Open Educational Resources: providing open source software/educational solutions. (one example of many)
David Wiley: "Expertise is non-rivalrous."
Open source software:
- access to source code
- freedom to redistribute
- freedom to modify
- non-discriminatory licensing
- integrity of authorship
- redistribution in accordance with the Open Source License Agreement
Creative Commons License -- potentially simple, or, potentially complex. Be sure of what you're dealing with!
Why use Open Source Software?
- cost savings (no licensing fee)
- independence/no forced upgrades
- access and broad rights to source code
- access to skilled community of developers
- ability to define and expedite new development as the facilitator of creation
- global collaboration and social prudence
Why use it in schools?
- provides functionality you would not otherwise have (high acceptance)
- provides similar functionality that you already have, but saves you money, has better features, or gives you freedom from lock-in (medium acceptance)
- allows you to customize solutions (medium to low acceptance)
- allows you to reuse older computer hardware
- allows you to share programs with students
- you believe in it (or the value set, ie. you're concerned about corporate influence in education)
- provides real skills/tools for students (internet, networking, web)
- programming (Python)
- creativity (Audacity)
- collaborative software building (participate in an existing project; local application of tech)
Why NOT use Open Source Software in schools?
- it's confusing, due to great variety and potential legal issues
- it's "free," like a puppy...beware of what responsibilities might come with it!
- migration costs (i.e. from MS Office to Open Office)
- uncertainty about open development model (splinter groups, programs)
- uncertainty aout licensing
- uncertainty about support (blame?)
Possible Lessons in Adoption
- involve techs and staff in decision-making
- look for non-displacing opportunities
- recognize the importance of leadership buy-in
- don't oversell cost savings/benefits
- start with something that can succeeed and open the door
- be patient!
"If, as schools, we don't allow students to bring in their own devices, we'll have to move to Linux/Open Source Software in order to be able to afford the computing costs that will be required to keep everyone "wired"."
scribus - desktop publishing
gimp - image manipulation program
Celestia - free space simulation (science: space)
Tux Paint - for youngsters in particular
Blender - 3D computer graphics, etc. Animation, rendering, post-production, etc.
The OpenDisc - CD that contains open source softwares, can copy and give to kids
Teaching - Thoughts
1. We must start teaching collaborative and creation-based tools, including Open Source Software
2. If we provide ubiquitous computing to our school communities, we will need Linux. However, we'll probably end up allowing students to bring own devices.
3. We must start providing real-world, authentic-audience environments for students