Social Network Workshop

Last week I was working with a local school about the topic of social network in education. Is funny since just a few months ago I had an email rejecting the fact of using Facebook in Education, and later on I even heard it from other people how Facebook is just a waste of time.

Of course I know that by that, what he meant is that their students usually use it for crap.

I am a long time user of Facebook and our group, TQVCancun is founded really in this Facebook group.  However, I also acknowledge and see all the crap that is ‘shared’ on facebook and I agree with that waste of time.

That said, is a new day and I think that is important that teachers stop behaving like we are in the 20’s and start for once taking the challenge and moving toward a digital life environment.

It sucks that is 2012, and most peope carry around Blackberries, and the SMS is a thing of the past, and everyone can have internet access cheaply, and even public transportation have wifi. Yet, we still behave in school as if nothing of that had to do with the class. They still using these stupid books, with outdated information and have a very low dynamics.

Funny enough, that was the week iBooks2 was introduced and the coversation about technology finally reaching education was reviewed.

The truth of the matter is that being involved in this education community such as OLPC is something that we really wish we could expand the idea of using computers to teach, not to teach about computers. And to once and for all break the digital barrier with the teachers and work as virtual community with digital presence and digtial awareness.

So lets get this straight, social networks are nothing new, virtual communities are all over the internet and tools exist focus to tackle the deficit of media to increment education. What I found however was interessting a wide range of talents from teachers that knew about the tools, to teachers that were so foreign to them and where basically already on thei way out.

As smart move from my part was giving a final survey to review the course where interesting things came to the surface, such as I lack patience to be a teacher. Which I agree. Thats why they are the teachers and I am the expert. Here is the full report.


Other thing that I notice was the classic posture of blaming the government for not providing. While at the same time, not feeling to go the extra mile to achieve their teaching goals.

But the most disappointing part was the lack of original thought. This information, which was a lot, should have been able to spark some original ideas and share them online, or during the class. I hope they were not just shocked and these ideas and techniques put to use.



First internship success story

WayOOo badge

Yesterday I was able to participate in a talk during a University event about the virtual internships through, project named “WayOOo”.

The WayOOo project is a incentive to build the infrastructure of creating contracts with the universities about creating relationships and getting kids into the project.

OOo might not be the best project to start but is certainly a powerful and and popular open source platform to do so.

So the project has already produced a successful intern with a tangible result, and during the conference he was able to create a UNO naturalization to a popular OOo extension. OOo2Gdoc is an extension that will connect and exchange documents with Google Docs, Zoho and Webdav through their API.

So the presentation was a bit rocky, I got a bit lost explaining the concept of the presentation through a very awkward example of how traditional internships fail. However things improved when the intern talked about his extension and finally I think the QA was great since we were able to talk more fluently with the audience. At the end, I enjoyed it but the people attended was fairly reduced and I guess I was competing with other great talks, I only wish this talk was worth it for the few and will talk about it with their peers.

I am leaving the original presentation so you can check it out and comment on it, if you like it or have any suggestions please comment on it.

Trip to Quito

Trip to Ecuador was quite intereting with most of the time being available to have a walk and meet new people, the thing thtat got me about Quito is how similar it looks to Mexico city — without all the smog that is. With similar street marts and warnings we spent some good chatting and meals regarding the local free software community and how it’s needed to deliver the services on top of Likewise we also need some kind of refocus on the way software is created and improved.

A revelation that I had was explaining how the communities had been missconstructed. Which, instead of focusing on the product they actually went on to focus on other things such as the marketing, licenses and location. So a name such as “Local community of free software” it will be around a locality and also a name. I suggested a different approach to it and instead of girating around name or locality to girate around a product.

So having a product, it will actually encourage most of the community to girate around a body of work. This gives communities a better structure such as maintenance tasks, documentation, quality assurance, testing, and of course improvements.

