open education resources

Five open source tools libraries need to know about

open source tools for libraries

There was a time when working in the library I found it very frustrating (as many librarians do) that there were so few options for software that actually did what I needed. In libraries we're so used to there being this vendor=software model. Where one vendor controls a product and while there might be other similar products, they too are controlled by a vendor. 

This is why libraries need to take a closer look at open source software. » Read more

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Win books and participate in Open Library Week

Open Library Week

This week Opensource.com will be featuring articles on open source tools for libraries and sharing stories about experiences using open source in the library setting.

Our authors come from an array of backgrounds, but they have one thing in common: they know firsthand and want to help more libraries to understand the power of open source. Serving the community, managing the library system, and providing quality care are all aspects of what makes open source a better choice for libraries.

We are also running a contest! Enter for a chance to win a book of your choice from O'Reilly Media plus five books for your favorite public or academic library of choice. Wow!

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Open education resources combat high textbook prices

Textbooks with a cost

Eben Upton is best known as the man behind the Raspberry Pi, a tiny, $25 computer designed to help turn kids into programmers. Upton priced it at $25 because he thought that's around what an average textbook cost: "I now understand that's an incorrect estimate. If we had a better idea of what school textbooks cost we would have had an easier job with the engineering over the years," he joked to Wired years later.

It's a funny story but also a sad story. Textbooks are expensive. More expensive than most non-students even realize. » Read more

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Trust your students with open source

trust your students with open source

In Zen Buddhism the concept of Shoshin, or "Beginner’s Mind," teaches us to approach learning with openness and a lack of preconceptions. Zen Monk and teacher, Shunryu Suzuki famously wrote: "In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few." When we cast aside that which we think we know, or that which we believe to be true, we can embrace new insights and ideas. As we climb to levels of expertise in our careers and work, we sometimes disconnect from the intense experiences of unknowing and the creative discovery inherent in being a novice.

Children wholly embody a beginner’s mind and naturally exhibit an inquisitiveness and passion to explore the world around them. » Read more

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Salsa: an open source syllabus creator for educators

Help wanted: seeking help for code with an open source project

Who wants to tackle the complex problem of helping educators create learning service agreements? I don’t see too many hands. How about you there, reading this article? Wait, you weren’t aware that this is an issue that impacts the education system? Well, here's an open source project that solves this problem and needs more collaborators. » Read more

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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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Google, Yahoo!, Bing collaborate for personalized education

Collaboration in open education

The Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) specification (14 properties) has been accepted and published as a part of Schema.org, the collaboration between major search engines Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex (press release).

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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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$25,000 prize: "Why Open Education Matters" video competition

$25,000 prize: "Why Open Education Matters" video competition

Creative Commons, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Open Society Foundations are offering up to $25,000 in cash prizes to "the best short videos that explain the use and promise of free, high-quality open educational resources and describe the benefits and opportunities these materials create for teachers, students and schools". » Read more

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VIDEO: Education without limits: Why open textbooks are the way forward

There are 400 million openly licensed materials that can empower teachers to be better instructors through that openness. But there's a big barrier: adoption. In this video, David Wiley talks about the opportunity and the challenges. » Read more

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