HFOSS

Work on a free software project for a humanitarian cause

Professors in Open Source Software Experience - POSSE

What is Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) in education and how can we get more students involved? HFOSS is open source software that has a humanitarian purpose such as disaster management, health care, economic development, social services, and more. Experience with undergraduate participation in HFOSS shows it can both motivate students and provide excellent learning opportunities. There is also an indication that it can help attract and retain female students. » Read more

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Using OpenStreetMap to respond to disasters before they happen

OpenStreetMap conference presentation

Kate Chapman, executive director of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, gave Tuesday's keynote at Linux.conf.au about preparing and responding for disasters with the help of communities. » Read more

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Getting started with HFOSS in the classroom

Stoney Jackson teaching POSSE

If we look at the big picture view, most frequently people think of student contribution as code. But student learning can span HFOSS (Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software) as an item to be studied. You can draw artifacts from HFOSS and not contribute back, although that's not the preferred model. Contributing back starts the cycle of students being involved in a community. You can start as small as one assignment.

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Coding for good: Highlights from the open source humanitarian movement

open source lightning talks

HFOSS, Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software, is a movement inspired first by the December 2004 Asian tsunami, and then by other humanitarian needs in the health, civic, finance and academic sectors (especially for women and people of color).

Leslie Hawthorn, part of Red Hat's Community Action and Impact team, gives example after example of how HFOSS has improved and made possible disaster preparedness and relief programs, as well as empowered other projects: » Read more

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Open source and faculty motivation

Open source and faculty motivation

When I spent some time going around North Carolina recently visiting POSSE professors, I had a realization: We encourage professors to be productively lost, to go out and feel immersed in a community, admit that they can't solve all of the problems themselves, and act more as a facilitator in the classroom. That helps them identify the right questions to ask--and the right places to ask them--online.
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OVC evolution, a snapshot of a student HFOSS work-in-progress

Three Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) students recently gained recognition for a Humanitarian Free and Open Source (HFOSS) proof-of-concept project, Open Video Chat (OVC).  OVC put a functional video chat program written designed for deaf students on to the OLPC XO 1.5 computer. This is the story of how it got started and where it can go from here. » Read more

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