Use of Open Source in education

Open Source Compilers – London 23/1/2014

The Open Source Specialist Group  (OSSG)  will be holding a meeting dedicated to Open Source compilers.

The even will take place at the BCS Central London Offices, First Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HA betwen 5:30pm and 8 :30pm.

Please register to attend.

The current sessions are:

  • LLVM, Simon Cook, Embecosm
  • Verilator: An open source Verilog to C++ compiler, Jeremy Bennett
  • Compiler optimization for energy minimization, James Pallister, University of Bristol


maddog at Birmingham City University

Hear maddog talk at Birmingham City University about “Making and Saving Money with Free Software and Open Hardware” – There is much confusion about how people can make or save money with Free Software. As it turns out, there are more ways that people can make money with Free Software than there are with closed source, proprietary software.  This talk illustrates some of those ways, how to formulate a business plan around Free Software and how to avoid traps that make unprofitable companies.

Register for your tickets at:

Jon “maddog” Hall is the Executive Director of Linux International (, an association of computer users who wish to support and promote the Linux Operating System. During his career in commercial computing which started in 1969, Mr. Hall has been a programmer, systems designer, systems administrator, product manager, technical marketing manager, author and educator.

He has worked for such companies as Western Electric Corporation, Aetna Life and Casualty, Bell Laboratories, Digital Equipment Corporation, VA Linux Systems, and SGI. He currently works as an independent consultant, and is currently involved with bringing environmentally friendly computing to emerging marketplaces through Project Cauã (, as well as consulting for Futura Networks, the parent company of

Mr Hall has worked on many systems, both proprietary and open, having concentrated on Unix systems since 1980 and Linux systems since 1994, when he first met Linus Torvalds and correctly recognized the commercial importance of Linux and Free and Open Source Software.

He has taught at Hartford State Technical College (HSTC), Merrimack College and Daniel Webster College. While at HSTC his students gave him the nickname of “maddog”.

Mr. Hall is the author of numerous magazine and newspaper articles, many presentations and one book, “Linux for Dummies”.

Mr. Hall has consulted with the governments of China, Malaysia and Brasil as well as the United Nations and many local and state governments on the use of Free and Open Source Software.

Mr. Hall serves on the boards of several companies, and several non-profit organizations.

Mr. Hall has traveled the world speaking on the benefits of Open Source Software having received his BS in Commerce and Engineering from Drexel University, and his MSCS from RPI in Troy, New York.

Open Educational Resources – London 20/02/2013 1

The Open Source Specialist Group (OSSG) will be holding an event on Open Educational Resources from 1800 hours at the BCS Central London Offices, First Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HA (

This bookable event is free and open to all with buffet and refreshments. To book a place to attend, please follow this link: (Closing date is 19th February at 11:59pm).

Open Educational Resource


Open Educational Resources (OERs) range from learning/teaching tools to complete courses freely available online. OERs are growing in popularity and have featured highly in JISC priorities in the UK. There is a global drive for open resources through organisations such as UNESCO, which hosted the World Open Educational Resources Congress, in June 2012. Some high profile institutions have also shown their support for OERs namely: Oxford University, Open University, The University of Nottingham in the UK and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in America.

The aim of this presentation is to clarify the main characteristics of OERs and provide the tools to find and evaluate OERs.  Key themes and issues within the area of Open Educational Resources will be discussed. Current research in the area will also be explored.


Ella Mitchell is currently Subject Librarian for the School of Architecture, Computing and Engineering at the University of East London. Ella has been working in academic libraries for 6 years and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). In March 2012 was awarded a short-term fellowship at the SCORE (Support Centre for Open Resources Education- based at the Open University. Prior to this she was involved in a project team that developed an innovative online Information Literacy tool, Info skills, at the University of East London.  Presently Ella is working on a project with colleagues from across the academic library sector to investigate ways of collating and disseminating Information Literacy Open Educational Resources.

Empirical Studies of Software Development (including mining Open Source repositories): research at The Open University – Milton Keynes 15/03/12

The Open Source Specialist Group (OSSG) and BCS Bedford Branch will be holding a combined event on Thursday 15th March 2012 from 1800 hours at Hub Theatre, Open University, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (Location Maps) about Empirical Studies research at The Open University of Software Development (including mining Open Source repositories).

Please register for this event by e-mailing to your dietary requirements and your name and affiliation as it should appear on your badge. Sandwiches and beverages from 18:00.


Researchers from the Open University.


Professional software practice is easily taken for granted, but the best practice embodies knowledge, experience and insight that can be shared to good effect. Empirical studies of software development aim to understand how software is actually engineered and maintained in practice, in order to develop better techniques and tools to support software developers and managers.

The Open University has a strong research record in qualitative and quantitative empirical research of professional software development, drawing on methods and theory from cognitive psychology and sociology among other disciplines to provide analytic insight. Our research is based on field studies of practices ranging from small start-ups to multi-national corporations.

The evening will start with brief talks overviewing the various research strands, followed by mingling around posters, where you can learn more details and discuss research challenges and opportunities in your organisation. Topics to be presented include ethnographic studies of agile development and scientific software development, mining open source repositories for vocabulary usage and for assessing architectural evolution, studies of expert software design and of meaningful changes in software development.

