Education

Hampshire College distributes free software bundle to all incoming students

open undergraduate college

Hampshire student and FSF campaigns organizer Kira shares the success of their ambitious project to help fellow students get started with free software. The achievements of Kira's organization, LibrePlanet/Students for Free Culture, is exciting and replicable outside of Hampshire. Kira provides suggestions to help other students realize the same changes at their schools.

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Open Faculty Expertise grant helps teachers gain necessary expertise

teacher learner

A group of colleagues—Stoney Jackson (Western New England University), Sean Goggins (Drexel University), Darci Burdge (Nassau Community College), Lori Postner (Nassau Community College), and Greg Hislop (Drexel University)—and I have recently been awarded an NSF TUES Type 2 grant we’re calling OpenFE for Open Faculty Expertise. The expertise that we’re trying to build here is in the area of supporting student learning via participation in humanitarian FOSS (HFOSS) projects.

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Open source provides schools with low-cost, high quality software

open source in education

Open source can provide schools with high quality, well-functioning IT solutions at low cost, according to a case study done by VTT, a Finnish government research institute. The researchers looked at the use of Linux and other open source applications by the Kasavuoren Secondary School in Kauniainen, a municipality near Helsinki. The case study, available since May 2011, underpins a plea to schools to increase their use of free and open source software. 

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When I realized why open source rocks

participation in open source

West Virginia: a state made up entirely of the Appalachian Mountain range. Whether you're there to experience the beautiful New River Gorge, or to watch the Mountaineers play at home, the mountainous theme never subsides. The Appalachian region has the Most Beautiful award locked down, however its height and elevation face a slightly different opponent. Towering over the city of Morgantown, WV, home to West Virginia University and the Mountaineers, stands a fierce competitor. An engineering marvel, over ten stories tall. The Engineering Science Building!

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Parents of non-traditional learners advocate for open education

follow the child

While Thomas Edison is often lauded as the most prolific American inventor, his mother, Nancy Edison, and how she fostered an open education and an open mind in her son is often overlooked.  When a headmaster labelled Edison as being 'addled,' slow, and unteachable, his mother disagreed and decided to withdraw her son from school and teach him at home.  She knew her son was a bright, curious, creative child who thought divergently yet was often disorganized, disruptive, and hyperactive; today he would most likely be diagnosed as having ADHD.  

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Zimbabwe pushes for open education despite oppression

make things better

Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. For many years, it was regarded as the breadbasket of Africa. But since Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980, Robert Mugabe has been the leader, and the fate of the country has largely been tied to him and his policies.

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Scratch, a programming language for kids

learn

Scratch is a free educational programming language for kids, available in 50 different languages and runs on just about any modern computer: Linux, Macintosh, or Windows. The new guide book, Super Scratch Programming Adventure!, was authored by The LEAD Project (Learning through Engineering, Art, and Design), in Hong Kong, to make Scratch more accessible to children around the world by teaching them how to use it. 

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Graduate students in Finland solve real problems beyond the classroom

education the key

The School of Business and Information Management at Oulu University of Applied Sciences (OUAS) created an open source project management software named OpixProject. The objective was not to create something that would compete with the current project management software, but to place students in realistic problem-solving environments in order to reduce the gap between the concepts covered in the classroom and real-world experiences. » Read more

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California passes groundbreaking open textbook legislation

Free the textbook

It’s official. In California, Governor Jerry Brown has signed two bills (SB 1052 and SB 1053) that will provide for the creation of free, openly licensed digital textbooks for the 50 most popular lower-division college courses offered by California colleges. The legislation was introduced by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and passed by the California Senate and Assembly in late August. » Read more

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Community spotlight: Carolyn Fox, pushing for openness at school and in the library

five questions with an opensource contributor

In our schools and our libraries, Carolyn Fox believes we can push for more openness. Just entertaining the idea of it would be a huge step in the right direction for many who aren't aware of the open source movement beyond software that is underfoot.

Through work with her son (who is gifted and has special needs) and working as a librarian, wivenhoe (as she is referred to here at opensource.com) has learned that by promoting open source tools and programs in our daily life—discussions with friends, family and coworkers—we help open up the world around us, bringing better solutions to societal problems.  » Read more

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