Education

Hackathon-style sprint event to build Intro to Open Science course

open source participation

The future of open is a dynamic landscape, ripe with opportunities to increase civic engagement, literacy, and innovation. Towards this goal, the Science Program at Creative Commons is teaming up with the Open Knowledge Foundation and members of the open science community to facilitate the building of an open online course, an Introduction to Open Science. The actual build will take place during a hackathon-style "sprint" event on Open Data Day on Saturday, February 23 and will serve as a launch course for the School of Open during Open Education Week (March 11-15).

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Non-profit switches to Linux distribution designed for students

Kramden Institute recipient

Chances are you know about the digital divide, but not about the Kramden Institute's work to help hardworking students in grades 3 - 12 who don't have a computer in their home cross it. You also might be shocked to learn that while information technology seems to be ubiquitous, a full 23% of U.S. households still don't have a computer. » Read more

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A list of open source software options from OSS Watch

get ready to open source

I'm always on the lookout for open source software I might not already know about. I actually keep my own list on Delicious so that when people in workshops approach me and ask me for an open source alternative to the proprietary software they're using, I can recommend something.

So, when I saw OSS Watch recently published a list of open source options for education, I had to peruse it.

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A time for action: One student's commitment to free and open access

good bad ugly

Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves.—Aaron Swartz

I have been a PhD student for less than two years. On the other hand, for six years, I have been a member of the free culture movement, which emphasizes the importance of access to and openness of technology and information. » Read more

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Python for Kids helps adults teach programming to youth

Open up

Computer programming can be a fun hobby, as I learned when I programmed Apple II computers last century. Back then, I'd lie on my bed and dream up some educational game, then run over to my Apple //c to bring the game to life. Sometimes in less than two hours I could go from raw idea to working prototype. The most fun part was sharing the programs I created with friends and having them suggest improvements.

Far from being a solitary activity, programming for me was always a very social activity. It's been about 20 years since then and I've gotten a hankering to get back into it. And the computer programming language Python seems like the best route for me to do so.

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How one parent fosters open source at home through DIY projects

Teacher Learner

This year I made a New Year resolution to foster a more open education at home by joining a growing subculture of society. To start, I began replacing some commercial household products, such as toothpaste, with 'open source' ones. After all, there is no patent on or trademark for baking soda (2/3 cup), salt (4 teaspoons), mint oil (1 tablespoon), or melted coconut oil (2-3 tablespoons)—what you need to make homemade toothpaste. They are readily available and accessible, except for the mint oil perhaps (but you can substitute it with cinnamon or vanilla extract, or other possibilities if you just use your creative, open mind).

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Moebuis Noodles: a collection of math games for kids

open source lightning talks

Dr. Maria Droujkova (@mariadroujkova) and Yelena McManaman authored the book, Moebuis Noodles, to engage kids with early math concepts. Their inspirations are: » Read more

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Open Math: An argument for spatial and visual learning

tools

A hole exists in primary and secondary education that open math can fill. Visual mathematics, spatial or visual reasoning, or the application of mathematics to nature is seldom included in math curriculums or public schools. This gives me math angst because spatial thinking in particular is crucial to many jobs from builders and London cabbies to astrophysists and should be more prevalent in print and online than it is, especially in our digital age.

This severe lack of spatial thinking in math curriculums and public schools is detrimental to our children's futures. Both parents and policymakers have gone to dizzying lengths to improve math scores and rank. Math curriculums, video games, and tutoring centers abound. Too frequently art, music, recess, and physical education have been cut in favor of improving math scores and a school's rank. And yet despite various promises to improve math proficiency, test scores or ranking have left many children without a love of math, a level of enthusiasm for math, or much beyond basic computational math skills.

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A final lesson on teaching open source NoSQL databases

education key

In two recent posts, we described a set of tutorial sessions teaching open source NoSQL databases at SUNY Albany. » Read more

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LISA 2012: What the USENIX Large Installation System Administration conference has going for it

event report

I recently came back from the USENIX Large Installation System Administration (LISA) conference held in San Diego, California, and it was an interesting experience. » Read more

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