A couple of months ago, I was invited to give the starting course for the Masters degree in Free Software in the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar university. UASB is a multinational university, with campuses in (at least) Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Colombia; I was doubtful at first regarding the seriousness of this proposal and the viability of the program, but time made my doubts disappear.
Bolivia is going through an interesting process, as they have one of the strongest worded government mandates for migration to free software for the public administration in the next couple of years; this migration has prompted the interest of many professionals in the country. In particular, we have over 40 registered people for this Masters degree. Studying a Masters degree is a long-term commitment which signifies a big time investment, and although many of the student are quite new to the idea of free software, they are willing to spend this time (and money, as the university is privately owned and charges for its enrollment).
I gave this class together with Alejandro Miranda (a.k.a. @pooka), as we have a very good pair-teaching dynamics; we had already given many conferences together, but this is the first time we had the opportunity to share a whole course — and the experience was very good. We have read the students' logs, and many of them clearly agree with this.
I had to skip two of the (ten) lessons, as I travelled from Mexico to Argentina halfway through it (of course, we brought the babies to meet my wife's family and friends!), so we had also the honor of having Esteban Lima fill in for those sessions.
I am very happy and grateful that the University took care to record our presentations and intend to record and put online all of the classes; as we were the first in the program, there were some understandable hiccups and some sessions were lost, but most are available. Here they are, in case you are interested in refering to them:
|Topic||Video (my server)||Video (Youtube)|
|Introduction to free software||Watch||Watch|
|The effects of free software||Watch||Watch|
|Free software and open standards related to technologic soverignity||Watch (low)
|The free software ecosystem||Watch||Watch|
|Free software implementation in Bolivia||Watch||Watch|
|Introduction to intelectual property: Copyright, patents, trademarks, etc.||Watch||Watch|
|Who is "the community" and why do we speak about it?||Watch (low)
|Current status and challenges for the movement||Watch||Watch|
All in all: This was a great opportunity and a joy to do. I think the material we used and developed fit well what was expected from us, and we had fun giving somewhat heterodox readings on our movement.
[Update]: UASB uploaded some extra videos, with a much better quality! I added them to the table above, specifying (Low) or High whenever needed. Also, all classes are now available. Enjoy!