Announcing Youth in Open Source Week: January 13 - 17

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Our first-ever Youth in Open Source Week at was January 13 - 17, 2014!

We were excited to offer you a solid week of content focused on how kids and teens are using open source today. See the full list of articles here.

Published articles

On Europe's first Code Week with Irish Ambassador Julie Cullen » read the article

The first Europe Code Week was held two months ago at schools and CoderDojos in 26 countries around Europe—Ireland and Croatia being the most active. Ireland’s Ambassador Julie Cullen shares what it was like to work with kids were on code and computers.

Dave and Gunnar interview Lauren Egts: Raspberry Pi, Scratch, and more » read the article

Kids have a willingness to jump in. The break things. To just try it. What's impressive is that Lauren Egts is doing this with code and hardware. Don't miss her take being a girl programmer in this episode of The Dave and Gunnar Show!

Four Linux distros for kids » read the article

There are many different varieties of environments that the Linux community has designed for the children, and I haven't yet explored them all, but of the ones I did, you should be able to find a great solution for teaching a kid you know about Linux and computing.

Trust your students with open source » read the article

Children wholly embody a beginner’s mind and naturally exhibit an inquisitiveness and passion to explore the world around them. They are natural hackers... Unimpeded by assumptions of what technology should do, or a fear of failure, children push forward into a realm of possibility, invention and exploration. As a technology and education leader in a public K-12 school district, my role is to design a learning environment where openness, creativity, and opportunity is offered to every child. I'm also fortunate to be part of a team who values the open source philosophy and embraces educational software freedom.

What open source means to a young programmer » read the article

As a rather introverted person, being an open source programmer gives me access to a community that it feels really good to be a part of. My first polished and complete open source program is a simple vulnerability scanner. And though I have very few downloads and I’ve been the only one who’s contributed to the project on GitHub, doesn't mean I won't ever have a successful open source project. For now, my projects are small, but I hope that some time in the future my projects will help people across the globe.

The Digital Girl of the Year dreams of dancing with robots » read the article

Lune is part of CoderDojo Belgium, where she has learned and practiced a variety of open source digital skills like programming in Scratch. In this interview find out more about CoderDojos, the work she's done, the award she's won, and what she sees in her future.

How computer science teachers can better reach their students » read the article

Computer programming is ultimately about identifying the steps to solve a problem. Scratch has control structures such as loops and conditional statements (if/then/else), variables, and even the concept of objects with their own methods. In the computer science classes I teach, we first see how Python implements these concepts, and then transition to Java. This further emphasizes that it's not about the specific words used in a language as much as the larger concepts, which apply to many languages/implementations.

Four projects for parents to teach their kids about open hardware and electronics » read the article

Kids are quick learners and have great imaginations. When pursuing an electronic or hardware project with a kid, the most important thing to keep in mind is: keep things playful. As long as their hands are in gunk and they are taking things apart, or there's the possibility of blowing something up, kids will stay interested. As soon as the activity starts to seem like work, they switch off. Here are four fun and easy projects for teaching kids more about electronics and hardware in a couple hours or an afternoon.

Coding adventures and contributing to open source with CodeCombat » read the article

CodeCombat is a for-profit, YCombinator-backed startup that sees the future of code education as beginning with instruction and ending with contributions to open source projects. When we designed the product, we knew we wanted to open source all of the code. We envision players learning to code using tutorials on the site and once they have reached a certain level of proficiency, diving into the codebase to work with real live production code with a world class developer network to help them learn and work on a project that’s meaningful for them.

Five of our most popular past articles on the subject:

  1. How open source took root in one Pennsylvania school district » read the article
  2. Where to start: Upgrading your school system to open source » read the article
  3. Salsa: an open source syllabus creator for educators » read the article
  4. A year of Linux desktop at Westcliff High School » read the article
  5. Coursefork: a new way to collaborate on open education » read the article

How to participate

Take what you learn during our Youth in Open Source Week and try something new! Take that open source program for a test drive. Or, do you know an awesome kid who creates some cool stuff with open source software or hardware? Do you work with an innovative educator who uses open source tools to teach? Tell us more.

If you're a teen, you may find that open source allows you to explore the world around you at little cost or for free. If you'd like to share your project with us, tell us about it by filling out this contact form.

If you're an adult, a great way to share how open source is a path to discovery and learning is to share your work or hobbies with a kid or teen that you know. Take the challenge today and help us move open source forward. 

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Jen leads a team of community managers for the Digital Communities team at Red Hat. She lives in Raleigh with her husband and daughters, June and Jewel.


Great initiative!

Great initiative!!!
It reflects how open source model is pioneering transformation and contributing to change the topography of business, politics, economy, education and public policy.

I would like to have resources to teach teachers how to modify open source software to meet their needs. The hope would be that programming courses in k-12 (which is another initiative) would be able to teach students how to work with code and manipulate it for their own learning and the greater good if humanity.

We need the involvement of the youth programmer in the coming days of high competition. We have to make sure that they are properly educated.

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