students

University course teaches computer-human interaction with open hardware and OSS

open hardware class

Most people think of their interactions with computer systems to occur via a keyboard, mouse, or touchscreen. However, humans evolved to interact with thier environment and each other in much more intricate ways. Bridging the gap between the computational systems of the digital world and the natural world is being studied and tested in the Physical Computing course at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany.

As a professor of the course, we are currently leveraging a variety of open source software and hardware projects to learn about fundamental core concepts with hands-on experiences and implementation of open source tools. On the software side, we use an open-source IDE (Arduino Sketch) and develop 3D printer designs using OpenSCAD. On the open source hardware portion of the course, we utilize the Arduinos and the PrintrBot Simple. » Read more

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Open education author shares valuable tools for any operating system

open education resources

I first read about Chris Whittum in an article on Fosters.com. Once I read that he was interested in using open source software in education, I knew I had to learn more about him. After working in education, Chris decided to share his knowledge in an eBook called: Energize Education Through Open Source: Using Open Source Software to Enhance Learning. This resource focuses on how schools can use open source to continue to offer great lessons to students without the high price tag of similar proprietary products. » Read more

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Ellie the robot is ready to compete

open source robotics

Meet Ellie, a six week old robot weighing 100 lbs who can launch a two foot diameter exercise ball over 10 feet in the air! Ellie even has eyes: a webcam fitted to the front of her chassis that uses code written in Python running on a Raspberry Pi to process images. Ellie’s main code is written in Java and allows her mecanum wheels to drive, her claw to catch exercise balls, and her kicker to launch balls into the air. In just a few weeks Ellie will be competing along with more than 50 other robots in her first competition.

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Hacking computer science education at Khan Academy

an online, free student education

The following literary transduction is based on a lecture by John Resig given at the Rochester Institute of Technology's (RIT) Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction, and Creativity (MAGIC). » Read more

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How computer science teachers can better reach their students

open source learning

Mr. James Allen

Imagine being a high school freshman walking down the halls of your new school on the very first day. You somehow make it to first period without becoming epically lost in the unfamiliar halls. Finally, the bell rings, signaling that you've officially made it through your first high school class. Taking a look at your schedule, you see your next class is Exploring Computer Science. You think: "Wow, computers! This should be fun!"

For me, this idea and feeling of fun didn't end of that first day. It continued throughout the year as a student of Mr. Allen's Exploring Computer Science class.

I first met Mr. James Allen at an Akron Linux User Group meetup this past summer. He had learned that a future student of his (me) was presenting on Scratch and the Raspberry Pi and took the time to see my presentation (about an hour drive!). That's a dedicated teacher. That's Mr. Allen. » 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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Training college students to contribute to the Linux kernel

open source courses at universities

Following my recent post on the initiatives now in place to rebalance the demographics of the Linux Kernel community, I would like to share a set of specific training activities to get beginners, specifically college students, involved in the kernel.

These were created by an enthusiastic group at Red Hat, including Matthew Whitehead and Priti Kumar, and unfolded on campus at Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteRensselaer Center for Open Source (RCOS), and State University of New York at Albany. » Read more

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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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Digital technology and creativity in the classroom prepares kids for the future

digital literacy

Educators in the US and worldwide are increasingly preoccupied with: 1) how children learn, 2) how best to prepare children for the future, and 3) what role digital technology plays in the classroom—all of which is controversial and widely debated. Various theories and models of education and intelligence have played a large role in shaping this discussion. Noted developmental psychologist, Howard Gardner of Harvard's Graduate School of Education, has been instrumental for many years.

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A professor learns how to change his methods to open source

open source teaching and learning

At the age of 77, I have published my first eBook and have a MOOC. These were not endeavors I ever intended to undertake.

I wanted to write Forms for a Future—a book about the civic discussions we need to have to have a future worthy of living. So, in the fall of 2007, after a 15 year absence from the world of education, I negotiated an adjunct position in the Honors College, figuring a small undergraduate class would help focus my attention. The course met three times a week and had three required full length textbooks.

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