Welcome to opensource.com/education | Opensource.com

Welcome to opensource.com/education

Posted 24 Jan 2010 by 

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Now that we have this amazing innovation called "The Internet" that provides practically unlimited resources to aspiring learners everywhere -- why is it that our actual educational systems don't seem to be getting any better?

Billions upon billions of dollars are spent globally to print textbooks that are often less accurate, and usually less compelling, than Wikipedia.  Old but still serviceable computers are "surplused" (read: thrown out) by poor school districts because they don't run the latest version of some proprietary software program, even though there are almost always free equivalents to such software.  Computers in schools, rather than being seen as enhancements to learning, are still frequently derided as inhibitors to learning -- and because they are so frequently misused, often rightly so.  A whole generation of kids uses the Internet to teach other to play classical guitar pieces, while underperforming schools are forced to close their doors because they can't teach kids math.  Educational institutions are increasingly bureaucratic, intensely politicized, and frustratingly slow to change.

Individual educators, as a rule, are hungry for change.  Not the kind of change that gets forced down their throats, though: teachers are an independent lot, and they have enough people telling them what they ought to do, or what they have to do.  Teachers fight every day to change the world, one person at a time, in thankless and sometimes even dangerous circumstances.  They don't want endless policy debates, and they don't impractical "advice", and they don't want lectures.  They want help.

We believe that the open source way can help -- and we've got a lot of experiences to share.

Open source software is obviously something we know well, so we will talk to the people who write open source educational software, and the people who use it.  We will celebrate what works, and learn from what doesn't.  Open content is becoming one of the most important issues in education, so we will hear from some of the leaders in the development of open educational resources.  Governments are becoming increasingly aware of open source and open content, so we will follow these policy discussions -- and sometimes we'll even jump into them.

Most importantly, we need your help.  If your passion is to bring the open source way into the world of education, we need to hear from you.  Not want: we need to hear from you.  Join us now.

Lots to do.  Let's get started.

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3 Comments

sagar

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Mattman1

Modern technology should aim to totally revamp our approach to education. Each student might store their K-12 portfolio on a portable flash drive or in the Cloud. Each student will be able to learn at a pace driven by their abilities and interests. The generic transcript can be replaced with a list of certifications acquired during their educational career (somewhat like IT certifications).
As a retired teacher I understand the implications and resistance to such drastic change. I believe if it is done right teaching can become a more rewarding occupation and students will rise to the occasion and amaze us with their thirst for knowledge.
We have been using a band aid approach to fix our educational system. This has resulted in a generation of students that at best just want to “know what is on the test” and have no real thirst for knowledge. Technology should not be used as just another band aid.

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Luke

Muy buen articulo.
En nuestros países Latino Americanos somos muy protectores de las empresas extranjeras que ofrecen mejores precios para inversión social, aduciendo que son los únicos del mercado de tecnología que nos pueden brindar alguna solución para educación.
Y este tipo de medidas son un reflejo de la ignorancia y dejades de nosotros los informáticos en la difusión de soluciones de código abierto.
Aquellos países que promuevan este tipo de programas para la educación, estarán a la vanguardia en el mercado de tecnología.

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Greg DeKoenigsberg is the Vice President of Community for Ansible, where he leads the company's relationship with the broader open source community. Greg brings to Ansible over a decade of open source product and community leadership, with the majority of this time spent building and leading communities for open source leader Red Hat. While at Red Hat, Greg served in various community leadership roles, including senior community architect, leader of the Fedora project, chair of the first

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