education

Digital Public Library of America triples its free collections and more in year one

Digital Public Library of America

When the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) opened last year, Carolyn Fox covered it's progress after one month in her article: Review of the new Digital Public Library of America. In it she explained that the purpose of the Library is "to provide a large-scale, national public digital library of America's archives, libraries, museums, and cultural institutions into one portal." Carolyn also pointed out the DPLA's open attributes, like: » Read more

1 Comment

Resources for libraries exploring the open source option

library tools for open source

Libraries of all types have the same questions about open source software that are asked by technologists in other fields. Does open source make sense for me? What open source packages mesh well with the skills already in my organization? Where can I go to get training, documentation, hosting, and/or contract software development for a specific open source package?

With funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we set out to build tools that help libraries answer these questions. These questions and answers may be useful to others as well. » Read more

0 Comments

How to introduce open source to your public library

introducing open source

I was intrigued to read this recent article in The Guardian about public libraries’ new role as community problem solvers. If you read carefully into this article you’ll notice the author talks about libraries becoming more involved with "proactive community engagement."

This means that libraries are looking to community members as partners to help solve community problems. In the open source community, we’re familiar with how well these methods can work. In open source, different players contribute to group projects according to their own personal strengths. The results can be far greater than anyone originally imagines. » Read more

1 Comment

Open education resources combat high textbook prices

Textbooks with a cost

Eben Upton is best known as the man behind the Raspberry Pi, a tiny, $25 computer designed to help turn kids into programmers. Upton priced it at $25 because he thought that's around what an average textbook cost: "I now understand that's an incorrect estimate. If we had a better idea of what school textbooks cost we would have had an easier job with the engineering over the years," he joked to Wired years later.

It's a funny story but also a sad story. Textbooks are expensive. More expensive than most non-students even realize. » Read more

3 Comments

Teachers unite to influence computer manufacturing

Open education

Open source enthusiasts firmly believe that much is possible when people band together. After all, the core underpinning of open source doctrine is social. So I recently decided it's time that teachers band together to specify the computers we want manufacturers to make. Open source thinking gives me the boldness to think this is possible. » Read more

5 Comments

Open source workshop explores FOSS in universities

Open source in education is key

The Association for Computing Machinery's annual meeting of their Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education is one of the largest academic computing meetings there is. This year's event featured a full-day workshop on teaching open source practices, tools, and techniques by engaging students as contributors to humanitarian projects such as Ushahidi, OpenMRS, Gnome Accessibility, and others. TitanPad was used for collaborative notetaking during the event, and this article is a result. You could call it a crowd-sourced article.

» Read more

2 Comments

University course teaches computer-human interaction with open hardware and OSS

open hardware class

Most people think of their interactions with computer systems to occur via a keyboard, mouse, or touchscreen. However, humans evolved to interact with thier environment and each other in much more intricate ways. Bridging the gap between the computational systems of the digital world and the natural world is being studied and tested in the Physical Computing course at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Albany.

As a professor of the course, we are currently leveraging a variety of open source software and hardware projects to learn about fundamental core concepts with hands-on experiences and implementation of open source tools. On the software side, we use an open-source IDE (Arduino Sketch) and develop 3D printer designs using OpenSCAD. On the open source hardware portion of the course, we utilize the Arduinos and the PrintrBot Simple. » Read more

2 Comments

Testing and tinkering with the Arduino Starter Pack

Arduino

Are you new to Arduino? Open hardware like the Arduino Starter Pack from Adafruit is a great way to start tinkering with this small computer board. It is the ideal kit for beginners to open hardware or anyone looking to start a project using the Arduino microcontroller.

To start, you need a computer from which you will write the code that will run in the Arduino board. This starter pack comes with an Arduino Uno board, which is likely the simplest. The typical programming cycle is to first write your code on the computer, then upload it to the Arduino board via a standard USB cable. The Arduino softwareis available for Linux, Mac, and Windows. » Read more

5 Comments

Ellie the robot is ready to compete

open source robotics

Meet Ellie, a six week old robot weighing 100 lbs who can launch a two foot diameter exercise ball over 10 feet in the air! Ellie even has eyes: a webcam fitted to the front of her chassis that uses code written in Python running on a Raspberry Pi to process images. Ellie’s main code is written in Java and allows her mecanum wheels to drive, her claw to catch exercise balls, and her kicker to launch balls into the air. In just a few weeks Ellie will be competing along with more than 50 other robots in her first competition.

» Read more

7 Comments

Open source opening educational doors in Appalachia

Welcome to open education

Like other non-profit organizations, The Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education (PAGE) faces funding challenges as it aims to achieve its mission of delivering innovative out-of-school learning opportunities for adolescent Appalachian girls. » Read more

1 Comment