Education

Why children should learn to code, even if they don't have a future in IT

Teaching your children open source skills

By day, Red Hat product manager Burr Sutter works to make developers more successful and productive with open source tools, technologies, and techniques. So it's no surprise that he wants to ensure his own children know how to solve technical problems as well. So when summer vacation rolled around this year, Sutter encouraged his son to complete some courses on CodeAcademy and to sign up for a couple of iD Tech Camps.

In this interview, Sutter talks about why he wants his children to know how to fix the tech tools they use every day, how he balances that with other "kid" activities, and more. Parents who are looking for a way to get their children to learn code, to fix their computers, or just learn how online communities work may pick up some tips from Sutter's experiences. » Read more

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Digital technology and creativity in the classroom prepares kids for the future

digital literacy

Educators in the US and worldwide are increasingly preoccupied with: 1) how children learn, 2) how best to prepare children for the future, and 3) what role digital technology plays in the classroom—all of which is controversial and widely debated. Various theories and models of education and intelligence have played a large role in shaping this discussion. Noted developmental psychologist, Howard Gardner of Harvard's Graduate School of Education, has been instrumental for many years.

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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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The Open Access Week community to hit its stride at this year's event

to compete or collaborate

A celebration of the open access movement, Open Access week hosts events that are aimed at highlighting how open access has transformed the landscape of society due to increased access to scientific research. » Read more

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The disruptive business model for higher education is open source

open source your university

How do you make money from something that is free? Borrow some moves from the commercial open source playbook.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are disrupting the higher education marketplace the way free and open source software disrupted the world of proprietary software more than two decades ago. The disruption in higher education, however, will be different in two key ways:

  1. It will happen twice as fast.
  2. It may spark a competition far different from the one you expect.  

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Four ways to better educate girls inside and outside the classroom

open education for girls worldwide

International Day of the Girl is today and a reminder how an open education is critical to the empowerment of women worldwide. In the western world, we often take universal public education for granted. In many parts of the world, however, millions of girls do not attend school and are denied an education.

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Open source programs to get more kids to code

open source coding

At OSCON this year, Regina ten Bruggencate and Kim Spiritus gave a talk called How To Get More Kids To Code. I got in late (I was waiting in line to get a free signed copy of The Art of Community by Jono Bacon) so I missed the beginning of this session, but came in as they were demoing Scratch. This is a website where kids can play little games (available in 40 languages) and then click the 'See inside' button to see the code behind the game in a kid friendly way. It’s a great way to get kids to see code and learn not just programming, but the concepts of open source.

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A professor learns how to change his methods to open source

open source teaching and learning

At the age of 77, I have published my first eBook and have a MOOC. These were not endeavors I ever intended to undertake.

I wanted to write Forms for a Future—a book about the civic discussions we need to have to have a future worthy of living. So, in the fall of 2007, after a 15 year absence from the world of education, I negotiated an adjunct position in the Honors College, figuring a small undergraduate class would help focus my attention. The course met three times a week and had three required full length textbooks.

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Coursefork: a new way to collaborate on open education

Open source educational materials

What if teachers could fork educational materials just like software developers fork code? Imagine if educators far and wide could collaborate on curriculums beyond their school, district, or university. Imagine a revolutionized education system by way of the open source model. Well, the future is now.

Eric Martindale, Cofounder and CTO of Coursefork, is replacing closed education systems with open ones with a new development tool for educators. It's not a MOOC, it's not Moodle, and it's not edX. It's a GitHub for course creation. It's about building a community. » Read more

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Back to school with open source: Five tools for less stress and better learning

open source resources for school

For parents: Shopping for back-to-school supplies, textbooks, clothing, and other accouterments can be frustrating and expensive. To help take the sting out of this ritual, students and parents might consider turning to free, open source software and tools in preparation for a new year of study. 

For students: Beyond cost savings, open source software empowers students to take ownership of their work and be free of software licensing treadmills. And, perhaps the ultimate educational opportunity is the ability to examine, analyze, and contribute to open source software and tools like these.

For teachers: Turning theory to practice, students can learn by doing as they help with documentation, quality testing, bug review, or even code contributions. Teaching is not simply the delivery of content, via lecture-taxi, to passive minds. Participation and collaboration ignites powerful learning, and empowers students to engage in thoughtful, meaningful scholarship. And open source can be the catalyst.

Here are five great open source applications for learning. Share this list to your favorite student or teacher!

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