How does improvements come around? Well this is a different dynamcis on community, usually there is so much work than is really difficult space to complain and to provoke flamewars. At least these will be more technical and provide a more product driven testing. So you will have a different branch with one solution and another with another. The best will be integrated into the code tree. 
So the goal of the trip was to do a training and I think we did a good job. The client was please with the performance althought negotiations in the end went a bit rocky. I would have liked to provide a good framework of flexibility. One thing that I think we could have improved is definitly better preparation. Set up the system and also comply with the way that the tasks would be handled in the future.

Right now we discussed about new opportunities for doing business in the current situation. We would be able to offer extra training focused in itself. Here is where I think we could generate some revenue as soon as possible, this of course have some dependancies such as if the way the trainning will be focused as a third party or as maybe a fourth party to the end client. 
I still got some thoughts on how we can position ourselves to be the most valuable to our client while at the same time building a cash flow to funnel it back to

How To: Founding an Open Source Software Center at a University


Raising open source awareness in any organization is a very important, and sometimes difficult, task. Particularly important is open source awareness among college students. These are the engineers and computer scientists of the next generation who will be able to usher these modern practices into their workplace. This article discusses the process that was used to form the Rensselaer Center for Open Source (RCOS), a very successful open source center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

The goal of an open source center is to engage students eager to change the world by developing innovations that could lead to next-generation open source platforms. The center should provide a creative, intellectual and entrepreneurial outlet for students to use the latest open source software platforms to develop applications that solve societal problems. Moreover, the center helps to provide a rich undergraduate experience by offering hands-on experience that positions students as tomorrow’s global citizens and leaders.

We have distilled our experience to a list of items that are necessary (but not necessarily sufficient) for the success of such a center:

1) Gather 20-40 eager undergraduate and graduate students committed to practicing and progressing open source software and ideology. This can be done using the normal student club channels, including advertising in the campus newspaper and listing the organization in any available student activities lists.

2) While a student club is better than nothing, they are often not officially recognized by universities. To make the open source center more official, gather a small team (around 3) of dedicated faculty members. They will share the burden of not only keeping the center on track and organized, but will also serve as liaisons to the university. The lead faculty advisor of RCOS reports to the Dean of Undergraduate Education to keep him informed of the activities of the center. With help from the students, the advisors maintain the center website, review project proposals, and facilitate student peer group meetings and discussions. As another example, by cooperating with the Web Technology Group student club, a free and open source digital signage project, Concerto, was born and became widely used at RPI and elsewhere.

3) Write reasonable proposals to funding agencies, alumni, and companies who may be interested in open source. This funding can support some student projects, as well as purchase any necessary

4) Get the center’s faculty advisors or local corporate scientists to teach a course each year on open software practices. The course at RPI was featured here. This course should cover more formal aspects of open source, including licensing, meritocracy economics, and other software practices. This course not only provides a formal introduction to open source, but also provides another source of students for the open source center.

5) Interact with the local state and city government and involve students in projects to help the community. This will provide a good source of projects for students as well as good publicity for the center. For example, an RCOS student worked with a local fire department to create a fire department management system to allow them to digitally maintain records they had been maintaining on paper. This in turn allowed the department to focus more on their true responsibilities rather than filling out paper work.

6) Maintain a dashboard of student projects. This allows an outside observer to quickly see the types of projects the group is working on, and the quality of the work they are capable of.

7) Gain support from the university administration, including the registrar, the library, the computing center, and academic departments. This mutually beneficial relationship is exemplified in the cooperation that was necessary to complete the Course Scheduler project. This project pulls the latest course offerings from the university and allows students to create their ideal course schedules within the constraints of the course offering schedule.

8) Students learn most from their peers. To encourage this, we provide a virtual community space (a chat room) where students can ask for help, share their expertise, and bounce ideas off of each other. The immediate responses in this type of setting are always very well-received.

9) Provide opportunities for the students to listen to external speakers. By providing greater exposure, students will begin to network, leading to internships as well as other exciting opportunities like Google Summer of Code.

