Open Data

  • I participated to the 2013 Open Data Week in Marseille to lead a workshop on an idea I had a couple years ago, one that seems to be more and more ready to seriously take off every month: Open Data in and from schools. While in Marseille, I first heard about Open Data developments in Sayada and the rest of Tunisia. Then I also heard that… OpenFoodFacts is great and needs you The free, open and collaborative database of food products OpenFoodFacts is great.
  • I just got a request to run a workshop on “Open Data in and from Schools” next week, at the Open Data Week in Marseille. (added 2013/06/21, 07:30) IMPORTANT: please note that this is NOT, I repeat, NOT about creating and using open data ABOUT schools, in order to run them better, monitor their “performances” or anything like that. This is about things to do in class or as homework, with very very basic computer skills, even when there is only computer per school with only very slow/intermittent connectivity!
  • I’ve already written some of the things I heard and discussed at the 2013 Economics and Commons Conference in Berlin, from weak arguments against copyright to a few practical questions and suggestions to all commoners. This third post is about one crucial problem mentioned in Berlin: “getting people out there to know the very concept of Commons”. Here is a rearranged synthesis (1), which you’re welcome to reformat (2), of answers and comments to this question from the notes I took during the Conference:
  • Last fall, as a follow-up of my participation to CONSEGI 2011 in Brasilia, and in the context of my Open Data for Education proposal, I asked several Brazilian teachers to share if and how they were using Open Data to teach. These are, in no particular order, the first answers I got. I hope they will stimulate more contacts and exchange of experiences and best practices in this field, among them, and all other teachers worldwide who are interested in this topic.
  • While I am writing this post, the third meeting of the Open Government Partnership is taking place in Rome, Italy. As you can see in the snapshot, one of the participants just tweeted: inside this building we’re talking of participation, outside people are protesting to defend their job. My answer, also in the snapshot, was “and think what they would do if they knew that Open Data would also (finally, if you ask me) destroy some useless jobs inside Public Administrations”.
  • Last week at ForumPA in Italy, Andrea Di Maio gave a talk on “Open Government: The Reality Behind the Myth”. He left the conference disappointed for the lack of attendees and the somewhat nasty reaction to criticism: Although the session was in parallel with four of five others and was being streamed live, I was still disappointed with the low attendance I believe that a good part of the explanation here is waaay simpler than one may think, and has nothing to do with self-proclaimed technologists, culture and so on.
  • The italian Province of Rome just announced a school orientation guide. Its goal, according to Provincial Councillor for School Policies Rita Paola Stella, is to: help students and families to find the best school for their future in the simplest, quickest and most exhaustive manner possible... `[providing]` also useful information on logistics, transportation, number and types of laboratories in each school... This is possible mainly with the online version of the guide, which works as a sort of school search engine.
  • (this is a reformatted version of a proposal I submitted to the Gdansk Agenda website in September 2011) According to a survey published in December 2011 from the EU statistical agency, more than 100 million EU citizens have never surfed the Web. That’s why one of the goal of the Gdansk Agenda is digital inclusion. When I put that survey side by side with the crisis Europe is going through, it seems evident to me that both simple ECDL-style teaching on how to use computers and the Internet and bringing broadband everywhere are absolutely unsufficient to achieve digital inclusion.
  • Last October I was at the 2nd Brazilian Information Technology Meeting to speak about the current state of Open Data in European Union countries. Due to some hardware-related problems, I couldn’t publish anything about this conference earlier, but several reports are online anyway. A small part of the notes I took back then, however, may still be of general interest, so here they are. One point worth noting is not news, but the confirmation, even during this conference, of the Brazilian interest for Public Software.