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Should we have an open space on Education?

During the drupalgovdays I took the liberty to give my vision on a future Open University concept inspired by my experience with a Drupal course I gave the past 5 years. The problem being adressed is also relevant for the Drupal community: how to educate vast amount of young people so that they would not just know Drupal, but are able to take leadership in it. This effect should be well know if you look at the participants of the Summer of Code (SoC). My target audience is a bit different, they are students in business schools and universities with no prior development knowledge, but with the right push they can make good development. If I have it my way (Open University concept), you will see students coming to Drupalcons or organizing Drupal camps. Let me give you the video first, but I would like to use this blog to discuss the need for an open space event on Education.

There exist many initiatives in Drupal around education. We have several groups and plenty BoFs during Drupalcon. Every now and then there is an attempt to organize the lot (see Drupal Open Learning Initiative.) I kind of lost track how often I put my name to a wiki, intendent to get an overview of educational activities in Drupal. During Drupalcon Szeged, I got alienated form the discussion on education. It was only during CXO that the reason why became clear. There is a devine between training and educating. Not recognizing this difference may have created the pessimism around attracting young people. Ok, so this is for me a call to action.

I had some talks with people in Chicago, but I really like to get my head around this educational issues. I don't know how edu-project have an impact on Drupal, but I like to learn about it. I'm aware of the inpact the summer of code (SoC) has, but until now I didn't see that project be mentioned in the other educational BoFs. Maybe I wasn't at the right place on the right time. During the SoC BoF in Chicago I've noticed how many of the tutors have been students of the program. This is what we need, I would like to learn more about the experience with SoC and I hope to talk with many more people who have done it before. Of course I volunteered to be a tutor for this summer.

Having experienced the usefulness of open space event (like recently CXO and govdays) I would like to suggest to have an open space event about education the day before Drupalcon. This will allow more people to learn from each other projects and may result in smaller "action oriented" BoFs during Drupalcon. Do you consider this a good idea? Would you be interested in such an event?