Dinda's Foss Blog

Open Source Software and Learning

Archive for September 2010

Growing list of schools using Ubuntu

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https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Education/UbuntuSchools

In case you ever doubt that your work is making a difference, just take a look at this growing list of schools using Ubuntu and its derivatives. And an entire project of kids building their own machines to take home and use after completing class – impressive!

Feel free to add other schools and learning projects you know about.

Written by dindafoss

September 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Posted in education, ubuntu

Schools using Ubuntu and derivatives list continues to grow!

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https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Education/UbuntuSchools

In case you ever doubt that your work is making a difference, just take a look at this growing list of schools using Ubuntu and its derivatives. And an entire project of kids building their own machines to take home and use after completing class – impressive!

Feel free to add other schools and learning projects you know about.

Written by dindafoss

September 21, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Getting to the ‘aha’ moments for kids and computers

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I had the privilege last week of visiting  with Anthony Borrow, the Moodle Contrib coordinator.   Moodle is a great success story for open source in Education as its adoption continues to grow among not just in schools but many corporations and non-traditional learning organizations.  It turns out Anthony is located at a school not too far from my current hometown and as soon as I drove up to school I recognized the building as one I had visited many years ago during my own school days.  Long story, short version – I’m coming full circle with my life.

The discussion ranged from how Moodle has been so successful, to how this one guy is the primary QA and code reviewer for the whole project and then side journeys into pedagogy, learning theory and how open source fits the model that every school and educator says it wants to promote; authentic learning and enabling collaboration.  It seems so simple; open source lets students take apart the technology, work on real world tasks and solve real problems.  So why isn’t it deployed more in schools?  and why aren’t more educators using open source projects in learning?

The school also has a unique work program that allows each student to work a full day at a local business office.  The argument, which I’ve heard before sitting on various technology in schools committees, is that students need business computer skills and since most offices are using Windows, well kids should be taught the current tools.  Did I just hear a collective scream?  If you’re over 25, chances are the desktop OS version you were using in highschool is already obsolete.  Ten years is a long time in technology years so today’s 15 year olds being taught to use the ‘current’ software tools is fine but there needs to be more to that approach.

Driving away from the school, which btw, is in a pretty rough area of town and not too far from my where my Great-grandmother’s house used to be, I couldn’t help but thinking about that issue.  We’ve created a generation that is a great consumer of technology but we’re not enabling them with the right tools and skills to help them move from simple consumers to developers of that and even newer technology.

Do you remember that first moment when you realized you could make your computer do something different b/c a little bit of coding?  That ‘aha moment’ when you created or changed something?  That moment when you were suddenly enabled and encouraged to make changes or create something entirely new?  Isn’t that what we want all kids to have the chance to do?

If you are in Barcelona the week of November 2 – 5,  2010 you should check out these two back to back events that will help change the world of open learning:

http://openedconference.org/2010/

http://www.drumbeat.org/festival

Written by dindafoss

September 13, 2010 at 3:25 am

Posted in education, ubuntu

Ubuntu in Education

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Wow – I’ve already been amazed at learning about some of the great things happening with Ubuntu in Education.  At every level, Ubuntu in schools and learning just makes sense.  Yesterday I was pointed to this great map showing school deployments in Finland:  http://bit.ly/amFiOO .   Greece is right behind them and lots of schools in the US are reporting success using Ubuntu as well.  The work is being done by both volunteers and Solution Providers.

The Andalusia deployment of over 200,000 systems is well documented and Amtron deploying 28,000 in Assam in northern India and Oxford Archaeology and Johns Hopikins and Oakland University and the list continues to grow.  Next week I’m visiting a local school in my backyard of Houston, TX that has migrated to Ubuntu using Moodle and other open source SIS (Student Information Systems).  The project lead is also the volunteer coordinator of the Moodle Core Contrib team.   I had to travel out of town to meet him and learn about this great project.  I’m really glad I did!

Next up, the Edubuntu team is still being driven by the unstoppable Jonathan Carter (highvoltage) and everyone is welcome to stop into #edubuntu and join the weekly meetings on Tuesdays to add your voice.

Who am I?  I’m Dinda!   I came into the world of open source and Ubuntu some five years ago b/c of my interests in Education and all things learning.  You might have seen me around various projects but now I’ve taken on the temporary role of looking at everything related to “Ubuntu in Education” and creating some materials to help anyone who wants to use Ubuntu for learning.  Are you a student?  parent?  educator?  Sys Admin or IT staff at a school/University?  Voter?  Decision maker or Service/Solution Provider?  What do you need to make Ubuntu a success in your school?  Email me or add your comments here.

Written by dindafoss

September 2, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Posted in ubuntu