The Future of Education is Open

Charlie Reisinger
Talk Description: 

What if schools could afford a technology-rich device for every child? What if we released schools from costly software upgrades? What would happen if we trust students with technology and offer the freedom to explore and experiment with school-issued devices?

Free and open source software offers affordable and powerful learning tools for public schools. And open principles promote intellectual curiosity and a collaborative community spirit. But non-free software and restrictive classroom technology policies still rule the playground. How do we upgrade more K-12 schools to open and empower students to change the world?

With more than 4000 student laptops running Linux and FOSS exclusively, Penn Manor School District supports the largest public school program of its kind in Pennsylvania. The district’s one-to-one laptop learning program, and unique student technology help desk, has received national awards and press. Using Penn Manor as a case study, this session will outline our open source educational philosophy and program, review challenges to the wide-scale adoption of FOSS in education, and share inspiring student success stories.

Charlie is the Technology Director for Penn Manor School District in Lancaster County Pennsylvania. He leads the district's award-winning one-to-one Linux laptop program and high school student technology help desk. Both programs are featured in the Red Hat film, The Power of Open in Education. Charlie is a passionate advocate for free software and open source values in schools. His first book, The Open Schoolhouse, chronicles how open source software transformed learning at Penn Manor. Charlie is a frequent speaker at education and technology events, and a contributor to the community.