Education

OER university practices go well beyond open enrollment

open source your university

While mainstream attention has been focused on MOOCs, the Open Educational Resource university (OERu) has been developing a parallel education offering which is distinctively open.

The OERu aims to provide free learning to all students worldwide using OER learning materials with pathways to gain credible qualifications from recognized education institutions.

Like MOOCs, the OERu will have free open enrollment. But OERu’s open practices go well beyond open enrollment.

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How to organize an education hackathon

open education resources

On February 23, I participated in my first hackathon event; not a coding event as typical of computer programmers, but an education hackathon—a "Course Sprint" where a group of 14 individuals (educators, open science advocates, community members, and students) collaborated to design and build an open, online course, An Introduction to Open Science and Data, for the School of Open on P2PU.

Creative Commons hosted the event at their office in Mountain View, CA and invited both face-to-face and remote participants, of which I was one of four remote. The event was held in support of Open Data Day to raise awareness and involve communities worldwide in exploring how to liberate, promote, and publish open data.

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Getting started with Koha, an open source library system

open books

When I think back, I can't remember my first involvement in the Koha community. I remember talking to Chris Cormack on Instant Messenger nearly everyday before ever really communicating with the community has a whole. I remember trying to find a job working with Koha when it was time for me to move on from my first job, but I still don't remember really being involved in the community. I read a great post by Siobhan Mckeown about participating in the WordPress community and I highly recommend reading it, but I thought maybe I should do a Koha variation for those who want to get involved.

My own personal story started with a mentor, Chris, and lead to becoming Documentation Manager and a Koha trainer. But we all have different paths and different stories, so I asked the community to answer a few questions to help me produce a well rounded post for you (following Siobhan's model).

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Open Education Week: March 11-15

teacher learner

The OpenCourseWare Consortium organized Open Education Week to raise awareness about open source, open education, and open educational resources. Participants include open textbook organizations, academic institutions from around the world, and other valuable open education ogranizations. All events are free and open to everyone. » Read more

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Growing the next generation of open source hackers

favoring open source

As a parent of three (children aged: 10, 7, and 5), I'm eager to share with my kids the values that attracted me to open source and the hacker ethos: sharing and building great things together, taking control of your environment, and embracing technology as a means of expression, rather than as media to be consumed. In other words: » Read more

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LiveCode is next generation version of HyperCard

open source environment

In 1987, Apple created a program called HyperCard. If you haven’t heard of it, all you need to know is that tens of millions of end user programmers adopted it. HyperCard was the easiest and most popular end user programming environment ever created.

LiveCode is like a next generation version of HyperCard. It is used to create simple one-off apps and utilities to solve day-to-day problems. As a production-quality, natural language hypermedia environment, LiveCode runs on all major operating systems (Linux, Mac, and Windows) and can generate code for all major desktop platforms, as well as all major mobile platforms (Android, iOS). They even got it up and running on the Raspberry Pi recently

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Boundless, the free alternative to textbooks

free the textbook

Boundless, the company that builds on existing open educational resources to provide free alternatives to traditionally costly college textbooks, has released 18 open textbooks under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA), the same license used by Wikipedia. Schools, students and the general public are free to share and remix these textbooks under this license. The 18 textbooks cover timeless college subjects, such as accounting, biology, chemistry, sociology, and economics. Boundless reports that students at more than half of US colleges have used its resources, and that they expect its number of users to grow. » Read more

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openStudent replaces traditional student achievement system

learn

The province of British Columbia started out with a vision over 10 years ago to have "one student record, stored in one location, accessed by all authorized users." And all but four districts in the province, and many independent schools, followed this vision by adopting BCeSIS as their core student information system. Now, after eight years in production, the system will be discontinued by the vendor in 2015, which means all districts will be forced to consider alternative solutions.

From the ashes of a commercial product rises the implementation of an open source solution: openStudent. It is licensed under the Education Community Source license (modified Apache 2.0) to ensure that they have better control of the code.

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Why libraries are intrinsically open and should adopt open source solutions

open source libraries

Sharing is a fundamental part of the open source philosophy, and the same goes for libraries. Spreading, disseminating, and breaking down barries to gaining knowledge is a core mission of most library systems and their staff.

That that end, libraries—which are essentially hubs of knowledge and gathering places for learning and continuing daily education—may choose to implement open source tools and software. » Read more

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Open source education program, CanDo, handles big data

developing possibilities

In 2005, Arlington Career Center teacher David Welsh had an unmanageable list of 77 Video and Media Technology competencies to evaluate for each student in his classes. A Yorktown High School computer science teacher Jeff Elkner was teaching his students to program in Python and bursting with enthusiasm for engaging students and teachers in open source processes. I had a new job leading the SchoolTool project with a charge from entrepreneur and philanthropist Mark Shuttleworth to create open source administrative software for schools around the world.

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