Top 5 articles from September 8 - 12, 2014

Top 5 articles of the week: Learning Linux, cloud courses, and Drupal distros

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Every week, I tally the numbers and listen to the buzz to bring you the best of last week's open source news and stories on Opensource.com.

Top 5 articles of the week

#5. Three Drupal education distros reviewed

Joshua Holm, a frequent writer and Community Moderator at Opensource.com, tells us, "there are Drupal distributions for a wide variety of needs," but when it comes to teaching students, these three are easy to use and designed with education in mind. As part of our focus on open education this week, check out Joshua's review of Julio, Open Academy, and Opigno LMS.

#4. Why pay for a degree these days?

Jodi Biddle unearths the mysteries of open education is this deeper look at what MOOCs have to offer higher education, and what they don't.

#3. Free courses for getting started in the open source cloud

Jason Baker, our OpenStack aficionado, shares his 10 top picks for free educational courses for learning more about the open source cloud. He breaks them down to "programming and development,"systems and infrastructure," and "business and entrepreneurship."

#2. The personality of a Linux-loving teen

Phil Shapiro, a frequent writer and Community Moderator at Opensource.com, shares his thoughts on working with kids and teens at the Tacoma Library in Maryland. He says open source tools and software options often relieve a lot of pressure and worry as they realize the freedom and accessibility they have with open source. Check out the article for more of his thoughts on how we can be stewards of open source for the next generation.

#1. Students power this open source high school

Charlie Reisinger writes about the Linux project high school kids are working on at Penn Manor High in Lancaster County Pennsylvania—where Charlie is the IT Director for the Penn Manor School District. The Linux laptop learning initiative is an honors-level independent study course and students report to it like any other class, but traditional methods stop there. Charlie tell us that the students "...work alongside district IT staff on hardware support, repairs, software setup, instructional tutorials, system imaging, peer training, and any number of tasks related to our school-wide laptop program. Daily work assignments are guided by the needs of fellow students and classroom teachers. On any given day, you might observe our help desk apprentices answering questions from students or staff, repairing a damaged laptop screen, experimenting with code, or diving into Linux configuration files." So, you can imagine the hand-on skills and knowledge these kids are gaining. It sounds like a truly life-changing learning experience to me. All due to the accessibility of Linux.

Honorable mention

Poll: What color is your terminal background?

At the time of this writing, this poll had 2,431 votes. 75% of people say their terminal background color is "dark" while a close second runs between "transparent" at 11% and "light" at 10%. You can vote right now, and tell us more about what your terminal background looks like in the comments.

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About the author

Jen Wike Huger - Jen Wike Huger is the chief editor for Opensource.com. On any given day, you'll find her managing the publishing calendar and team's editorial workflow (on kanban boards), managing writer and reader communities, and brainstorming the next big article. Jen lives in Raleigh with her husband and daughter, June. She is a dedicated, hobbyist herbalist and gardener. Follow her on Twitter.