SchoolForge Coalition Formed to Advance Open Resources in Education

January 14, 2002

Schoolforge, a global coalition of online groups dedicated to promoting open resources in education, announced its formation today. The online project is located at

In November of 2001, members of the online groups SEUL/edu (,

Open Source Schools (,

the K-12 Linux in Schools project (,

and the Open Source Educational Foundation (

decided to develop a central organization to provide help for educators seeking

the advantages of open resources and open source/free software. Composed of

more than 30 open-resource-focused educational organizations on five continents,

the all-volunteer Schoolforge project hopes to harness the collective strengths

of educators by enabling them to share technical and pedagogical expertise far

beyond their localities.

“For too long,” said SEUL/edu leader and Schoolforge spokesman Doug Loss, “our

many projects suffered from isolation and low visibility. Our lack of a unified

organization often meant that our efforts as educators and as technologists

were duplicative. Isolated, we could neither build on our colleagues’ successes,

nor learn from their failures.”

Schoolforge is intended to help its member organizations to:

  • introduce open resources, including free/open source software, to primary

    and secondary educational settings;

  • help educators use and develop open resources, including free curricula

    and free software;

  • foster local and global volunteer support networks to implement free/open

    source educational solutions; and

  • provide open forums for educators to share information with colleagues,

    and with corporate and governmental educational stakeholders.

Schoolforge member organizations are made of volunteers, teachers and technologists

in elementary and high schools around the world who are committed to harnessing

the Internet and open resources to help teachers teach and help students learn.

Contributions to open resource projects are free and open to anyone who desires

to use them, and can never be withdrawn from public use.

Schoolforge’s member groups are delivering the power of open resources to primary

and secondary educators. While some SchoolForge groups are focused on bringing

open source and free software resources to schools in need of low- or zero-cost

alternatives to proprietary software, other member organizations have broader

goals: “When we use the term ‘open resources,’ we mean a lot more than free

software,” said David Bucknell, Open Source Schools Project head and Schoolforge

co-spokesman. “Open resources are educational tools made by educators, for educators,

sharing the experience they’ve gained in both the classroom and the lab. That

can include everything from folk wisdom to lesson plans, and from software to


Visitors to Schoolforge will find links

to SEUL/edu’s successful case studies from around the world (

), and Open Source Schools’ how-tos, reviews, and informative essays ( Links are

also provided to projects dedicated to free and open source educational and

administrative software (, and free curriculum and

free science instructional texts ( A list of all

current members, and information for organizations interested in joining, can

be found at


“We’re hoping to put behind us the day when computers were used to teach students

how to use branded computer products, and to lock hapless school districts into

a never-ending treadmill of hardware and software spending,” Loss said. “We

don’t want another teacher ever to have to learn a proprietary interface, only

to have his or her experience rendered useless with the next product upgrade

or business failure. Open resources promise to make technology a powerful tool

for education, not the other way around.”


Doug Loss

(570) 326-3987 (US)


David Bucknell

66-2 583-5874 (Thailand)

US Fax: 775-244-0803


Harry McGregor

(520) 661-7875 (US)