HumIT WorkshopCFP

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Call for Participation in HumIT Workshop

Student IT Services to Support Open Source Software for Humanity

An NSF Supported Workshop and a CCSCNE pre-conference event

Participant support provided!

Come for the workshop and stay for CCSCNE!

April 14-15, 2011

Western New England College, Springfield, MA

IT Support for HFOSS

Humanitarian free and open source software systems address humanitarian needs such as disaster relief, health care information, or education. The potential value of these systems is limited by the ability of users to understand and effectively apply them. In addition, these systems may be used in settings where little IT support is available, and support is critical to the successful employment of the systems. Given that the developers of HOSS are mostly volunteers, and the users of these systems generally do not pay for them, providing good support is always a problem.

Students in computing degree programs are an untapped resource that could help address this problem while also advancing the students’ own education. Providing IT services for HOSS users would provide a very rich practicum environment for computing students, integrating learning about technology with development of problem solving and communication skills and exposure to operational issues for large scale, production application systems.

The goal of this workshop is to prepare faculty members to teach courses in which IT students participate in HFOSS projects. As part of this goal, the workshop will focus on the development of course materials to allow student delivery of IT support for HFOSS projects within the classroom. A second goal is to expand the community of instructors working on HFOSS education. Upon completion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the basic history, principles, culture and economics of OSS
  • Discuss the role of IT support for HFOSS projects
  • Describe the possible ways in which IT students can contribute to HFOSS projects
  • Analyze pros and cons of using HFOSS for IT education in their environment
  • Design and implement a course in which students provide IT support to an HFOSS project in their own environment

Workshop Format

This one and a half day workshop includes presentations by educators with experience in using HFOSS within courses and small-group activities for participants. Participants will work together to discover opportunities for including HFOSS in the participants’ curriculum, learn ways to identify and join appropriate HFOSS projects, and draft course materials for including student IT support for HFOSS projects. Emphasis will be on extending the community of educators using HFOSS.

Call for Participation

To apply for a place in the workshop, please send a brief email explaining your interest and relevant background. Note that we will welcome faculty from any computing area, not just IT programs. We also welcome faculty from two year programs. Prior experience with FOSS is not required. Submit to: Greg Hislop ( We will notify people of acceptance by February 28, 2011.


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 $550 will be available for each participant, with additional funds provided to the extent possible.


  • Greg Hislop –
  • Heidi Ellis –
Personal tools
Learning Resources
HFOSS Projects