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Red Hat Extends Open Source Summer Teaching Program to the Academic Year
RaleighNC, Global, August 4, 2011
POSSE 2011 Cohort Committed to Open Source Interaction and Contribution
RALEIGH, NC – August 4, 2011 – Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the expansion of its Professors' Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE) 2011 that took place in late July in Raleigh, NC. Now in it third year, POSSE is a higher education faculty program that immerses professors in the culture, tools and practices of open source communities. Due to the overwhelming success of this year’s summer weekend workshop, several POSSE activities are scheduled throughout the 2011-2012 North American school year.
As a member and catalyst in the Teaching Open Source community and through its sponsorship of POSSE workshops and programs, Red Hat helps teach educators how to enable students to become contributors in the open source community. This year’s cohort of higher education faculty have committed to teaching open source in dialog with Red Hat for one or both semesters in the 2011-2012 academic year.
“POSSE 2011 was especially productive and enjoyable for the cohort because we intentionally had a mix of POSSE alumni experienced in teaching open source and faculty members completely new to it,” said Jared Smith, Red Hat employee and leader of The Fedora Project. “We applaud the courage of the POSSE cohort in trying something new, and believe the sorts of learning experiences they’re creating will produce graduates with the ability to adapt and innovate in today's changing world.”
The POSSE 2011-2012 School Year Experience includes both coursework on how to teach open source software and hands-on activities contributing to an open source project. Professors learn how to translate open source experiences back to the reality of academia with helpful direction on how to integrate the teaching of open source into required courses, grading, publications, semester schedules, and course evaluations. They are supported by Red Hat through regular online group check-ins, a series of online open content modules on community participation, meetings at major academic conferences, and individual coaching.
Support for POSSE
Dr. Andrea Hickerson, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, professor teaching Newswriting, said, “The values that underlie open source, like transparency and open communication, are the same values that underlie journalism and democracy. It seems like a natural marriage to me. Journalists have a dedication to the truth and the public, and they view themselves as a check on the government. In open source, you see these same values.”
Dr. Mihaela Sabin, University of New Hampshire, Manchester, NH, professor teaching Advanced Web Authoring, said, “Many faculty in open source share similar challenges. Listening to your own [challenges] reverberated by others is reassuring, and proves that this kind of event has a very good potential for creating a community of practice. We’re all in the same place.”
Dr. Karl Wurst, Worcester State University, Worcester, MA, professor teaching It's an Open Source World!, and Software Development courses, said, “I think that [networking with other faculty at POSSE] is more valuable than anything else we're doing. We're building a community here, and that community is an important part of this.”
Dr. Gregory Hislop, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, professor teaching Software System Construction, and Team Process and Product, said, “Open source [in the classroom] offers the opportunity to observe and meaningfully participate in a real project with scale and complexity, a history and a future – all of the moving parts. There's no other way you have continuous, large-scale access to stuff like that."
POSSE, a Red Hat-sponsored program, first launched in July 2009 at Red Hat's global headquarters with five professors in attendance from the United States and Canada. POSSE is a year-long program for professors from any discipline interested in getting their students involved in free and open source software (FOSS) communities as part of their coursework. It consists of a summer weekend kickoff workshop and ongoing support throughout the school year. The workshops are co-taught by members of the academic and open source communities, who guide participants as they immerse themselves as new contributors to a specific Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) project and learn tools and cultural practices that can be generalized to other projects in the FOSS ecosystem.
The POSSE program has grown with sessions held at multiple colleges and universities in the United States as well as Singapore and South Africa, and with future plans for additional global locations. To date, more than 76 professors and administrators have attended POSSE workshops.
For more information on the POSSE workshop, please visit http://teachingopensource.org/POSSE.
About Red Hat, Inc.
Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions and an S&P 500 company, is headquartered in Raleigh, NC with over 65 offices spanning the globe. CIOs ranked Red Hat as one of the top vendors delivering value in Enterprise Software for seven consecutive years in the CIO Insight Magazine Vendor Value survey. Red Hat provides high-quality, affordable technology with its operating system platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, together with virtualization, applications, management and Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) solutions, including Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and JBoss Enterprise Middleware. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide. Learn more: www.redhat.com
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