Retrospective on 2020

Last year I have contacted the French minister of education, the academy of reunion island and I have participated in the national survey about the new technologies. Needless to say that I took quite some time to explain the necessity to teach free software and encourage people to use it. Despite my best effort mails and phone calls were left unanswered.

At first I wanted to involve the education minister and the head of the academy not because I thought that they were well suited for the task, but because they are inevitable. If I wanted to have a greater impact I had to go where people learn and for most of them that is
(unfortunately) exclusively at school.

After that I took part in the national survey about the new technologies:

  • For the first part I emailed them about typos, errors and issues with the first part of the survey. Not only I did not received an answer, they did not even bother to fix the issues.
  • For the second part I reiterated my points about the need for free software and how to have good digital life.
  • The third and final part had the same problems as the first one mainly inconsistencies between the meeting dates and the ones advertised on the academy website.

At the end no media really covered it and most people I talked to didn't knew that it was happening.

Below you can read one of the mail that I send about the subject, the others are variants of this one.

De la nécessité de l'enseignement des logiciels libres.

En 2020, malgré l’omniprésence du numérique, la France ne possède toujours pas de stratégie d’enseignement à ce sujet. Même une initiative comme le POP qui a pour but de [sic] réduire la fracture numérique n’est qu’un gaspillage d’argent n’offrant aucun bénéfice
éducatif. Bien que la possession d’un ordinateur est une condition indispensable, elle est inutile si elle n’est pas suivie d’une formation dans la maîtrise de l’outil. Au final cela ne fait qu'avancer le lobby de Microsoft. L' école doit se débarrasser de cette dictature imposée par les compagnies inintéressées par l’éducation avec pour seul agenda de renforcer leur hégémonie. Cette approche est contraire au rôle de l' école.

Apprentissage et créativité ne peuvent s’épanouir que dans un environnement où les élèves prennent le contrôle de leurs outils. Cela inclus une utilisation sans restrictions, la liberté d’étudier, de modifier et de partager ces derniers. Trois axes sont à explorer pour fixer ce problème :

  1. L’enseignement de l’informatique comme matière obligatoire au collège et au lycée. Un sujet aussi fondamental doit être accessible a tous, de la même façon que l’enseignement de l’art de la parole n’est pas réservé aux futurs orateurs et celui de l’art de la plume n’est pas exclusif aux futurs écrivains ou poètes.

  2. L’intégration du numérique comme complément dans chacune des matières enseignées. Cette intégration reposera sur le programme existant et donnera une dimension plus importante à la curiosité, à l’esprit critique plutôt que la simple ingurgitation de faits.

  3. Ainsi qu’une réflexion sur l’impact des nouvelles technologies sur la société et les mesures à adopter pour une vie digitale saine.

Les outils répondants aux critères précédemment énoncés existent déjà, ce sont des logiciels libres. Il faut maintenant adopter un mode d’enseignement mettant l’accent sur leur importance.

Vision for 2021

Since this matter is too important I couldn't stop there. The last few months I was preparing the rebirth of LibreTech from a site with note to self about things I was working on to a school and online platform that answers questions such as how to lead a good digital life, and how to make use of the technological innovations for oneself and society.

The school is localized in Reunion Island where I currently live. Having a physical space allows for more activities impossible to replicate online, such as access to the wide range of tools found in an hackerspace/makerspace. The online platform on the other hand allows for the creation of content accessible all over the world. On others websites I have written in multiple languages, but for the moment I will stick with French and English only.

Despite the incredible ecosystem that exist around free software, it is shocking the number of people that are unaware of it. Technology should be synonym with creativity and innovation for humanity.

Call for action

In order to write good content and have a viable business, I need you to answer some questions and send them to gs@libretech.eu

  1. How have you heard about LibreTech ?
  2. How do you approach free software?
  • Do not use nor care for it
  • Try to use it with difficulty
  • Use it when possible
  • Push yourself to only use it
  1. Do you have technical knowledge?
  2. Choose and rank up to 5 technical topics that interested you; do the same for non technical one?
  3. Do you prefer long form content or shorter ones?
  4. What should be the ideal frequency for the publication of new content per week?
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  1. What is the price/month under which you would consider this a low quality product; similarly what is the price/month over which you would consider it overpriced?
  2. What is your professional occupation?
  3. In what age bracket are you in?
  • under 20
  • 20 to 30
  • 30 to 40
  • 40 to 50
  • 50 to 60
  • over 60

If you are still reading this I would like to thank you for taking the time. And if you have any others questions about this project I will be more than happy to answer you.

P.S: If you are reading this at the time of publication, Happy New Year! Let's make this year a good one.