10 ) Select a small group of senior students to be peer mentors who will provide guidance and feedback to other students. These peer mentors will also come up with new project ideas and provide valuable support to the faculty advisers.

11) Provide some sort of refreshment (pizza, cookies, etc.) during meetings. Like it or not, food attracts students! While we would hope the students would be motivated on their own, if it takes a little bit
of encouragement to get them into the room, that’s OK. Once they are there, the conversation and ideas will start to flow.

We hope that the above items provide a good starting point for other universities to start a similar center to RCOS. We are happy to further share our experience by answering any questions you may have. Just email, and good luck with your new open source center.

Original Source []

OOo4Kids adaptive technology for everybody

OOo4Kids and Educoo provide a great value to the office ecosystem, their unique approach to target good and well qualified basic education software for K-12 is definitly something that teachers and schools around the world ought to adopt. OOo4Kids best practices are what makes free software movement so great. They have the resources to target issues that commercial entities might think too risky. At the same time, this market could mature into something that can be more appealing as time go by.

OOo4Kids provides the unique advantages of having an adaptive interface which makes users learn step by step the ways to generate and interact with documents, basic maths and other more fine-tuned targets.

Also the engineers at Educoo has  been pretty agile adapting it to other educational efforts such as the One Laptop per child project which is one of the most revolutionary movements to elevate the education level around the world.

At the same time, I think OOo4Kids could become one of the best used software products if it’s target correctly because of the relative simplicity of the program. It might not look like much but having an office suite that can scale at the user speed is something that can help everyone have a better understandment of how users interact with technology and make it more open to the rest of all.

You can find more information about OOo4Kids at

Certification revolution

So lately I have engage mostly on the certification aspect of the space civilization, or should I say cloud civilization? These past two weeks a lot of things have come through mainly on the end toward the stabilization of a certification and many meetings have been addressed on skype calls, IRC and other mediums. The work we have been doing has suddenly got attention from some of the OOo leads and their will to contribute has been sometimes more than needed. However this post is more about what open questions are still out there and how can the alternatives address such challenges.

  1. Quality of the syllabus and qualification standards
  2. Documentation such as study guides and trainer guides, and who should bare the responsibility for such.
  3. Testing skills vs. knowledge of the application
  4. Relationship with testing centres and entrepreneurial centres

The list could go on and on but these have been some of the topics that have been debated (once more) and some of the ideas have been solidify under better light. One of the biggest conclusion would be that we can finally decide on approving a ground level material for Certification so we can start doing the implementation from Core. Another is that we need to start extrapolating on the syllabus even if this doesn’t go as far as student guide, make it in a sense of action items so the contributors and publishers understand the points we need to achieve.Evan points out to the reference that LPI holds and notice some great ideas to adopt it into the syllabus. Other goals can be see on the Red Hat camp and this could add us into going to a different place. Solveig wrote about certification a while back and explains an interest model but don’t really touch these questions however she post new questions regarding the cicles which the certification should be produced and how indepth we could get it.Another dimension is going into where people are already implementing a large training program for their population in These program includes training and a certification could pose a great tool for further developing their training and support. So the Spanish population into and trainers that fuel these deployments could be great resources to make the certification listen to their needs. Andalucia and Valencia each have programs to train their teachers that go into the regional schools to train them in and their view could be very valuable to qualify them as trainer. Getting all these points together and checking all the point of views would make it very hard to come to a consensus. But as opposed that in the past, this time there will be deadlines and timelines and will close upon a certain point of the discussion also modifications would be expected as any other certification and we hope tha we can get also a great certification revolution for finalize by the end of 2008.

