The International Summer Schools in Grid Computing (ISSGC) have provided numerous international students with the opportunity to learn grid systems, as detailed in part 2 of this series (http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MDSO.2008.20). The International Winter School on Grid Computing 2008 (IWSGC 08) followed the successful summer schools, opening up the ISSGC experience to a wider range of students because of its online format. The previous summer schools made it clear that many students found the registration and travel costs and the time requirements prohibitive. The EU FP6 ICEAGE project held the first winter school from 6 February to 12 March 2008. The winter school repurposed summer school materials and added resources such as the ICEAGE digital library and summer-school-tested t-Infrastructures such as GILDA (Grid INFN Laboratory for Dissemination Activities).
The winter schools shared the goals of the summer school, which emphasized disseminating grid knowledge. The students act as multipliers, spreading the skills and knowledge they acquired at the winter school to their colleagues to build strong and enthusiastic local grid communities.