Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Thought(s) For The Day 10-7-08

I presented at the SPARK conference today at Arizona State University and the keynote speaker was Scott McNealy from Sun. He said many interesting things regarding his views on sharing (for it), open source (very much for it), and the financial bailout by the U.S. Government (very, very much against it). He told the students not to pay so much attention to the “mission” of companies, but their cause (a "higher order bit"). He said Sun’s cause was to "Eliminate the digital divide without harming the planet." (Sun’s thin client Sun Ray terminals are inexpensive and use only 4 watts.)

He also spent a decent amount of time plugging Curriki, which I thought was interesting given that this was a gathering of mostly IT folks (the conference was designed to bring together folks from the IT industry and students in ASU’s various IT and Business programs).

At one point, when he was talking about open source and the importance of transparency, he said:

If the trojan horse had been made of glass, do you think they’d have rolled it through the gate?
Now, at that point he was specifically talking about transparency and the security advantages of open source software, but I thought it related very nicely to all the conversations we’ve had about transparency in the education space.

Later he talked about how many foreign governments are going open source for both security and cost reasons and that the U.S. is lagging behind in this area. Many of the business and academic leaders of Arizona were in the room and he challenged them to “open Arizona” as a way to get more people "on the network" and involved in 21st century learning and working. That got me thinking again about the use of proprietary software in my own school district and wondering how much longer we can continue to be "closed." No answers to that question, just thinking.

1 comment:

  1. Karl - Thank you for taking time to fly down and speak at the Spark 2008 conference at ASU. You inspired many students, faculty and executives! It was an incredible presentation!

    Chris Hemming
    Founder, Spark 2008