tools

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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Four Linux distros for kids

Linux operating systems for kids

I can see the brightness of curiosity in my six year old niece Shuchi's eyes when she explores a mobile phone or manipulates the idiot box with its remote control or becomes creatively destructive with any other electronic device. She, like a lot of kids her age, love experimenting.

This curiosity reaches its peak when she sits in front of my laptop or her father's laptop. A lot of times, however, I observe that she is lost in complicated applications that are suitable only to adults. An operating system that an adult uses and the system running it can look like a beast to a lot of kids. These applications are beyond the comprehension of very young kids and do not provide an ideal (and playful) introduction to computers. Futher, adults' laptops and tablets do not serve as a good learning environment for any kid (younger or older) who is just onboarding into the world of computing. Besides, letting a kid run wild on a computer with an online connection can be daunting for the parents. » Read more

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Top 5 open source project management tools in 2014

open source project management

Last year, Opensource.com covered some popular open source project management tools (ProjectLibre, ]project-open[, and OpenProject.) We found these articles to be valuable to our readers, so here we take a look forward at what we think 2014 holds for these open source project management tools.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but each tool listed here has been deliberately selected based on a rich feature set. » Read more

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10 tools to help open source cities maintain transparency

tranparency for open government

Today, transparency is a critical aspect in all areas of government. With Internet access, citizens are looking for more information about what is going on in their cities and are looking for more ways to hold their government representatives accountable. One of the best ways to provide transparency and make it easier for citizens to obtain the city services they require is to become an open source city. An open source city is one that uses a variety of new tools, including apps, to make information availble to citizens and interact with them as well.

Following are 10 tools to help open source cities maintain transparency. » Read more

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University course trades textbook for Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi used at SUNY Albany

The Raspberry Pi has replaced the textbook at the State University of New York at Albany in the class, Information in the 21st Century.

Ethan Sprissler is the instructor for the 900 student class (split into two sections, 400 and 500 students respectively). He uses the Raspberry Pi instead of the traditional textbook in order to: » Read more

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Four types of open source communities

open source communities

Open source software is not only about programming code. There exist a vast amount of different organizational structures that facilitate the development and diffusion of open source software. In this article, I explain the main types of organizations within the open source community.

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Open, pop culture R&D lab for the public domain

open break dance

Release early, often, and with rap music.

Evan Roth is a maker of things with a specific interest in tools of empowerment, open source, and popular culture. We covered him and some of his work recently in an article about how open source is disrupting visual art. And here, we give you some insight into the guy behind open source rap, graffiti, and Brooklyn’s first and only R&D lab for the public domain: F.A.T. Lab.

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What's your go-to note-taking app?

pencils

A good year starts off with good ideas. But, how do you remember them all, along with the related information that is helpful for making them into realities? There are a multitude of options, from simple notepads to more robust filing systems, and we all search for the one that's just right. So, beyond finding a tool that you can easily access from your smartphone, laptop, or tablet: What do you look for in the perfect note-taking app?

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The secret ingredient in open source

Secret ingredient in open source

Open source has a secret. Do you know what it is? It has to do with a common characteristic found across successful open source communities that set them apart from others.

For those that are new to open source, understanding the intricacies of how open source communities share, communicate, and govern themselves may take a while to understand. Each community is different, but there are a few commonalities between them that lay the foundation for a successful project. If you’re just getting into open source, be sure to read more about the different tools that organize communities of practice in The Open Source Way book.

For those open source veterans out there, I think you’ll agree that » Read more

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The case for digital literacy and open source in classrooms

learn

Municipalities across America should be working to bring open source educational tools to schoolchildren so they will have the necessary digital literacy skills to tap into their creativity and imagination, or even to provide them with valuable future life and workforce skills. And the case of the Feoffees of the Grammar School in Ipswich, Massachusetts—the oldest charitable trust in America—illustrates this point well. 

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