge in HTML or programming.
The students were not aware of sending and receving email. So we decided to help students in creating email accounts and taught them how to send and receive email. We have given appropriate informations on how to use emails securely. The need for signing out and keeping passwords hidden from others were also explained.
We could also help teachers in using WordPress and GIMP. At the end of the camp some of the students and teachers were able to create there own blogs. The camp ended on 25th.
The turnout at the meeting was pretty impressive and just like last time,
there were people from different walks of life.
The attendees were enjoying a new video of RMS as everyone was
The Meeting started of with the customary self introduction.
Introduction to Free Software, Open source software and Licenses
As always the meeting kicked off with the usual discussion on Free
Software and the significance of Freedoms. The difference of Free
Software and Open Source software was highlighted. The need for
software Licenses and the GNU GPL were discussed. The concept
of copyleft was briefly explained. The discussion was more lively
compared to previous meetings.
Agenda : Community based curriculum
The agenda which was planned as part of our ongoing initiative to bring
teachers closer to the Free Software Community.
We had 5 teachers attending the meeting this time.
The discussion started off by discussing the important skills which are
the basis for IT Education.
Some important skills that were suggested by the attendees were the
– Typing skills
– Internet Searching/ Browsing skills
– General computer knowledge.
– Application usage skills
– Programming skills
– Some people pointed out the fact that the existing curriculum
was based on the above skillsets, but the teachers were not sufficiently
trained to do justice with the specific subjects.
– The syllabus was also outdated or rather inefficient in bringing out the
core skills in students, for these there needs to be a revamp of the syllabus
not a complete makeover.
– There was mixed response among the audience to the fact that a community
curriculum would never appeal the decision makers.
– Community based textbook was the need of the hour and a textbook created
by the community
would definitely be accepted by the decision makers said a few.
– But the fact that the initiative was primarily aimed to shape a better
future for students
and the community did not have any expectations from any section of society,
as is the community remains always said the moderator.
– The teachers explained that the basic technical issues faced in schools,
were the major hurdle that was preventing the teachers from gaining
to use Free Software.
– The teachers also emphasized the lack of proper knowledge among the
top level trainers. The direct impact was that the knowledge
was almost nil when it finally reached the students.
– The Book sprint initiative by the Free Software Foundation to create
a community based text book (that would go into production) based on
the GNU GPL, was announced during the discussion.
– A brief presentation on the aim of the initiative, the process of
collaboration and how the community can contribute was shown.
– The moderator emphasized the importance of such an initiative among the
Software Community in Kerala to create textbooks for students.
Since the agenda discussion just was a tip of the iceberg, it was planned
to continue the same in the next meeting. Few action items for a better
discussion in the next meeting were suggested as follows:
– Attendees should try to study the existing textbooks and try to
determine the shortcomings, if they feel any and think of improvements
– Also they should think of important ideas of how Free Software can
be effectively taught at schools.
This brought an end to the agenda discussion.
After the Agenda the attendees assembled in front of the AMI trust
building for a pose
with the new group banner. Thereafter they moved to have tea and snacks.
Technical Presentation : An introduction to Python programming
Sameer gave an introduction to Programming in General explaining High Level
and Machine Level languages.
Sreenadh explained the basics of Python Programming with a few basic
Sameer then explained basics of Visual Python through a simple program to
bounce a ball against two walls.
The meeting concluded by thanking the people who helped conduct the meeting
and all the attendees.
The meeting concluded at 6.00pm.
We thank all the attendees for coming and urge them to put their feedback
on the mailing list
so we can improve future meetings.
And hope the next meeting on 26/04/2009 is bigger and better.
Photos and Details of the meeting will be available on the web site soon.
Harikrishnan T R
Hari K T
Hari Raj K
Devaraj K P
Santhoshlal V J
Dr. Tharun Krishna
Jayadevan C S
Sanal Kumar M R
V K Nizar
K S Ravi
Bilal M K
G Venkata Subrahmanian
Binny V A
Kurian Mathew Thayil