The Digital Open initiative

Originally posted at Youthpad.

The Digital Open logoA heads-up to all students up to the age of 17 who are interested in free and open source software. There’s a competition called The Digital Open and is being organized by The Institute For The Future with sponsorship from Sun Microsystems. This competition aims to encourage open source innovation among the youth. There cool prizes up for grabs provided for by Sun Microsystems. If you’re interested in participating, buckle up and start working because the deadline for submitting entries is 15th August 2009. Your entry needs to be licensed under a Digital Open approved license (this is an important point).

So what kind of projects can you submit? There are many entry categories for The Digital Open: Open Code (open source software), Open Community (using open source technologies to help community at various levels collaborate and take decisions), Open Science (scientific studies, lesson plans, etc), Open Earth (ecology-related projects), Open Gear (hardware-related projects such as robots, or other gadgets), Open Media (media – video, audio, presentations, etc), and Open Play (making learning fun). You should note that your project should NOT just be an idea, but include implementation details too.

You might also be wondering how ‘open’ can be applied to categories to categories other than coding. It’s the most common association for the word in this context of course. ‘Open’ has been applied to other categories as whatever studies, reports, illustrations etc must be licensed under free/open licenses. I would advise you to take this directive seriously. Don’t even think of ripping off images from the Internet if you don’t have permission for it; if source material is licensed under free/open licenses then adhere to the licensing conditions imposed.

Even if you don’t win a prize you can gain respect within the Digital Open community by winning ‘achievement badges’ under the following categories. I know it’s not a ‘physical’ award; still it shows your contributions were highly appreciated in some way. In the free/open source community many often contribute for the sheer joy of contributing. So approach this competition with that spirit.

In case you’re interested in participating (from India), contact me or leave a comment below about your project. I’ll get you in touch with one of the India coordinators for this initiative, who may be able to resolve any queries you have.

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