The keynote speakers for the K-12 Open Minds Conference are now set, and it's an exciting group. We've got:
- David Thornburg - who has done a great job the past few years in communicating the advantages of open source software to teachers.
- David Cavallo - Director, Central and South America for OLPC, and co-head of MIT's Future of Learning Group. I heard Cavallo speak about OLPC at MIT shortly after the project launched. He's an interesting cat.
- Benjamin "Mako" Hill - This one's my doing. Mako is a researcher at the Media Lab, member of the Free Software Foundation's Board of Directors, advisor to OLPC, active member of the Debian and Ubuntu communities, member of the WikiMedia Foundation advisory board, author of The Official Ubuntu Book and one of the prime movers behind the definition of Free Cultural Works.
Beyond all that, I'm just thrilled that we'll have a real free software activist and hacker at an open source in education conference. I'm one of the few teachers, from the US particularly, who has had the opportunity to spend substantial time interacting with free software hackers in their natural environment, and I hope that, in addition to whatever message Mako communicates explicitly, he also gives the educators at the conference a better feel for who the people writing free software are and what makes them tick.
The rest of the program for the conference is being finalized at this moment. If you are thinking about attending, you should, and you should register right now. Since this is the first try at a national K-12 open source conference, a number of potential sponsors, etc. are waiting to see how the early bookings shake out before committing themselves, so it is extra important that you don't procrastinate!
Hope to see you next month in Indianapolis!