Education

Student participation in open source projects (A professor's perspective)

I must start by thanking Mel Chua for visiting us in Connecticut and for prompting/prodding me to think more deeply about how open source and academia work together to accomplish education. I believe I now have a better picture of student and academic participation in open source projects.

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Cooperative principles can be applied in school settings

Most schools today involve rows of students seated at desks, looking toward a teacher. That teacher, who is the focus of all the students, holds the power in the classroom, but has little power to make structural changes within the school system. The educational system in the United States right now is set up to teach kids how to follow directions—and it's not doing that very well, either. Our students learn how to break the rules and not get caught. » Read more

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How open access to research benefits us all

Nearly a decade after the launch of the open access Malaria Journal, the publication released a report about how open access has impacted the study of malaria. Launched in 2002 as the only scientific journal devoted exclusively to malaria research, Malaria Journal became a top ranked journal for tropical medicine within just a few years.1 » Read more

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What's your teaser trailer for open source and student engagement?

5 minutes. A ballroom full of administrators, faculty, and students looking for ways to transform student engagement in engineering education. They may have heard of open source before (vaguely), but you've got 20 slides to convince them that it's actionable. What would you tell them? » Read more

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EPIC FAIL: the sorry state of web education in schools

Anna Debenham brought the house down with this outstanding presentation at the Mozilla Drumbeat Festival. The key take-away: web education in too many schools—both at the high school and university level—is out of date, lousy, and losing students. So much so that it's threatening our countries' digital and economic futures.

A failing grade for teaching the web

Some highlights from Anna's talk: » Read more

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Frontiers in Education: A recap

A number of folks from the Teaching Open Source community had a panel at the Frontiers in Education 2010 conference, which is attended by college and university professors interested in improving engineering education.
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STEM education: Live chat at noon with Al Gore, Dean Kamen, Sally Ride, and the Mythbusters

Today at noon (EST), former Vice President Al Gore, inventor Dean Kamen, astronaut Sally Ride, and "Mythbusters" Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage will join youth from around the world for a town hall style discussion on math and science, the attitudes youth have about them, and their importance for the future.

CAMM Worldwide (Connect a Million Minds), which is hosting the event, is a philanthropic initiative by Time Warner Cable (one of the largest television cable operators in the US) to solve the problems the US faces in STEM education. They pose the problem:  » Read more

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Three unspoken blockers that prevent professors from teaching open source community participation

One of the hardest things about trying to bridge two worlds--for instance, open source communities and academic institutions--is all the stuff you don't hear on a daily basis when you're working remotely. Sometimes it takes several rounds of garlic bread and pasta for people to begin articulating what's blocking them from teaching their students how to participate in FOSS communities. Sebastian Dziallas and I sat down last weekend at the 2010 Frontiers in Education conference with a group of professors from the Teaching Open Source community. "What are the biggest blockers that you're facing in doing this," we asked, "that people in the open source world just don't know about or understand?" Here are their answers.

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Open access overview: Focusing on open access to peer-reviewed research articles and their preprints

This is an introduction to open access (OA) for those who are new to the concept. It doesn't cover every nuance or answer every objection, but it should cover enough territory to prevent the misunderstandings that delayed progress in our early days. » Read more

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Coffee, designers, and U.S. education reform

Imagine for a moment you're a graphic designer working within the marketing department of a major coffee-shop brand. Over the years individuals far higher up in the organization have raised profit margins by putting increasingly lower quality coffee into the customer's cup. They've replaced  experienced coffee bean importers with untrained proxies who make the cheapest selections. They have slashed the marketing and production budgets beyond recognition.

Several years in and sales have tanked. The powers-that-be settle on the designers as the source of the problem. » Read more

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