Education

Productively lost in Cape Town: POSSE goes South Africa

What can you do with a boardroom, a projector, and a wifi access point? A movie night, you say? Nope. Just a few tools is all it took to get Mel Chua and Jan Wildeboer (from Red Hat) and Pierros Papadeas (from Fedora) together with local organizer Michael Adeyeye from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. The event? A week-long workshop on the principles of open source communities and how to employ these in university-level teaching--in Cape Town, South Africa. » Read more

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Source wars: Blackboard sets its sights on being more "free" than Moodle

Recently Blackboard, the learning management system (LMS) company, announced its plans to seek new business using one of the open source way's most attractive tools to educators: offering their services for free (as-in-no-cost).

Meanwhile, Moodle, the free and open source software LMS, is working to maximize community resources and sharing in its next release (see the Moodle 2.0 release preview).   » Read more

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Open education resources: Moving from sharing to adopting

Educators have been sharing open educational resources (OERs) for over 12 years now. There are literally tens of thousands of them out there, many structured as collections of course materials known as open courseware (OCW), some structured as complete open courses, some structured as complete open textbooks, and many not really structured at all. The “sharing ball” is rolling. There are more materials that need to be shared, but the eventual sharing of these materials has now become inevitable.

What is anything but inevitable is the adoption of any of these open educational resources. As a thought experiment, pick your favorite institution you believe is committed to open education. Have they ever adopted an open education resource produced at another institution for in-class use? If they have an open courseware collection, can you find a single third-party OER in the collection? If even the institutions that claim to be committed to open educational resources aren’t reusing them, who will? » Read more

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Glen Moriarty talks about empowering open education with NIXTY, part 3

In part 1 of our interview with Glen Moriarty, CEO of NIXTY, he talked about the importance of open education. In part 2, he addressed the community's involvement and NIXTY's challenges. We have just one question left:

How do you see NIXTY empowering open education? » Read more

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A hole in the wall: How children learn without a teacher

Sugata Mitra began with a question: “What would happen if I cut a hole in the wall that separates my New Delhi office building from a neighboring slum... and embedded a computer for children to access?”

What he found led him into over a decade of research on how groups of children, when left with a computer, can teach themselves just about anything. » Read more

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Content management and the open source way with CEO of NIXTY, Part 2

In part 2 of this series on open education course tool NIXTY, Glen Moriarty, the organization's CEO, talks about the open source community and addressing NIXTY's challenges. Read part 1.

» Read more

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South Africa welcomes POSSE

Next week, we'll be live blogging from POSSE South Africa on opensource.com, and you'll get to witness some of the bridge-building between academia and open source.  You and others like you can take away lessons that help universities evolve in a world where open source is a major focus and enabler of the future.
» Read more

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Generation Facebook and higher education

I read Gary Hamel's piece, The Facebook Generation vs. the Fortune 500, with great interest. In it, he talks about the tensions that traditional, cubicle-land corporations will likely face as a creative, connected workforce comes on-line. I was particularly interested because, as a member of the higher educational establishment, I'm part of the pipeline, sitting in-between K-12 and the workplace. More importantly, I think that higher education faces many of the same challenges that the Fortune 500 does. So, with that said, I'd like to parallel Gary's piece, edging towards the extreme in my reflection (playing agent provocateur, perhaps) on the tensions between the Facebook generation and higher ed. » Read more

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Can academia "release early, release often?"

A few months ago, opensource.com ran a story on a textbook for college students learning programming (Can Professors Teach Open Source?, Greg DeKoenigsberg, Apr 6 2010). The textbook, "Practical Open Source Software Exploration," was created the open source way on the Teaching Open Source wiki. (Read Greg's article for more on what we mean by creating the textbook "the open source way".)

Although the textbook was written with students in mind, it turns out that professors are pretty important when it comes to teaching, too. » Read more

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A game changer? An interview with Glen Moriarty, CEO of NIXTY, Part 1

A few months ago, I was perusing the web and ran across an article titled “Online Course Construction Gets a 'Do-It-Yourself' Web Site.” Hook. The first line was, “A new player entered the field of open online education last week: NIXTY, a Web site that allows any user to take and create courses for free.” Line. Then came a quote from David Wiley: » Read more

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