In the fall of 2010, I asked the biology class I teach at Western Carolina University for volunteers to help map the campus. Three years later, dozens of students have participated in learning how to use aerial photography and cartography techniques created by Public Lab.
Getting started in an unfamiliar open source project seems intimidating because it is intimidating; plunging into the unknown usually is. Navigating new territory is a lot easier with a guide—which is why I recently taught a seminar at Hacker School on "getting started contributing to open source"... Read more
Open Course Library has now released 81 high quality, free-to-use courses to the public. Users are can adapt and distribute content under a Creative Commons license and download, remix, or teach using them. All content is stored in Google docs making it easy to access, browse, and download.
A report issued by the United States Government Accountability Office on June 6 confirms a trend of the educational publishing industry: textbook costs to students at higher education institutions are rising 6% per year on average, and have risen 82% over the last decade. The study, ordered by... Read more
Maker Machine is a mobile makerspace that brings 3D printers, DIY robotics, and interactive art to primary schools, libraries, museums and youth clubs. The project is currently fundraising for a tour of Australia to bring our workshop to schools around the country. Started by myself and Sam... Read more
We talk about "community" a lot when it comes to open source, but it's important to remember that just like local communities within a city, town, state, and country, each community has its own culture. One community is not just like another. Each has its own ways of communication and tracking and... Read more
Bill Kendrick created Tux Paint in only a couple of days. A friend asked why there wasn't a free and open source drawing program for kids, something like GIMP. Bill chuckled, knowing that many adults have a hard time learning how to use GIMP, much less kids. He replied, "I can probably put... Read more
I work at a public library in the Washington DC-area and often think about what needs to be designed into the space of future public libraries. I was recently visiting the MAKE magazine website when I saw a fascinating how-to video about building your own portable Raspberry Pi game system.
Attention Linux developers: If you’ve ever wanted to take a class with the Linux Foundation but have been held back by enrollment costs, then here’s your chance to win a scholarship.
If we look at the big picture view, most frequently people think of student contribution as code. But student learning can span HFOSS (Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software) as an item to be studied. You can draw artifacts from HFOSS and not contribute back, although that's not the preferred... Read more