The OpenTechSchool was born in April 2012 in Berlin. The first local RailsGirls event — a free tech workshop with freshly created learning materials dedicated to an audience of women of all ages and backgrounds during a both thrilling and cosy weekend — had just taken place, and had created much admiration and enthusiasm in its wake.
Why not expand the concept to all tech topics people might possibly want to learn and open the events to an audience of all genders and experience levels? The challenge couldn’t be greater. Since then, thousands of people have joined as coaches, learners, organizers, and sponsors, in Berlin, Leipzig, and soon: even in more new cities (yours!).
What is OpenTechSchool?
OpenTechSchool is a movement aiming to offer free tech education. Our events are open to technology enthusiasts of all genders, backgrounds, and experience levels, willing to coach or learn in a friendly environment. Our learning materials are shared and collectively improved by the online community and anyone is welcome to use it to organize new OTS chapters anywhere in the world.
OpenTechSchool is best described through our core values:
All discussions, training materials, and blueprints are openly accessible through our website so that anyone can find them and contribute to their development. Furthermore, for us, openness also means sharing: our coaches share their skills and time, and our learners share their own knowledge with the community, both by presenting their achievements during the beginners meetup and by later becoming coaches themselves.
Empowerment is something which we hope to provide everyone involved. Encouraging people to coach, whatever their skill or experience level, lets them see how rewarding and valuable teaching others is. By encouraging learners to become coaches themselves, we hope to create a sustainable movement of skilled and confident individuals who are eager to help others. Leaving the framework of workshop organization open to adaptation is done to empower others, providing a framework for them to rally their own communities and to organize similar initiatives.
We believe the best way to learn is by doing it hands-on, and feel that visible progress is the best motivation to continue learning. That is why our workshops are focused on practical exercises and provide a hands-on learning experience. We bring people together to learn in small groups, supported by coaches who keep an eye on individual progress. Our workshops aim to reach a certain goal of the learning process while also providing a roadmap on how to continue afterwards.
Welcoming learning environment
We aim to provide a safe learning environment in which no one feels shy asking any question. Teaching only 3-4 people at a time, coaches can move at the pace most suited for their group, rather than moving on too quickly. Learners will be encouraged to share their progress, with the goal of solidifying their knowledge and helping them overcome any fears of speaking in front of others.
OTS is an open, transparent movement with which we want to encourage others to create similar or related projects in their own cities. We hope to inspire you with our successes and let you learn from our mistakes, as well as develop a strong support network for those new to coding, giving them a chance to learn and go on to teach others.
Not for Profit
We strongly believe that, in order for education to work, the learner needs to have the best learning experience possible. In order to achieve that, coaches and team members donate their personal time for the greater good of the community and the learners. It is only with this value as your main goal that you can create the experience needed to encourage learners to continue. If you'd do that for your personal gain the quality would simply suffer.
Our Licensing Policy
In correspondence with our values we release all learning materials, blueprints and any other kind of content under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License: As long as you attribute the work to OpenTechSchool (usually by mentioning such and providing the link to the original material) and share it under the same licence again, you are free to use, share, copy and modify it - even in a commercial context.
The OpenTechSchool e.V. has officially been established January 5th, 2013. As of March 25th, 2013 it is officially registered as a "gemeinütziger e.V." — a non-profit foundation under German law. The main objective of creating the OpenTechSchool e.V. was to have a legal entity to help with sponsoring and structural things. Generally the foundations goal is to provide any kinds of service and help to nurture the OpenTechSchool movement all over the globe.
GLS Bank Bochum
Registered at Amtsgericht Charlottenburg under VR32310B.
The foundation is represented by its board:
- Bastian Albers
- Giorgia Sambrotta
- Martin Meyerhoff
To contact the board send an email at email@example.com.
By becoming a member of the foundation you're actively supporting the community with your membership fees. You also get to vote for the board members and what we spend money on. We meet at least every two years for a general assembly.
The membership fee is 24€ per year (2€ per month). Currently, the money is mostly spent on operational costs such as meetup.com fees.
Please remember, by signing up, you agree to our current charter.