learning

Owning and occupying knowledge and learning in the 21st century

education in the 21st century

The communication technologies of the 21st Century have disrupted both the time-honored ways of delivering education and its social and cultural purposes. Today, the debate over delivery is whether the digital technologies and open source applications are actually a means for enlightenment.

Many do not embrace these new technologies because they believe them to be a shoddy imitation of the class room experience. Or, that the millennial mind needs to be fixed, certainly not the educator's.

The debate over purpose is whether online material is primarily a financial tool to create new revenue streams by video recording lectures to reach distance and nontraditional students or an opportunity to systemically restructure the substance and nature of higher education.

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Learning to program, the open source way

Tech Kaleidoscope

Kushal Das thinks he knows what you're doing this summer: joining him and his team of volunteers in free, online programming classes, where you'll learn more than just how to code. In Kushal's hands, you'll also receive a crash course in the open source way.

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Open Math: An argument for spatial and visual learning

tools

A hole exists in primary and secondary education that open math can fill. Visual mathematics, spatial or visual reasoning, or the application of mathematics to nature is seldom included in math curriculums or public schools. This gives me math angst because spatial thinking in particular is crucial to many jobs from builders and London cabbies to astrophysists and should be more prevalent in print and online than it is, especially in our digital age.

This severe lack of spatial thinking in math curriculums and public schools is detrimental to our children's futures. Both parents and policymakers have gone to dizzying lengths to improve math scores and rank. Math curriculums, video games, and tutoring centers abound. Too frequently art, music, recess, and physical education have been cut in favor of improving math scores and a school's rank. And yet despite various promises to improve math proficiency, test scores or ranking have left many children without a love of math, a level of enthusiasm for math, or much beyond basic computational math skills.

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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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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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Introducing the new culture of learning

open source lightning talks

Education is broken, but there is a new culture of learning gaining traction, according to Sebastian Dziallas, a student at the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering.

He describes how fluid learning (departing from the 20th century "stable" structure) is first seeing what's going on (hanging out), then sticking your feet in the water (messing around), and finally getting deeply involved (geeking out). » Read more

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Open brain program aims to improve our working memories

Connections in the classroom

Brain Workshop is an open brain training program that may help children with attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) by focusing on learning and memory. It is designed to improve working memory and problem-solving abilities, or fluid intelligence, and to enhance focus and attention.

If there is an open alternative method to treating ADHD and improving learning for children with ADHD, the potential gains and impact are profound and far-reaching. If such open brain training could be used in school settings to treat children with ADHD, rather than patented medication, then potential gains and impact are even more profound. » Read more

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Does the Indian education system teach students how to collaborate?

Parallels between open source and education

Education, infrastructure development, and the democratization of media are the three key sectors on which progression of any society depends. In the United States in particular, and the western world in general, the foundations of world leadership were laid when the country channeled massive investments into the educational sector. The result was a robust and innovative education system that nurtured research and advancement in society. This robust system consists of individual systems, like Harvard University and MIT, but speaks to a larger, nationwide framework on which educational policies and innovations are built. In fact, many businesses trace their origins to university labs. » Read more

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Teaching the open source way: An interview with Sameer Verma

An interview with Sameer Verma

Dr. Sameer Verma first learned about open source software when a college friend gave him a weekend crash course in Linux. Now a professor of information systems in the College of Business at San Francisco State University, Verma has taken those lessons to heart—and is teaching his own students the open source way.

Recently, we talked with Verma about the challenge of open source pedagogy, about integrating open source technologies and values into the college classroom, about the benefits of learning open source project management, and about his work with One Laptop Per Child. » Read more

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Learning Fedena teaches professors how to collaborate

teacher/learner

This academic year was my first year as assistant professor in the ISIGK (المعهد العالي للإعلامية و التصرف بالقيروان‬ | Tunisia). I enjoy teaching in this institute and being in Kairouan for many personal and professional reasons. Here I will talk about the benefits of using Fedena, a School Management Software (SMS), in the ISIGK (Higher Institute of Computer Science and Management of Kairouan).

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