- This is the start page for The HumIT project, moved from the HumIT wiki to Foss2serve for posterity.
HumIT: Student IT Services to Support Open Source Software for Humanity
HumIT is exploring ways that students can provide information technology (IT) infrastructure services for humanitarian free and open source software (FOSS). HumIT gives students a rich and engaging educational experiences while increasing the social benefit of humanitarian FOSS.
Open source software is developed collaboratively and provided free to anyone who wants it. Humanitarian FOSS applies IT to humanitarian needs in areas such as health care, economic development, and education. But the potential of FOSS is limited by the need for IT support. Given that the developers of humanitarian FOSS are often volunteers, providing good support is a difficult problem. Students in computing degree programs are an untapped resource that can help address this problem while also advancing the students’ own education.
HumIT creates a new type of practicum in IT education. This approach can improve student learning by directly engaging students with IT issues of large-scale application systems. In addition, HumIT is giving students a first-hand experience in using computing to have a positive impact on society, which may broaden the appeal of IT careers to women students. The HumIT approach can be extended across many institutions due to the distributed nature of open source projects and the scope of humanitarian IT needs. Finally, HumIT creates direct benefit to society by advancing humanitarian FOSS while producing more professionally-capable computing graduates.