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The 30th Annual Regional Technology Awareness Day
Building Bridges With Your Stories
Through stories, we learn from one another and build a network of support. Stories can connect and inspire
us. This year, we put the focus on your stories and the bridges they will build between us.

Use #TechADay on Twitter!
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Friday, December 14 • 10:00am - 10:45am
FLOSS Desktops for Kids: Hands-on, Project-based, STEM Education

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Each year school districts across the U.S. discard thousands of—still functional—computers as the hardware moves off of commercial service warranties or is no longer capable of running the latest operating systems or desktop applications. At the same time, many schools are looking for opportunities to increase STEM within their curricula. The availability of surplus equipment and Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) provides a unique opportunity for schools and teachers to enhance their technology-based educational programs using readily available resources.

Using surplus/discarded school computers, kids break-down and repair computer hardware components, build and administer a local-area network, install free and open source software (e.g. the Linux operating system), and even code a bit. The project teaches kids by doing.

The best part, once completed, students can take their computers home, "for keeps." For many under-served and disadvantaged students who face technology-driven educational environments, where homework is done through the web, collaboration occurs online, and projects are completed via the computer, these rebuilt machines not only ensure access to education, but are a source of pride for the children who build them.

This workshop will introduce the FLOSS Desktop for Kids as a potential model, and community resource for school districts, libraries, and community groups interested in exposing students to technology through hands-on, project-based activities. In addition to an overview of the program, this session will outline the curriculum, present the educational materials (worksheets, projects, etc.) and explain how to work with districts, schools and administrators to launch a local program.

avatar for Patrick Masson

Patrick Masson

General Manager & Director, Open Source Initiative
former higher ed. programmer analyst, IT director, cto, cio; open source software advocate and contributor; teaching open source at u albany; developing floss desktop workshops for school districts; n. colonie school board member...
avatar for Michele McColgan

Michele McColgan

Assistant Professor, Siena College

Jim Yox

Director of Technology, Schodack csd

School Districts
avatar for Schodack Central School District

Schodack Central School District

Schodack CSD is renowned as one of the best small school districts in the region. Maple Hill High School had the highest graduation rate of any district in the Capital Region in 2017 and 2018. Maple Hill High School was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2017 (the only school... Read More →

Friday December 14, 2018 10:00am - 10:45am EST
Hudson Room