The Dresden OpenSource UserGroup was founded in January 2021. After almost a year of regular Meetups about OpenSource, Automation, Linux and much more, it was time for our very first conference.
Here we went with "OpenSource in education", a full day with talks about Moodle, LibreOffice, MetaGer, Geogebra and Open Educational Resources. We are thrilled, excited and a bit nervous to present our first Dresden OpenSource UserGroup conference to you.
You may wonder what this is about. Well, we wanted to make a conference to demonstrate how Open Source software can be used and why it may be an option or alternative. After a brief discussion, we went with "education".
It seemed natural to us, since many innovations in the software industry are made with Open Source in mind from well-educated people. Even the internet was invented with the idea, to share knowledge and connect people.
The conference was mostly in German language, since our audience is coming from Germany. Furthermore, the whole thing was online, due to COVID, but that wasn't a problem for us. We are somewhat used to online meetups already.
For all detailed information, we also created a little web page and promoted the event in several social media channels. We also created the below trailer video - our first video work to be honest.
The talks and the speakers
A conference stands and falls with the speakers and talks, you can enjoy. Let me introduce you to the speakers.
Sander Bangma (Moodle)
Sander joined the conference online from Australia. He works at the Moodle HQ and is leading the product development of Moodle LMS. His talk was about Moodle, of course. It was really exciting how Moodle re-invented itself with Moodle 4.0 and how the community can interact with the Moodle team.
Phil explained to us how search engines work and how Metasearch is different from audited search engines like google. He brought us lots of background information from MetaGer (a European Metasearch engine) and it was a pleasure to listen to him. I already switched my search engine and will see how it compares to my favorite DuckDuckGo.
After a short lunch, Alexander gave his talk to us. Alexander is working at the "Technical University Dresden". He is a strong believer in Open Access and Open Educational Resources. Therefore, he introduced us to these concepts. If you are old enough and also a bit invested into technology, you may remember the reasons why the internet was created. Open Educational Resources follows the exact same idea - Connect people, knowledge, scientists and others and make knowledge transparent.
Julia was the only speaker from Austria. She is currently studying for a Master of education in mathematics, philosophy and psychology. She is also working for and with GeoGebra, a software solution for tackling mathematical problems and education. The talk was ll about the features of GeoGebra and the new GeoGebra classrooms.
Lothar K. Becker
The last speaker for the day was Lothar K. Becker. He is working for the Document Foundation and therefore was talking about the history of LibreOffice. It was quite a journey from Star Office to OpenOffice and all the changes beforehand or between. One of the most exciting history lessons I ever had.
With all the above speakers and talks, the day was filled with exciting topics. Behind the scenes, we also had quite a busy time and learned a lot. Everything started with some sound issues for the YouTube livestream. Fortunately, the team was able to provide a workaround, and we were able to start the talk via BigBlueButton from the TU Dresden.
Just a couple of minutes after moving everything to the new location, the livestream was working with audio... Finally. Thanks to the team, we updated the audience in time and were able to provide all sessions in time.
For me, the learnings for the next time are:
- test things more thoroughly beforehand
- provide an alternative beforehand, if something goes sideways
But, this does not mean, that it was just a hard day. I had a ton of fun with the team and I really enjoyed every moment. I want to thank everybody who helped to prepare, promote and perform the whole thing. It was a pleasure to work with you, and I will definitively reach out to you again for the next time.
For the next weeks, we planned to upload all the edited recordings, so you can enjoy the event talk per talk. You will find the uploads on our YouTube channel, soon.
This event just marked our very first official DDOSUG event. For the future, we are planing to have more of these events and are also planning a bigger conference with multiple streams.
I think, the Open Source community needs more of these very user focussed events, that don't talk about development, but demonstrate how Open Source software and Open Source culture can be used in all areas of our life.
I am looking forward to seeing you in the next event and our next meetup in December.
Docs & Links
Below, you can find some links to find out more about the Dresden OpenSource UserGroup.
Organizing events like this, really, is something new to me. I am looking forward to all the meetups, events and participants in the future. I am also thrilled to get your ideas of these events. Which topics do you want to hear more about? What do you think is missing in the greater area, or even in Germany? Please feel free to reach out to us via firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via email@example.com.