Hello world. My name is Jim Hutchinson. I am a teacher, grad student and ubuntero. While I have technically been active in education all my life, I started my career as a teacher in 1992 when I moved to Japan to teach English. After five years there, I returned to Colorado and in 1999 completed my masters in education at the University of Colorado, Boulder and obtained my teaching license.
My interest in technology as an instructional tool lead me to leave classroom instruction in 2002 to become a school media specialist. In 2005 I completed a masters degree in educational media at the University of Northern Colorado, and I am currently working on a dissertation for my Ph.D. in educational technology also at UNC.
I am currently working as the media specialist at Windsor High School in Windsor, CO. I became active in the ubuntu community in January 2006 as a member of the ubuntu forums an later as a member of the Colorado LoCo team and edubuntu school support team. I recently joined the Beginners Team on Launchpad (https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-beginners-answers) and have been trying to help new users there too. I am currently working in various ways to spread the word about ubuntu and the educational potential of open source software.
I am also the owner of the Education Enthusiasts team. It's a new team devoted to building support for open source technology in the classroom. Many of my efforts are focused on teaching with OSS but I was having a hard time finding a community to help. I am hopeful that the team will gain support. Please consider joining if you are interested.
<jim AT SPAMFREE ubuntu-rocks DOT org>
<jhutchinson AT SPAMFREE windsor DOT k12 DOT co DOT us>
- musashi @ irc.freenode.net
- I am usually on the #ubuntu-colorado channel
- musashi @ irc.freenode.net
Wikis I'm Working On
TIE Colorado (this event is over but I link the wiki for posterity)
Below are some of the ubuntu related activities in which I am involved.
Ubuntu Colorado LoCo Team
Ubuntu LoCo Enthusiasts
- Edubuntu School Support
- Beginners Team
- Education Enthusiasts
- Ubuntu Member (application pending)
Organizer of Ubuntu presence at TIE Colorado 2007
The Colorado Technology In Education (TIE) Conference is a yearly event in the mountains of Colorado to share ideas involving the integration of technology and teaching.
- Conference Dates: June 19-22, 2007
- Place: Copper Mountain, Colorado
- Our Session: Open Source Solutions for Classroom Instruction
- Session Time: June 19, 2007 @ 1:00 - 4:00 pm
- Session Room: Wheeler C, Copper Station, 50 seats, Windows Lab
Edubuntu and Open Source Software Session
At the 2007 conference, I presented a 3 hour session on teaching with open source software. We began by sharing some of the software available on the Windows platform (primarily via The Open CD), the main focus, however, was on using edubuntu in a thin-client configuration. Using an HP server set up with edubuntu, we PXE booted the client computers in the lab to create an actual thin-client lab. We connected over 30 laptops and the attendees play around. With everyone loading different and multiple apps the server was quickly overloaded but everything continued to work. However, after that experience I would not recommend a free-for-all on thin-clients.
In order to help teachers understand how they can benefit from using edubuntu and open source software, part of the session was devoted to having teachers explore actual lessons designed around various open source applications. Due to a shortage of lessons, this was less successful. Hopefully we can continue to expand interest in this particular area.
I have been working with the Colorado LoCo team to recruit members of the ubuntu and open source community to help in the creation of these lesson plans. The new Education Enthusiasts team is now the point of contact for these and other efforts.
More information about the TIE Conference presentation can be found at TIE Conference Presentation
Part of the TIE conference experience is visiting all the vendor booths to learn about new technology, software and gadgets. I thought it would be great if Ubuntu was represented. In the early planning stages we were simply going to set up a table somewhere and pass out CDs. However, that didn't seem the best way to get quality exposure. Therefore, I made some inquires with Canonical and after a bit of email chatter managed to obtain sponsorship for a booth. Myself and several other Colorado Loco Team members staffed the booth on June 20 and 21, 2007. We had the same edubuntu server set up and several laptops running various flavors of ubuntu. We also handed out CDs stickers and pamphlets and answered questions from visitors.
More information about this event can be found on the Colorado Team's web page. To view it, visit Ubuntu Booth at TIE
Linux in Schools
Although I have only been a user and advocate of Linux and open source software (OSS) for a short while (since late 2005), I quickly understood the educational potential. I am currently working on several projects aimed at building awareness of Linux and OSS among educators. One such project was the TIE conference mentioned above.
I have also been instrumental in getting a Linux thin-client lab set up in the high school where I work. After one year as a pilot project, it has proven it's worth and the district has agreed to continue to support it. Due in part to my advocacy of ubuntu (as well as ubuntu's inherent quality) I was able to facilitate a switch from the original suse Linux installation to edubuntu. Beginning in the fall of 2007, students will be using edubuntu in this lab.
