Sun Microsystems hosted the 2007 China Education and Research Conference this past week. It was interesting to know that Sun has been collaborating with China's Ministry of Education for 10 years now. In fact, many Chinese computer science professors and even ministry officials will reminisce that their first computer experience was with a Sun Unix box.
Scott McNealy, the keynote speaker, had a fairly long presentation, walking the conference attendants through Sun's history with the Chinese educational system as well as launching Sun's latest open source project, Curriki . Sun hopes for widescale adoption of Curriki, especially in China where open source education is not keeping pace with the rest of the world. Curriki will give educators a chance to share curriculum and educational tools with other professors around the world.
Sun had helped China years back to establish the first educational Extranet where professors and students could download and upload open source software. This movement proved largely popular with students who did not have access to the Internet in those days and wanted greater access to development tools. Students of yesterday are the professors of today, and hopefully their patronage of Sun's contributions will be passed on to the next generation of students who will further develop the open source curricula being offered in Chinese universities today.