Identifying Purpose and Need

Assuming you want to take your newfound desire to spread Linux into school and get kids involved, you have to determine the purpose of your school’s Linux club.

We discovered a club can have more than one purpose, and having more than one purpose worked well for us. As I see it, a school-based Linux club can have a few possible purposes:

    1. Education and fun for kids: The club can simply be an opportunity for kids to learn some new skills, make friends, and have some fun. Do NOT downplay how powerful that can be, and for your purposes, that may be enough.
    2. Community service: Our school’s student population is largely made up of refugees or children of refugees and has a high amount of poverty. Many of our families cannot afford computers, so our club made providing those families with computers part of our mission.
    3. Helping your school or organization: Our school needed more computers. Our Linux club raised money and took in computer donations to meet that need. Then, the kids in the club installed the software to get the computers ready for students to use.

Of course, doing all of them is certainly a viable choice, and it became the choice we made, but we started off just having fun. The other bits came later.

How about you? What type of club is needed at your school? Do you want to give kids an opportunity to learn new things and have fun? Does your school have a Digital Divide with families who need computers but cannot afford them? How about your school? Do your classrooms need more computers than your school can provide?

Identify the need and the purpose for your group to get started, and be open to your purpose growing as you go along.

© 2017 Stuart Keroff. All rights reserved.