Education

Coursefork: a new way to collaborate on open education

Open source educational materials

What if teachers could fork educational materials just like software developers fork code? Imagine if educators far and wide could collaborate on curriculums beyond their school, district, or university. Imagine a revolutionized education system by way of the open source model. Well, the future is now.

Eric Martindale, Cofounder and CTO of Coursefork, is replacing closed education systems with open ones with a new development tool for educators. It's not a MOOC, it's not Moodle, and it's not edX. It's a GitHub for course creation. It's about building a community. » Read more

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Back to school with open source: Five tools for less stress and better learning

open source resources for school

For parents: Shopping for back-to-school supplies, textbooks, clothing, and other accouterments can be frustrating and expensive. To help take the sting out of this ritual, students and parents might consider turning to free, open source software and tools in preparation for a new year of study. 

For students: Beyond cost savings, open source software empowers students to take ownership of their work and be free of software licensing treadmills. And, perhaps the ultimate educational opportunity is the ability to examine, analyze, and contribute to open source software and tools like these.

For teachers: Turning theory to practice, students can learn by doing as they help with documentation, quality testing, bug review, or even code contributions. Teaching is not simply the delivery of content, via lecture-taxi, to passive minds. Participation and collaboration ignites powerful learning, and empowers students to engage in thoughtful, meaningful scholarship. And open source can be the catalyst.

Here are five great open source applications for learning. Share this list to your favorite student or teacher!

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Open.Michigan Translation Project: case study on health education for Uganda

translating open health materials

Back in January, we launched our translation pilot for Open.Michigan, focusing on two video series for health education. We are thrilled to report that the translation activities are still going strong—57 volunteers to date, 53 videos that include 128 completed translations covering 11 languages, and expansion into our family medicine video series. We are amazed at the skill and dedication of our volunteer translators.

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Higher, open education for India

open education india

India is the second biggest market for MOOCs (massive open online courses) in the world, following the US. In time, however, India may surpass the US. After all, India's population is second to China's and India is third in terms of university enrollment worldwide; respectively the US and China are first and second for university enrollment at the moment but this may soon change.

MOOCs represent a huge opportunity for Indians in terms of an open education revolution. It could potentially give millions access and availability to high quality learning if they have Internet connectivity. First, there are more applicants than slots at top Indian universities. Second, millions of Indians live in poverty and are unable to afford or gain access to a higher education.

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Internet is future of higher education says University of the People

Free online education

Shai Reshef dreams of making quality education affordable and accessible to everyone, and he sees the Internet as the road to get there. Reshef is the founder of University of the People (UoPeople), which bills itself as the world’s first tuition-free, degree-granting, non-profit online university.
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Student programming with Scratch and The Finch

open education in schools

The growing shortage of qualified programmers, computer scientists and software engineers is gathering significant attention in the media and popular press. Recent efforts from the non-profit organization Code.org have helped shine light on the problem—software is the defining industry of the 21st Century and the pool of skilled talent is slim. Conversely, for students who pursue software development the opportunity for employment is colossal: By the year 2020, it is estimated that there will be one million more programming jobs than available students.

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City of Boston teams up with edX to create BostonX

open education programs

The City of Boston has teamed with edX to create BostonX. It will offer free online college courses throughout the city. And it will make MOOCs (massive open online courses) available at community colleges and libraries throughout the city.

BostonX is still in its infancy but the city hopes to make MOOCs more available and accessible to residents and visitors. Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino envisions neighborhoods as "mini campuses" around the city. He believes that this will only increase the city's impact and standing on the nation and world as at the forefront of education.

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Open source tools worth bookmarking

open tools on the web

One of my favorite workshops to give is the one that introduces librarians and their staff to open source software. After defining open source to them and debunking all the FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) out there, I focus my talk on a list of open source tools that can be useful to libraries.

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How open source took root in one Pennsylvania school district

open source schools

I’ve been working in educational technology for more than 17 years and have spent much of my career advocating for open source in schools. For years, open source in education has gotten a bad rap. Superintendents, school boards and teachers frequently misunderstood open source software to be synonymous with dubious code birthed by mad, degenerate "hackers" who spend dark nights scheming to unleash complex and nefarious plots for social disruption.

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Open education ideals from the past and present

Open education ideals

This year Arianna Huffington delivered the commencement address at Smith College and dared the female graduates (it's still a female college) to change how society has been defining success for women from money and power to wonder, wisdom, giving back, and community. 

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