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Open Source Software For Education (Mel Mc Intyre) Open App

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A presentation on Open Source Softwware for education given by Mel McIntyre of Open App for the 4C Initiative

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Open Source Software For Education (Mel Mc Intyre) Open App

  1. 1. Open Source Software for Education The 4C Initiative - increasing digital content capacity for education Mel McIntyre mel.mcintyre@openapp.ie
  2. 2. Open Source Software OSS Free and Open Source Software FOSS Free/Libre Open Source Software FLOSS
  3. 3. Key message Open Source can help to increase digital content capacity for education on a global scale There are potential benefits There are barriers to overcome • OSS and Open Commons go hand • All IT needs support and the in hand in making both the content and the delivery mechanism education sector has limited budget available. • Limited support from local supplier • Better value from use of open source solutions with zero license sector due to poor business model cost allowing you to focus budgets • Education has complex on other areas • Reduced license administration and requirements – administration, ease of updating software curriculum, infrastructure – difficult • The models of community and to find a focus participation are already proven and come naturally to the education • Poor understanding of OSS coupled sector. with a 'procurement/tendering' • The participative and interactive nature of available applications are mentality attractive to our young people
  4. 4. What is Open Source Software  Software just like any other but free of license costs  Software that comes with a license that provides the user with certain freedoms − freedom to use for any purpose, freedom to copy the software, freedom to view and modify the source code, freedom re-distribute modified versions  Open Source Software comes in many varieties − Infrastructure – Linux Operating System – email – firewalls – Content Management – Edubuntu desktop − Administration – Moodle Course Management – Centre SIS (Student information) – Schooltool (Scheduling) − Applications – OpenOffice – Gcompris – Qcad - Scribus − Systems software – Directories(OpenLDAP) – Statistics(AWStats) - Monitoring(Nagios)
  5. 5. How does this work • Maybe 70% of software available was not written by traditional software companies . . people not in the business of selling software • Government, Universities, Community projects, Google Summer of Code, capable individuals all release software for others to use and improve • New business models centred on service and support rather than licensed intellectual property are rapidly evolving
  6. 6. A new force – The undeniable market trend toward Open Source  Forrester report on Open Source in Europe (Dec 2005) reports that − 72% of firms claim lower TCO & lower acquisition costs − 40% of European companies already use some sort of open source solution (56% in USA). 45% in mission critical areas (55% in USA)  IDC/Forfas report – July 2006 − WW Software revenue (Linux/OSS) CAGR % of 48% for applications and 34% for application development and deployment software. − Predicted 2009 WW revenue of almost $17bn with at least the same in services revenue.  CIO Insight reports that − 81% of companies have deployed or are considering deploying open source applications; − 72% plan to expand its use − 65% say open source has sparked innovation within their IT
  7. 7. Possible Benefits  Minimises vendor lock-in and proprietary systems − Avoiding vendors branding, product release and revenue generation requirements  Minimises capital expenditure and ongoing costs − no upfront royalty for license to use − No annual royalties for user seats etc.  More control of overall IT strategy − Open source projects tend to use standards for interoperability − Open Source projects allow organisations to influence the roadmap − Reduces risk of obsolescence  Open Source promotes innovation & ensures customisation − Through availability of source code − Through the free access to community ideas and modification − Quicker to add features
  8. 8. More specifically . . Avoid being product/brand specific  MS Office for ECDL/ICDL – could be OpenOffice  Web CT for course management – could be Moodle, Sakai, Dokios . .  Photoshop and Illustrator for graphics – could be Gimp and Inkscape  ArcGIS for Geography – could be Qgis  SPSS for Statistics – could be R Project  AutoCAD for CAD – could be Qcad
  9. 9. Enabling an e-Learning culture  The adoption of Open Source systems and models is conducive to the creation of an effective e-Learning culture and “participative architecture”.  Modern Open Source idioms − Collaboration/Participation and inclusiveness − Innovation and building on the work of others − Openness and sharing − Flexibility and responsiveness  The collaborative/community model is proven to work and is familiar to students. − Children and teenagers are exposed to the internet and social/community websites from an early age. They like and participate in these sites. The community model can be emulated and harnessed in an educational context.
  10. 10. Quote from a teacher . . For me, my involvement with open­source began when I  realized that my students needed to use a much wider  range of software than  . . .   I didn't want them or their parents to have to fork out any  more money, I know what its like when my kids come  home with a letter from school and I end up being 20 to  50 quid lighter.   . .  but more than that, as I got more involved, I realized  how much better it was to give them tools that they could  modify to their own spec rather than use what someone  thinks is best, even if that person is me and I do know  what's best (ahem).