2009 for


At the end of 07 I decide to point most of my energe to the project. Increasing my presence and entreprising new things. I put a goal after coming back from Barcelona. To have the Open for business project a reality. A few days before OOoCon2008 with the release of OOo 3.0. The Open for business project was launched.Right after I left to europe to start enterprising the idea and presenting it to governments. This generated a great relationship with many countries in South america and Spain. Right now we are still about to get our first relationship officialized but work has already started with some projects and I think this will be benefitial to everyone.Also I start pushing to become a leader or co-leader of other projects like the BizDev project and the Education project. Both projects have been very benefitial for the rest of us.The first stage is to improve the visibility of the site, make it more appealing to browse and concentrate on providing better content. After these is settle the next step should be about having programs and processes to increase the level of volunteers and communicators. Making it easy to stay in touch and scheduling activities to understand the liveliness of the community.At the moment the site has increase their look and feel and soon we will also have better content to browse.Having project surveys might be another way to go about it but at the end of the day visibility is where is at.  Being in touch with the podcasting community as well as having a good strategy to promot our project is a great way to start. Having newsletters digged and slashdotted is also a great way to gain attention. Since then I have gather a marketing team to help us settle the framework for this visibility and help us achieve better workflow of the new members.I think the future is really bright in 2009 with a lot to do but hopefully with finally a large amount of profitability.

Spanish FL(y)OSS part II


Lliurex in Valencian
This post is long overdue however the things that I present in Alicante were pretty interesting. Contrasting what Malaga had, this event was much more smaller yet it was very rewarding in the sense I got the time to chat with people all around the world.Basically I want to propose projects and enterprise deals that will benefit the OOo community and the overal FLOSS adoption. These projects benefit both parties and also make the project even a bigger proposal for everybody. I digress…The conference started with a bit of dissapointing un-attendance in the sence that most of the speakers were just leaved to their own luck. Nobody pick me up from the airport nor help me with my settling around Andalucia. I didn’t had any chance to see the city beyond what my legs walked me through.  However on the other side, I got a good time relaxing and finally having a break from the constant flying. So I had the chance to take a long bath and really relax for a while. Also the fact the hotel was also a Spa hotel help me enjoy even more using some of their pillow menu.The next day was pretty good, got to meet with John Maddog from Linux International again and talk about Obama‘s win and what it could mean for the US.  After the quick meal we were ready for the event. I came in early because I really want to see the expo before people came in. I was able to see a really great set up full of wide variety of hardware. People had thin clients running the host distro — lliurex. Lliure means freedom in Valencian and this is like freedomX.So I got to talk wtih the people of many of the companies, associations an sponsors that were in the event. I got to chat about developments and innovations and how OOo will be presenting great stuff with the education project.Unfortunately I felt many of the atendees that mattered weren’t there to attend to the conference so my message might have not been correctly targeted. After my talk I sensed many people were simply users and they didn’t had the means to push an education project forward. At the same time I think that through the magic of the internet and since the talk was recorded. There is still hope for many to at least by recycling my conference through services like Slideshare.Other talks were interesting but i most say that I wasn’t attending to many of them since the education target and the fact that they were giving it in valencian really didn’t help my attention span. I rather was doing some work on my laptop about things to make O4Biz and the Education presentation more smooth.Since one of the event participants didn’t make it, I was asked to give a second talk during the conference. That meant that I would be able to give my first part of my tour presentation. The repeat of the great Open for business conference. Again I felt the audience was the best for the talk but I was happy that at least i got a recording out of this great talk which I couldn’t record at OSWC.After the conference I got the chance to talk with many of the Lliurex project including the main manager of the project Sofia Belez, who is a very kind and beautiful woman. We got to get around the option of integrating the Valencian localization into the OOo project and avoid issues during their building process. Is funny because a simple email would have done it. However they had two years talking with Sun and different entities and they have got nowhere. This means that there is still a change of culture to be made. The internet is an open platform but sometimes dealing with phisical people can prove to be a handicap. Instead of contacting developers they contact distros which don’t make software so applying changes will only fork the projects.However now that we are on the right track we can start leveraging and building upon freedom. Not however without the support of the rest of the OOo community. Is important that projects such as big as OOo we can have sustainable communication networks and protocols so that information reaches to a higher than normal spead wtihout falling into the usual pitfalls of flamewars that can stigmatize a project or initiative.