Presented by

  • Claire Reeler

    Claire Reeler

    Claire is an archaeologist with a side interest in tech and open source in particular. She's been passionate about archaeology as long as she can remember and was out in the field as soon as she could persuade people to take her along (high school). Claire ended up playing with computers after being selected for a small experimental computer science class run by all the high schools in her home town in the early '80s (we learnt Basic on Apple 2e machines!). This taught her not be afraid of computers which led to her using tools like GIS from the late '80s (on VAX machines running Unix). After decades playing around with GIS and databases to assist with spatial studies in archaeology, she did her PhD in Archaeology and was the first Arts doctorate at Uni Syd to have an online database accepted as an appendix to the PhD thesis. Claire has worked with indigenous groups in many parts of the world, as well as with museums and other organisations in the GLAM sector. Now she works at Catalyst IT Australia helping out with a range of different things. Claire is also Secretary of the Australasian chapter of Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA-A).


Education is a vital component of human society. Our young are born relatively underdeveloped compared to many other species. We sacrificed a longer development in utero for larger brain size. Thus we are born needing to learn and geared to learn as fast and efficiently as possible, even adapting our brain architecture to suit the material we learn, and sadly, discarding areas that are not developed. During the long millennia of human (pre)history, we have adapted how we educate each other. This presentation will whip through the last 100,000 years with a very brief overview of how education has changed and what we have learned about the process on the way. The 'open' context of human societies through time in the context of education is also examined, with a goal of distilling information that has application in our modern lives and our approach to open education in the current sense. We will examine what 'education' means in different human societies and through time; and the implications of an 'open' approach and how that fits with different ways of organising society. What has worked well, how can we define and measure that, and how we can apply it in our modern world, which is so very different to anything that has gone before are all topics to be addressed. We will also touch on the aspects of human psychology that are influenced by our evolutionary biology and what that means for how we teach and learn, as well as how we can work most effectively. The separation of 'work' and 'education' is a very modern phenomenon and one that some of our ancestors might find hard to comprehend. Thus, looking at education through time can teach us a lot about how humans can optimise living in all spheres of their lives. Linux Australia: YouTube: