Education

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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Open source educational tools for 2014

Open source educational resources

Last year was a big year of open source learning for me. I had the pleasure of meeting a bunch of awesome people in the open source field, attending my first OSCon, and being a Community Moderator here on Opensource.com. I learned more than I can say last year, especially in education. Here, I'll share with you some my favorite (and super interesting) open source educational tools for teachers, students, parents, and others to use in 2014. » Read more

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Where to start: Upgrading your school system to open source

open education upgrade

One short article cannot hope to encapsulate the minutea for implementing open source in school districts and schools, however this primer sets the basis for the opportunities and strategies to achieve success.

When I speak about using open source I am not limiting it to replacing commercial office productivity suites with LibreOffice, as one example. This article speaks to the pervasive utilization of operating systems, productivity software, management software to all areas of the curriculum and business of a school district. It considers the relative ease for implementing open source in elementary schools as well as highly complex secondary schools under a diversity of programs and curricular requirements. » Read more

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Release early, release often in scientific research

Release early, release often in scientific research

Why don't academics discuss research before starting the work?

In a recent blog postJack Kelly asked this simple question, and it is a striking one for those of us who are familiar with collaborating at high levels as part of an open source community. One of the pillars of the open source way is rapid prototyping and the idea of: release early, release often.

In the scientific research community, however, the history of and current state of affairs is closed and secretive. Jack Kelly even began his post with:

Warning: this is a hopelessly idealistic proposal...

» Read more

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Opigno aims to be a true e-learning platform

e-learning platform runs on open source

Over the last five years, e-learning platforms have gained popularity and notoriety for alleviating some of the strain caused by our education problems. Namely, for helping bring resources and materials to classrooms and countries that can't afford the proprietary and closed options. » Read more

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Year-in-Review: Education hot topics on Opensource.com

Top 10 open education articles in 2013

The popularity of our Education channel on Opensource.com continued to soar in 2013, with our education-related content consistently drawing outstanding page views on the site. In fact, our top two education stories (listed below) were among the top three most-viewed articles on Opensource.com in 2013!

» Read more

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Gaming for education to strengthen schools in 2014

gaming for open education in 2014

For a recap on this year in open education, it's impossible to ignore the role of gaming, including massively multiplayer open online role-playing games (MMORGs or MMOs). MMOs have created quite a stir in education and are being recognized for their potential for better learning. MMOs differ from single-user games and are a far cry from much earlier video games. First, they are played via the Internet. Second, they enable very large numbers of players to interact with one another in a virtual world. And third, the games continue regardless of whether someone is playing or not. » Read more

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Open source at the heart of most startups these days

open business culture

Bringing together people with high-energy and motivation to create startups that have the potential to make a positive impact on society is a great endeavour. It takes vision to bring together inspiring leaders on one platform and create an environment where their best skills are put to use for a larger cause. C3 Inspire is one of those organizations and thrives on such a vision.

I spoke with Alim Maherali, founder of C3 Inspire, and that talk put a lot of things in perspective when it comes to building and successfully running an organization based on the open source principles of collaboration, connections, and sharing.

In this interview, he tells me about the new culture of startups where there's a reigning sense of collaboration and the overwhelming use of open source software.

Read more in my interview with Alim Maherali. » Read more

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Open source for homeschooling or supplementing your child's education

open education resources

I never realized how much I rely on open source and public libraries until I started homeschooling last year. When I started to write for Opensource.com, my son was in school. He's nearly eight years old, but he's already been in both public and private schools and in both special needs and gifted programs. I've thus been on both sides of the educational spectrum. As a librarian, former teacher, and homeschooling mother, I am familiar with what formal schools can offer and what homeschooling and open source resources (programs, tools, etc.) can offer. » Read more

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