SchoolForge is a coalition of open source software development groups, school boards, curriculum advisory panels, and other organizations intent on advancing the use of Free Software, Open Source Software, and Open Content in Educational systems, world-wide. The name was inspired by the SourceForge way of doing things but with a focused slant toward "unleashing the power of Free Software" in school systems.
"Schoolforge's mission is to unify independent organizations that advocate, use, and develop open resources for education. Schoolforge is intended to empower member organizations to make open educational resources more effective, efficient, and ubiquitous by enhancing communication, sharing resources, and increasing the transparency of development. Schoolforge members advocate the use of open source and free software, open texts and lessons, and open curricula for the advancement of education and the betterment of humankind."
SchoolForge is a "foundry" for forging out educational solutions using free and open source software in classrooms and other learning environments. Historically the organization has remained a coalition of organizations that are committed to the overal goals:
Inspired by the name, SourceForge, SchoolForge was established to foster a new way of providing schools and other educational organizations with the tools they need. The paradigm of open source and free software with public licenses makes sense for public schools, even though many schools shell out enormous sums for proprietary software resources. Linux, FreeBSD, Apache, MySQL, Perl and a host of other software products are available usually at no cost whatsoever. The phenomenal success of open content such as Wikipedia and the Creative Commons has also created money-saving resources for education and the trend is escalating. This page is to explore the prospect of adding Wikiversity to the SchoolForge coalition, and is open to SchoolForge and its member groups for the purpose of providing a wiki-enabled central resource at Wikiversity. See Wikiversity:Wikiversity outreach
SchoolForge is a foundry which has developed a number of resources through the projects history, with its roots coming from a Simple End User Linux (SEUL) controlled project called SEUL/edu. The SEUL/edu was the beginning effort towards "creating and fostering a viable, vibrant Open Source/Free software in the education community," which developed tools which are still in use today including a case studies system and an educational applications index. The SEUL/edu project was ended and the tools were then passed on to SchoolForge, which took on the role 'to unify independent organizations that advocate, use, and develop open resources for primary and secondary education.' The success of these efforts has led to what we are finding today, a constant stream of reports and articles in which schools are moving to FLOSS solutions.
Justin Riddiough is currently leading web development efforts at SchoolForge, with a primary focus of increasing awareness of open resources in education. This is accomplished largely through participation in the discussion list, and working to translate the efforts of successful projects into web pages and systems that are accessible to people of varying technical understandings.
Groups that may qualify as potential coalition members: