Top 5 articles from September 15-19, 2014

Top 5 articles of the week: Open source tasks, open data apps, and open source in education

Ants and a leaf making the word "open"
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Every week, we tally the numbers and listen to the buzz to bring you the best of last week's open source news and stories on Here are last week's top five.

Top 5 articles of the week

#5. Lobbying for open source and Linux in schools

Emiel Brok started lobbying to bring more Linux and open source software to high schools and higher IT vocational institutions in the Netherlands and Belgium eight years ago. He thinks that this can be categorized into three topics: 1) The infrastructure of schools 2) The desktop students and teachers work with and 3) The curriculum for IT education. His article goes in-depth into each topic and he concludes that IT teachers need proper training and accompanying certification in order to advance this open source movement in education.

#4. 3 million users and hiring at edX

Our own Jen Wike interviews Ned Batchelder from the Open edX team. Ned tells us that the edX platform is "the best place to experiment with new ideas, and then share those ideas with other educators who can build on them and make their own improvements."

We put Ned on the hot seat and ask him about his team, pull requests for the project, and how educators can learn more about open, online education.

#3. Teaching open source changed my life

A fascinating article from Steve Burge focuses on his career change from teaching to training. Steve talks about the importance of open source in education and says, "In 2006, I changed careers. I stopped being a regular teacher and stopped teaching to the test. I started teaching open source... Teaching open source has been a breath of fresh air for myself and for many of our students because with the open source way, there are no official tests. There is no official certification for the majority of open source projects. And, there are no prescribed textbooks."

#2. 5 great apps backed with open data

Our number two post this week is by Jeanne Holm, an evangelist for Jeanne outlines five applications built from open data sets available from

To give you a flavor of these apps, Jeanne talks about Archimedes—an app that makes quantitative models for doctors and patients so that they can find effective interventions. Then there's Trulia—an app that provides insights into neighborhoods where you might be interested in moving. Go ahead, type your address in and check out the results. I did. Then there's HelloWallet, SaferCar, and, Red Cross Hurricane. I highly recommend checking out some of these apps, powered of course, by open data.

#1. Open source all the tasks
Fernando Piment from Brazil walks us through his mission to create a 100% open source workflow. After being invited to talk at Firebird Developers Day about Firebird, a mature open source database management system, Fernando wanted to make a presentation using only open source tools and software. This mission started with the creation of the distribution and takes us to the documentation, slides, and finally to the recordings from the event.

Fernando shares that, "the use of open source software in daily work has seen a huge evolution over the years, thanks to the entrepreneurship and cooperation of professionals from different fields of knowledge." He also used OpenShot as a video editor for post-production editing.

Thanks for sharing how you open sourced all your tasks Fernando.


Well that’s all for this week from, I’m off to San Francisco, California next week for the annual Code for America Summit, one of my favorite conferences every year. If you’re interested in an update, post a few comments and let me know what you’d like to learn more about. We’ll see you next week.

About the author

Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets - Jason Hibbets is a Principal Program Manager at Red Hat with the Digital Communities team. He works with the Enable Architect, Enable Sysadmin, Enterprisers Project, and community publications. He is the author of The foundation for an open source city and has been with Red Hat since 2003. Follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets for a fun and shareable feed of his open source (and...