Do kids learn about open source in school?

Posted 26 Aug 2014 by 

Opensource.com (Red Hat)
Rating: 
5
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Yes!
16% (16 votes)
No, unfortunately.
78% (76 votes)
Maybe, but it could be better.
6% (6 votes)
Total votes: 98

If you answered Yes!, were you thinking of the principles of the open source way? Sharing, collaboration, transparency, and failing faster are all methods many teachers across grade school classrooms use to teach kids and help them learn about the world.

Some more than others, perhaps? Or, do you know kids who learn about open source software or hardware in grade level school? Our readers could learn something from you. Share it in the comments.

Or, do you feel that No, unfortunately they don't learn anything about open source? Do you define open principles in a different way or is there something really missing in kids education today? Perhaps you just feel that Maybe, but it could be better. Educate us in the comments.

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8 Comments

negations
Community Member
The organisation I work for uses Open Source in the technology to support learners, but also embeds Open Source ideas and software throughout the entire range of qualifications. https://theingots.org/community/ It has been well regarded in the UK, especially since the UK Cabinet Office has now recommended all government departments use Open Source.
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OpenSourceToday
Open Minded
I had very minor, brief introductions to open source through my school, but is was only small parts of a few classes. The greater majority of my education was deeply entrenched in proprietary software. Everything I discovered, I had to do through my own interests.
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Frannie
Much depends on the initiative and expertise of the teachers to get around an essentially 'locked down' restrictive network that perpetuates a factory model of education.
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Don Watkins
Open Minded
The answer is an "No." Most of this is due to simple ignorance. I try to share the open source message with everyone. Recently I taught a digital literacy course for library patrons in New York State and I was happy to see that LibreOffice was recommended by the creators of DigLitNY.org. I also recommended it to the students. I regularly use OpenOffice as a replacement for Microsoft Office and find it easier to use. I own both products by the way. I frequently recommend Audacity to anyone creating podcasts or editing digital music. I also teach about copyright and Creative Commons because they are not well understood. We're a bit like pied pipers and we need to keep telling the story and inviting other to follow along with us. Be sure to visit http://diglitny.org/. It's a great program and model for others.
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Amir Mustafa
I saw on of my Cousin's book on her course in Information Technology, there was a chapter dedicated on Open Source, beside that they also taught open source software like MySQL
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Manuel Grandjean
En Suisse, le plan d'études romand prévoit explicitement une sensibilisation des élèves aux notions d'open source et de logiciels libres. (In Switzerland, the French-speaking curriculum provides an explicit awareness of students to the concepts of open source and free software)
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Anikita
Community Member
An interesting question to ask is when students crack the "locked down" system and perform the illicit act of "anything" who is legally liable? The school system is ultimately liable.
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dragonbite
Open Source Evangelist
There was an interesting article about getting girls into programming which, while it isn't talking about open source, it did have some insight on starting to get kids into programming as early as elementary school. The article can be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/dn781366.aspx
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