12 inspiring examples of open source in education this year

No matter where you are on your learning journey, open source has tools and resources for every educational level.
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Leveraging 21st-century education with open source


Open source has a learning solution for you no matter where you are on the education continuum. This year our writers provided readers with a wide variety of articles that spanned that spectrum from PreK-12 to higher education. Here are 12 you won't want to miss:

Learn everything about computers with this Raspberry Pi kit

Technical Editor Seth Kenlon gives readers a primer on computers powered by a Raspberry Pi: "From the day the Raspberry Pi was released in 2012, it has always been intended as an educational platform. Several third-party vendors support the Pi with add-ons and training kits to help learners of all ages explore programming, physical computing, and open source. However, until recently, it's largely been up to the user to figure out how all the pieces on the market fit together. And then I got a CrowPi." The article describes how you can learn everything you need to know about computers using CrowPi, an educational development board that can also run as a laptop.

Teach anyone how to code with Hedy

Joshua Allen Holm introduces readers to an open source alternative for younger students new to programming: Hedy. You will be amazed at how easy it is to get started with this new language. As Holm explains, "Hedy takes a gradual approach and slowly becomes more complex as students work through Hedy's levels. As the levels progress, the language gains new features and eventually becomes more Python-like. There are currently seven levels available, but more are planned." Be sure to check out the entire article for more information.

How I teach Python on the Raspberry Pi 400 at my public library

After a long year of putting plans on hold, declining COVID case numbers in the United States brought back community-based programming courses. After being fully vaccinated, I offered my local public library system a chance to engage young learners with Python and Raspberry Pi. This article provides an easy-to-follow recipe on how you can do the same in your community.

Why my public library chooses Linux and open source

In an interview for Opensource.com, IT director Cindy Murdock Ames tells readers why her public library uses Linux and open source. She started working at the Crawford County Federated Library System in 1998, shortly after graduating with her master's degree in library science (MLS). A fellow library person introduced her to Linux. "The first project I completed on my own was converting all the public computers at Meadville Public Library to Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP)-based thin clients at the end of 1999," Ames says. Since then, Ames has found several open source software options for both patron use and library business.

Essential open source tools for an academic organization

You really need tools if you are going to leverage open source in your educational institution. That is exactly what Quinn Foster provides in their article on essential open source tools for an academic organization. "Whether you're starting your own academic open source programs office (OSPO) or an open source project, finding the right tools and methods for managing your unique community can be challenging if you don't know where to look," they write. The article shares tools they found useful in establishing an OSPO at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

5 handy guides to open source for teachers

Community manager Jen Wike Huger challenges readers to be part of an open classroom by "being brave enough to learn alongside your students." She writes, "As a teacher, you might be used to having all the answers, but the digital world is ever-changing and evolving." Be sure to get her complete list of five handy guides to open source tools for teachers.

How Linux made a school pandemic-ready

Robert Maynord, a teacher at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Monona, Wisconsin, used Linux and open source software long before the COVID-19 pandemic. When he began teaching 20 years ago, he says, "The school had only eight functioning computers, all running Windows 95." Through his expertise in and enthusiasm for Linux and open source software, Maynord has transformed the school community, its faculty, and its students in kindergarten to eighth grade. In this exclusive interview, read more about his journey, including his experiences using Linux for remote education.

How open source provides students with real-world experience

Laura Novich writes about how contributing to open source gives students the real-world experience required to land a good job: "The hardest thing to do when starting a new career is to get experience. Often this creates a paradox. How do you get work with no experience, and how do you get experience with no work?" Laura notes that contributing to open source projects provides an opportunity to work for companies that make you feel important and, in the process, gain the experience you need to find employment. Read the article for more of her insights.

How to teach open source beyond business

When first starting at university, Irit Goihman writes, "I used Linux and open source software but didn't really understand the open source model." In this article, read how she co-founded the Beyond program to connect university students with open source culture and help them gain experience in industry so they can eventually establish a career in open source.

How my team built an open source learning experience platform

Tesh Patel likes to share his passion for learning, building teams, and technology. Learn how this passion led him to replace a proprietary learning management system (LMS) with an open source LMS. His team is developing a learning experience platform that incorporates open source software while providing a personalized learning experience for its users and combining disparate learning resources into a single portal.

5 useful Moodle plugins to engage students

Moodle recently celebrated its 20th anniversary as an open learning management platform. What makes Moodle unique is its use of plugins, which extend the usefulness of this widely used LMS. Sergey Zarubin shares five useful Moodle plugins that will motivate and engage your learners. If these plugins do not fit your needs, be sure to check the Moodle plugins directory for more information.

Building an open source community health analytics platform

"Running an entirely open source project can be cumbersome," says Quinn Foster. "Much of this comes from maintaining a community for the project and managing data such as the project's code, issue tracking, and repositories." In this article, Foster gives an update on Mystic, a community health analytics platform that can compute and publish metrics for any open source project. The project is still under development, but its potential at Rochester Institute of Technology and in the open source community as a whole is remarkable.

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Educator, entrepreneur, open source advocate, life long learner, Python teacher. M.A. in Educational Psychology, M.S. Ed. in Educational Leadership, Linux system administrator.

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