K12 Open Tech Blogs
Ask any progressive educator the following question: "If you were to select just one tool to give to each student - one that you believe would have the greatest impact on their learning - what would it be?" Nine times out of ten the answer will be "a laptop." Sounds simple, right? And yet it's not. Why? Because, while we all recognize the potential of the technology to transform the learning environment, the implementation of individual student devices is fraught with complexity and impracticality. Those that have dared to tread down the path have been met with high costs, massive support requirements, and fragile hardware, all of which combine to create a toxic mix that, at best severely limits the technology's effectiveness in the classroom and, at worst leads to epic program failures that have been widely reported in the media.
This week I had the pleasure of presenting at the CUE/FETC Innovative Learning Conference in San Jose, CA. Once again, I presented on the topic of Open Technologies, in the form of a case study on our use here at SUSD. Since this is essentially a classroom-oriented conference, I decided to focus primarily on desktop and web applications, including our use of open source on PCs, Macs, and Linux machines, Green Computing Initiative, and web technologies.
Enjoy this audio podcast from the session. Be sure to get the resources from my prior post.
Cross-posted from Absence of Limitations blog
NECC is the largest educational
technology conference in North America, and it attracts 12,000+
participants. For the fourth year Steve Hargadon will be running an "Open Source
Pavilion" there with 40+ computers running Linux, and with a speaker
series that's now a part of the main program.
Here is the schedule of Open Source sessions
One of this week's School Improvement RFP's of the Week from Edbizbuzz's Dean Millot should be of special interest to open source advocates:
The Alabama Department of Education (SDE) is seeking responses to
this RFP for the hosting and management of the Moodle open source
learning management system.
Consider the classroom of tomorrow. That place where students come not just to gain, but to consolidate their gains. That room with no barriers, no boundaries, no limits. That place of infinite height and depth, unlimited reach and unhindered access. A space with many addresses, many cultures, many views. A place where success is honored, and failure is embraced. Where creativity is rewarded, where collaborations are built, where teams are celebrated.
There are no time limits there, no restrictions, or walls. Ideas are welcome, voices are heard, friends are cherished, connections are nourished. This is the classroom of tomorrow, the "open" classroom, and it's time to start building it today.
Using a new product requires some re-learning. That’s unavoidable. But you rarely have to learn an entirely new set of skills—it’s just that the new stuff sticks out as us. This article is to emphasize the similarities between OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office; the things you don’t have to re-learn. I hope that not only will this show some of the similarities but will show you some shortcuts you might not have known about in either program.
Today I was referred to this excellent article by a high school senior from Plano Independent School District in Texas, entitled Open Minds with Open Source (page 46, should your browser not automatically take you there.) It was written by Alex Hirsch, son of Plano ISD's Jim Hirsch, who is a long time open-technologies advocate and former board chair of CoSN. I was particularly taken with his perspectives on open content and invasive copyright enforcement in our digital age...
Last Friday I had the pleasure of hosting a round table on the topic of open source software in education at Technology and Learning's Tech Forum West in Long Beach, CA. Our lively discussion included K-20 classroom teachers and IT people from both education and industry. Topics truly ran the gamut of open source, including desktop applications, security, deployment, perception, web applications like Moodle, and ultra-mobile devices like the Asus EeePC.
It's a little noisy, but I hope you enjoy the recorded discussion and, more importantly, will share your thoughts on the topic!
Cross-posted from Absence of Limitations blog
One of the most helpful non-technical configurations that IT administrators can do is to take all free clip art they can get ahold of, assemble it and categorize it, and give it to every user to make OpenOffice.org more fun and more usable. This is especially beneficial in schools.