Talking about Open Source Software and Open Source Hardware at the Instituto Español Vicente Cañada-Blanch

A month ago, on November 5th, I was invited to deliver a talk at the Instituto Español Vicente Cañada-Blanch, in Portobello, London, to a dozen 14-years old Galician language students.

The "Instituto Español Vicente Cañada-Blanch" is an Spanish school originally opened in Greenwich in 1972, later moved to Portobello in 1982, providing education to the children of Spanish migrants living in London. They have been teaching Galician since the 90s, since Portobello was a preferred location for Galician expats.

During the last three years, Xaime Varela, Galician teacher, invites people from Galicia to talk to his students, either about their jobs or their profiles. He reached me after I joined one of the several Facebook groups for Galician expats in the United Kingdom, so I proposed a talk about  "Software e Hardware Libre nun mundo intelixente". I imagine he was a bit scared at the beginning: "they are only 14 years old!"-, but he was OK as soon as I explained I would adapt the contents to their age.

At Samsung they also liked the idea a lot, allowing me to take the day off on business travel, and handing out some freebies for the students.

So that was it: I could talk during about 45 minutes about Pontedeume -my home town-, A Coruña, Finland, cooking recipes (there is a clear resemblance between accessing source code in software and accessing some special recipe, in order to improve them), about collaborating via Internet... I also explained how mostly every device nowadays, from TVs to phones or tablets, has a certain amount of Free Software on it.

It was very satisfying: the students are amazing and talkative, were very interested, and made some very nice questions. They were delighted with the One Laptop Per Child project (they could try a prototype that Mario had lend me), were almost shocked about the endless possibilities of the 3D printers (like this father that built a low-cost prosthetic hand for his son), and loved my friend Xulio Coira's  Open Pipe project.

All in all, it was a really nice experience that I can only recommend: I would really love to keep doing this kind of "evangelism"! Thanks a lot to Xaime for the opportunity and Samsung for the support!

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