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Re: [rhh-advisors] Which courses shall we teach?

On Sat, 17 Mar 2007, Jeff Spaleta wrote:

Sorry for the new thread I got on the list late, so I'm pinching this
from the archives.

Greg Dekoenigsberg wrote:
Last year, we ended up teaching 4 classes:
* Blender (madly successful, clearly we'll do it again)
* Audio production (moderately successful, should do it again)

What tools did the audio production use last year?  Should we propose
a couple interesting cross-platform newer tools if we make an effort
to scout the landscape?

I'd say so. This is also one of those cases where I'm all about a Live CD, if we can't come up with good cross-platform applications.

A couple of other possibilities for tracks:
* Programming. Lots of interesting possibilites here, including MIT's OpenCode

Do you want to get into i/o programming to control existing 'things' or
for creating new 'things' ?  Long term I'm interested in this, I
already know that the high school's here run their own local robotics
competition as part of an engineering and design course. They end up
doing some micro-controller programming as part of the fabrication
process. I think they will be using LabView to for the software design
next fall.  Can something like that succeed in a classroom setting
based on open source tools?  I was going to talk to the teachers who
run the competition some more to see what the budget is like for each
team. But my understanding is the local competition is nothing close
to the expenditure of the FIRST reobotics competition.  If you had a
prepared robot kit so the kids didn't have to build anything, they
could probably program it to do something useful within a week as part
of the camp experience.  I'm sure everyone's seen the bluetooth
wii-remote/roomba hack.    Maybe there are some other obvious
equipment hacks the kids could play with without an egregious monetary

If by "egregious" you mean "more than zero." For this summer's camp, I'm already a good bit over budget just taking care of logistics.

* Graphics.  Inkscape has made amazing strides.
Inkscape is pretty wicked cool. Perhaps they can do their own 3 panel
webcomic, mimicing the penny-arcade style, but using inkscape.
Actually, the penny-arcade guys have actually run classroom tutorials
on cartoon drawing. Perhaps RedHat could contact them in an official
capacity to see if they could teleconference as instructors? Hmm?

Wow.  Had no idea about this.  That's a solid idea right there.

If you've got other ideas, let's hear 'em.

Photography?  Can you get your kids access to digital cameras and tripods?

Hugin and enblend are a powerful crime-fighting duo when used to
create panoramas.
I'm not kidding, I'm already talking to a teacher from NCSSM who wants
to stitch together panoramas using hugin as part of a forensic science
course to create a virtual crime scene.

You should take a stroll through the hugin website and look at the
example uses for things like its perspective correction ability and
ruminate a bit about what kids armed with cameras could do with that.

I'll check into that. We were able to get 4-5 video cameras for kids last year; getting 10-12 digital cameras might be possible. Although with the whole "equipment" thing, I do worry about giving kids something to play with that they can't then take home.

A lot of these problems would go away with a sponsor, I think.


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