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Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software

An NSF-Supported Workshop to Enable Faculty to Involve Students in HFOSS Projects

June 2-4, 2013

Drexel University, Philadelphia PA


HFOSS in Education

Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software (HFOSS) is open source software that has a humanitarian purpose such as disaster management, health care, economic development, social services, and more. Experience with undergraduate participation in HFOSS shows it can both motivate students and provide excellent learning opportunities. There is also an indication that it can help attract and retain female students.

This workshop is an extended version of the Red Hat, Inc. Professor's Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE). The goal of this workshop is to:

  • Prepare instructors to teach courses in which students participate in HFOSS projects in a variety of ways.
  • Help instructors meet other instructors who are interested in working together on HFOSS education.

Workshop Format

The OpenFE workshop is for instructors who have a strong desire to support student involvement in HFOSS projects. Unlike many workshops in which the content is concentrated in the face-to-face meeting, the OpenFE workshop has three stages:

Stage 1 - Starts April 22nd, 2013 with online activities. These activities will include interaction with the foss2serve team and workshop participants. The activities will take about 2 hours per week over a six week period. Online meetings will be held with groups of participants periodically to answer questions and help guide learning.

Stage 2 - The actual face-to-face workshop held in Philadelphia June 2-4. The face-to-face interactions will be lead by a team of representatives including FOSS organizations and POSSE alumni. During this time, participants will learn how the material that they have been absorbing prior to the face-to-face event is used in actual FOSS projects. Participants will also learn ways to incorporate that material into their classes and identify and/or create actual assignments.

Stage 3 - Starts immediately after stage 2 and consists of interactions among small groups so that participants will have support while involving students in an HFOSS project in the classroom. These groups will consist of 6-10 participants who are focused on a particular HFOSS project. The idea is that group members can share knowledge and even work collaboratively on the same HFOSS project.

How to Apply

To apply for a place in the workshop, please download the application. Submit to: Heidi Ellis at ellis@wne.edu by April 1, 2013. We will notify you of the status of your application by April 8th, 2013. Prior work with FOSS projects is not required.


NSF funding will provide some support for participant expenses. This support will provide 2 nights lodging and meals during the workshop. Travel costs will also be covered within the budget limits. At least $450 will be available for travel for each participant, with additional funds provided to the extent possible.

General Schedule

Stage 2 of the workshop will be held in Philadelphia on June 2-4, 2013. The general schedule will be as follows:

Sunday, June 2

6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Dinner and opening meeting

Monday, June 3

8:30 am – 5:00 pm

5:30 pm – 8:00 pm


Dinner and project planning

Tuesday, June 4

8:30 am – 4:00 pm


Additional Information

Please see http://foss2serve.org.

Personal tools
Learning Resources
HFOSS Projects