The educational potential of Linux and OSS is too great to keep to myself. Therefore, I am working to bring Linux to other districts in Colorado. Part of this involves collecting data that can be used to show other districts that Linux based labs can be viable alternatives.
Other Forms of Advocacy
Having become a true believer in open source and ubuntu, I have invested a fair amount of time into teaching myself as well as helping and encouraging others.
My early experiences with Ubuntu were somewhat frustrating and I quickly discovered the http://ubuntuforums.org and became a fairly regular user. At first I participated because I needed help and found that the community was simply outstanding. As my competence with Ubuntu and Linux grew I wanted to give back and now help others when I can. I post on the forums under the name m.musashi and to date have over 1100 support posts.
More recently, I have begun to help out new users in Launchpad by being fairly active in the Answers section. I also joined several teams including the beginners team, the edubuntu school support team and the Colorado Local Team (http://coloco.ubuntu-rocks.org).
Future Goals and Objectives
Edubuntu and Schools
One of my main passions is how open source can help us to address the problems of effective technology integration in education. Based on my own experience in school and research during my doctoral program, I know that tech integration is often nothing more than automating tasks students could easily do without technology. This can be seen in nearly every paper a students write or power point presentation they give. These tasks do not require technology and often result in students actually doing less learning instead of more as they simply copy and paste their way to completion.
My hope is to show teachers that computer labs can be much more than fancy typewriters. Open source software allows educators access to a wide variety of educational tools at little to no cost and thin-clients offer a way to expand the functionality of labs or expand capacity using old hardware. I'd like to work as a community liaison to other schools in the area and help them to understand the benefits of open source as well as how to set up and implement an edubuntu thin-client.
I hope that as the education lead for the Colorado Loco Team I can begin to reach out to other educators in the Colorado area and help them to see the benefits of open source software, thin-clients and edubuntu.
Teaching with Open Source
I have begun a new Education Enthusiasts team aimed at building a community of educators and those wanting to support OSS in education. The current project is to continue to create and collect lesson plans aimed at teachers wanting to use open source software but not sure where to start. The Lesson Plans wiki is off to a slow start but it is started. I am hopeful that a community will form around this and other related projects.
I have a strong background in English and writing and would like to spend some time doing documentation of various projects. Edubuntu is near and dear as is Ubuntu in general. Perhaps this will manifest itself through the lessons I'm working on or maybe the wiki pages of various projects. With all that I'm doing, however, this may take a while to come to fruition.
I am also somewhat fluent in Japanese and would like to try and help out with translations, but with all my other activities I have not yet had a chance to do this either. Alas, so much to do, so little time.
Cheers From The Community
Jim has put a lot of skill and passion into the ColoradoTeam, and in particular into a major event - the TIE Conference. He is a pleasure to work with, and I'm glad a schoolteacher, media specialist and PhD candidate is on our team! -- NealMcBurnett [2007-06-27]
One of the great advantages of having Jim on the ColoradoTeam is that he is both passionate and knowledgeable. I would not hesitate to put him in front of any audience and have him speak on the topic of Ubuntu or F/OSS any day. His work to present at the TIE Conference alone should qualify him for Ubuntu membership. For all of his hard work and enthusiasm in the area of education, I'm glad that Jim is now our Education Team Lead. -- DavidOvercash [2007-06-30]
Edubuntu and Ubuntu's Education Team have found a super-star in Jim. He's working in an area that requires much attention and has already contributed greatly in terms of time, expertise, and money without ever asking for anything (aside from an Ubuntu booth ) in return. +10 for Jim on his membership request. JoeyStanford [2007-07-02]
Jim is assisting with effective hands-on promotion of Edubuntu and Ubuntu in the US Education sector, which is greatly needed and much appreciated. He is also helping to lead a local support initiative for Schools, which we would want to model and replicate. Also some potential to help us with our relationship with HP and a possible case study. Jim is mature and dedicated in his approach. A ++ for bringing in a usage and support perspective and a further + for commitment. -- RichardWeideman [2007-07-05]
Most everyone we spoke to expressed great interest in using Edubuntu in their school or district but also concern over how to actually implement such a change when they themselves were not in charge of technology or lacked experience with Linux. Emboldened by the enthusiasm of the Colorado Local Team members, we began to collect contact information, pointed visitors to our team’s website, and assured everyone that if they only asked they would find members willing to come out and help. This has led to a current team project focused on developing a way to offer local support to schools, or anyone, interested in using any flavor of Ubuntu. The team expects to “go live” with local support options within just a couple weeks.