Education

OER Commons a step forward, but needs improvement

open resources

Teachers and students have a new portal to find open educational resources: OER Commons. It is the first comprehensive open learning network where teachers and students from kindergarten to graduate school can access OER materials, share, and work together. Users can search, browse, and discuss over 32,000 open educational resources. Examples include: university courses, math or physic stimulations, digital textbooks, and elementary lesson plans, worksheets, and activities. » Read more

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State standards, open source, and Universal Design for Learning

State standards, open source, and Universal Design for Learning

Common Core State Standards and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) have designed standards and frameworks to support learning in the classroom. However, their approaches on English Language Arts and the use of digital technology and open source need to be better aligned.

Common Core State Standards is a state-led initiative to provide a set core of common knowledge for children to succeed in life and learning. Each state has the option to adopt the standards or not. It is primarily based on performance and on expectations of what children are to learn at every grade level and subject. The Common Core State Standards claims that this practice will help better prepare children for high school, college, the workforce, and a global economy. The standards are heavily based on print and book-based learning. » Read more

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Protests demonstrate growing demand for open access to research

protests demand open access to academic research

Last week, Winston Hide committed what he called "a toxic career move." Hide, an associate professor of bioinformatics and computational biology at the Harvard School of Public Health, publicly resigned from the editorial board of Genomics, an influential journal in his field. » Read more

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How open educational resources from pre-K to 12th grade present accessibility problems

Open educational resources

Digital technology and open educational resources have enormous potential and power with young children. For parents of special needs children, especially those who are blind or visually impaired, dyslexic, or physically or cognitively impaired, the situation is compounded. Parents usually have to advocate to ensure that teachers and schools, even preschools, have educational materials are accessible and available for their child's use. » Read more

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Nepal and the impact of open source

Nepal and the impact of open source

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world with many gender, educational, and digital divides. Yet it is gradually being transformed by open source and digital technology. There's little question that as Nepal seeks to help its citizens become a part of the global digital economy, it faces a series of challenges: political instability, remote physical access, poor infrastructure, and rural poverty. In April 2012, the World Economic Forum released a report that identified Nepal as one of the least networked countries in the world, at the bottom of world rankings. » Read more

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The day TuxPaint became contagious

edu scratch

I work at a public library with 28 Linux stations made publicly available in four separate rooms. The room in which I spend most of my time has 10 computers, and elementary and middle school students stop by daily after school to use them. About 90 percent of the children use the computers for games, and about 10 percent use them for doing homework. Very few use the computer for creative graphics applications. I'm bent on changing that. » Read more

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Teaching open source: Team operating principles that can be used on any project

Team operating principles: the open source way

Matt Jadud and Mel Chua have been friends of opensource.com from the beginning. Together with others they "are working on (the) Craft of Electronics, a curriculum for college-level electronics in a craft-first (and theory-sometime-later) format, through learning from, participating in, and contributing to the open hardware movement."

In efforts to explain what it means to operate in the "open source way," Matt wrote a set of guidelines for their team. We thought he was on to something so we’ve taken the liberty (with Matt’s blessing, of course) to build on what he started. We think they make fine tips for anyone contemplating a project the open source way. » Read more

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Evolution of open source and commercial providers for learning management systems

Evolution of open source and commercial providers for lms

The recent announcement by Blackboard (Bb) that it was acquiring two Moodle service providers was quite interesting to anyone who follows open source in higher education. Over the years, Blackboard has emerged as a market leader in the learning management system (LMS) arena, through both product development and acquisition.  At the same time, Blackboard has attracted considerable heat and a large dose of scorn for a patent the company filed and tried to enforce. That patent was viewed by many to be an attempt to corner the LMS market and to claim invention of many LMS features in use well before Blackboard’s supposed date of invention. (Read coverage of the long story and eventual Blackboard loss in the courts.) Particularly for fans of open source, this sort of behavior does not make Blackboard an admired company, and acquisitions in the Moodle niche are much more likely to raise eyebrows than cheers. » Read more

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Five Questions with LadyAda (Limor Fried)

Five Questions

This 5-questions interview is with Limor Fried (Ladyada of Adafruit Industries), and in it I ask some questions about open hardware and, more specifically, the Flora, her newest open hardware creation. » Read more

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