Open Source Schools Unconference – Nottingham 20/07/09

The Open Source Schools community, a project supported by Becta, is delighted to invite teachers and technical staff who use, or are interested in, open source software to participate in a friendly, informal day of sharing enthusiasm, experience, and expertise at NCSL’s Conference Centre in Nottingham, on Monday 20 July, 10.00 to 16.00.

Places are free for those working in schools or local authorities and for those presenting; there’s also the chance to stay at NCSL the night before for those interested.

We hope as many delegates as possible will be willing to offer presentations or facilitate discussions.
Topics are likely to include: Moodle, Open Source netbooks, design software, teaching programming, management information systems, and whatever you would like to talk about! Unconferences, such as TeachMeets and BarCamps, owe their success to their participants rather than organizers.

However, to inspire you and provoke discussion we have two keynote speakers:

Graham Attwell, Director of Pontydysgu, is well known in the field of technology-enhanced teaching and learning. Graham’s recent work focuses on new applications and approaches to e-Portfolios and Personal Learning Environments and use of social software for learning and knowledge development.

George Auckland, Head of Learning Innovation, BBC Learning, whose experience and expertise spans the original ‘open source’ education computer, the BBC Micro, and the most recent BBC open source project, BBC Open Lab.

There are further details at

To register, create an account on our site, making sure you tick the ‘Unconference 09’ group., or join ‘Unconference 09’ via the groups menu if you’re already registered.

To offer a session, simply create a proposal at

Association for Survey Computing (ASC) / Market Research Society (MRS) Open Source Technology – London 23/09/08

The Open Source Specialist Group (OSSG) are supporting an event on 23rd September 2008 starting around 1800 hours with Association for Survey Computing (ASC) and Market Research Society (MRS) considering the use of Open Source in the survey process.

This event will be a discussion and debate about Open Source Software in a ‘Question Time’ format with a panel of 4 informed members (from the Survey industry + OSSG). Drinks and a buffet will be provided.

Venue: The Old Doctor Butler’s Head, 2 Mason’s Avenue, City of London, EC2V 5BT

To book a place to attend this event (free to OSSG members) please email your name to the ASC administrator as places are limited.

Further details can be found at the MRS site here: and at the Asc site here:

Opportunities for cooperation between business and UK universities using Open Source that might benefit the UK economy – London 15/04/08

A workshop style event will be held on Tuesday 15th April 2008 from 1100 hours by the British Computer Society (BCS) Open Source Specialist Group (OSSG) regarding opportunities for cooperation between the business world and UK universities in projects and ventures involving Open Source software and methodology that might benefit the UK economy. If you would like to participate in this event then please contact Mark Elkins at

Participants will include:

Aidan McGuire of Blue Fountain Systems Ltd Supply2Gov Award Winner 2007, BCS Award Winner 2006.

Dave Crossland currently undertaking the MA Typeface Design programme at the University of Reading and plans to pioneer a “free software foundry” business when he graduates.

Cornelia Boldyreff Ph.D., FBCS Professor of Software Engineering, Department of Computing and Informatics, Lincoln University and OSSG Events Co-ordinator.

Andrew Back MIEEE MBCS CITP of BT Osmosoft an Open Source innovation unit within BT. Andrew is an Open Systems Engineer and a Member of OSSG.

Peter Merchant Programme Leader, BSc Business Information Systems Management, Bournemouth University.

Mike Trotman of Datalucid Limited who is a member of UKUUG, BCS, and the Association of Survey Computing (ASC) Committee.

Mark Elkins MSc MBCS who is studying for a PhD at Solent University and is the Treasurer of OSSG.

Other participants are expected from the BBC and RedHat.

Venue: BCS Central London Offices, First Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London WC2E 7HA

Map & directions:

Time: 1100 to 1730 hours

To book a place to attend this event please email your name to the events coordinator.

Free buffet lunch and refreshments including wine available.

For further information please contact Mark Elkins at

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Archived mailing lists

As part of the migration from Plone to WordPress and related pieces of software, the old mailing lists have been extracted from Plone and archived. Hereafter, mailing lists will be organised as follows:
This list is used for discussing committee business. The archives are open but only committee members may join the list.
This is a low-traffic list used for OSSG event announcements. Posting is restricted to committee members.
A members discussion list, though we would prefer members to discuss issues using the blog comment pages.

The old mailing list archives may be found here:

Committee Forum
Committee discussion
Discussion of issues surround business and open source.
Member Forum
Member event announcements
Licensing discussion
eGovernment and Open Source
Discussion of Open Source in eGovernment
Knowledge Management and Open Source
Using open source for knowledge management
Agile Methods and Open Source
Relationship between Agile Methods and Open Source
Legal Issues surrounding Open Source
Discussion of legal issues involvng Open Source
Accessibility and Open Source
Discussion of Accessiblity in Open Source
Education and Open Source
Use of Open Source in Education

Apologies for any duplicate messages etc. The archives were produced by screen-scraping the old Plone site. Not ideal.