  11. 11. Risks of not using Open Source  From an education perspective there are risks associated with not adopting Open Source which can be summarised by the phrase “avoid lifetime vendor lock-in for students”  This lock-in is real and happens when students and teachers associate ICT usage and consumption only with a particular vendor.  The focus is on a vendor specific application rather than essential and more generic ICT skills.  Ideally the use of Open Source technologies would encourage students to − Have a critical point of view regarding different software solutions − Understand the differences between open and proprietary solutions − Become active contributors to an open source project or tool  Adapted from EU Study on the Economic Impact of Open Source on Innovation and competitiveness of the ICT Sector in the EU. Rishab Ghosh, Nov 2006
  12. 12. Barriers to using OSS • Access to affordable support – onsite configuration, problem solving, usage – Schools often do not have budget for any support – OSS or proprietary – There is generally less support in the business space for OSS – Software often covered under capital budget – consulting support often expense • Local expertise – most successes seem to built on the commitment of individuals rather than commitment from the 'system' - • Too much software – how to choose what is useful – Similar issue to using 'free demonstration' versions of proprietary applications - it takes time and commitment to evaluate – The benefit over 'demonstration ' software is that you can keep the OSS software should it fit your need • No vendor push – nobody selling, limited marketing collateral, the business model has not developed well in the education space (maybe too difficult to define • Parents expectations – OpenOffice versus MS Office
  13. 13. Open Source project: Edubuntu − Operating system designed for schools − Designed for fast and easy setup without technical expertise − Delivers the effective Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP)  allows you to boot thin clients from an Edubuntu LTSP server.  lowers hardware costs by enabling the use of older machines as thin clients, as well as reduced administration overhead by having only to install and maintain the software on the server. − Applications  Primary schools: − Early learning environment (Gcompris) − Educational games and activities from Tux4Kids and KDEEdu projects  Secondary schools: − full office suite, plus applications for instant messaging, graphics, sound and video. − Access to thousands of other high quality open source programs at no cost.
  14. 14. Open Source project: Moodle − Moodle is a free software e-learning platform and Course Management System (CMS) − Moodle is designed to help educators create online courses with opportunities for rich interaction. Its open source license and modular design means that many people can develop additional functionality, and development is undertaken by a globally diffuse network of commercial and non-commercial users, spearheaded by the Moodle company based in Perth, Western Australia. − Moodle: Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment is a free and open-source e-learning software platform, also known as a Course Management System, Learning Management System, or Virtual Learning Environment. It has a significant user base with 45,721 registered and verified sites, containing 32 million users in 3 million courses (as of January, 2010).[3] − Moodle is designed to help educators create online courses with a focus on interaction and collaborative construction of content.
  15. 15. Open Source project: OpenOffice − Free software office suite of products used extensively throughout the world − Includes functionality such as word processor, spreadsheet, multi-media presentations, database and others. − Provides a familiar look and feel and is easy to use − Is compatible with other major office suites − It has a significant user base and is available in 80 languages − It provides all the necessary functionality for teaching IT skills and has ECDL/ICDL approved courseware available from Blackrock Publishing.
  16. 16. What can you do . . • Teacher support organisations could promote best of breed for some categories – course management, office, administration . . . – Could interact with developer community • Most applications supported on Windows and Mac so not necessary to learn Linux . . try one at a time • No license costs means educators can collaborate between organisations without commercial barriers . . work with other schools or institutions
  17. 17. Case studies http://opensourceschools.org.uk/case-studies.html • Low cost ICT across the curriculum – Tralee Ireland • Course Management with Moodle at Perins • Social networking with Elgg at Alton Convent • Cost effective curriculum delivery at Skegness Grammar • Mount Tamar Special School - whole school curriculum • Painting for Infants at Holmfirth Primary
  18. 18. Web resources  http://www.opensourcewindows.org/  http://www.freesoftwareforstudents.org.uk/  http://opensourceschools.org.uk/  http://www.k12opensource.org/  http://www.edubuntu.org/  http://www.osalt.com/ Magazines  Ubuntu  Linux Format  Linux Journal  Linux Magazine
  19. 19.  OpenForum Europe – OFE  We are a not-for-profit, independent organisation launched in March 2002 to accelerate, broaden and strengthen the use of Open Source Software (OSS) in business and government. OFE is supported by major IT suppliers and works closely with the European Commission and National Governments, both direct and via National Associates.  What we do!  OFE promotes informed debate on the pluses and minuses of Open Source and Open Standards. We make input on European and National IT policy, hold bi-annual briefings with EU Commission organisations, speak at conferences and generally promote awareness of the issues and activities of OSS  Mel McIntyre  Non executive director of OFE since 2005 and founder and chair of an OFE partner in Ireland  Founder and Managing Director of OpenApp, a software development and support company since 2002 focusing of OSS solutions in business, health and education sectors.