Open Source in Education


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How can Open Source help the eduction sector

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Open Source in Education

  1. 1. Open Source Software in Education12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt . Lt d. 1
  2. 2. Importance of Open Source Software for India • Defense and National Security “Software maintenance and software upgrade is an important issue for defense. Even though the required software for the equipment could be developed by the private industry, it is essential that the technical know-how and the architecture is fully available with these services for ensuring provision of life time support for the software...” - President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam • Becoming Knowledge workers as opposed to cheap-labourers in sweat shops “Our software industry has to move up the value chain and come up with innovative products that will have a commercial impact in the international markets.” - President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 2
  3. 3. Importance of Open Source Software for India • Access to the worlds best software, mostly at “zero” costs (Sourceforge has over 85,000 products available) • Opportunity to adopt ready-made software products and create “service-driven IT businesses” for Indian and International customers • Access to a huge amount of “knowledge” available online for “learning and adopting” (which normally has earlier been held secret for profit-making • Opportunity to join global teams in building world-class products, so as to build-in flexibility and adaptability for diverse regions, cultures and industries – thus making our mark as an IT Supwerpower in the true sense • The philosophy of “freedom” and that “knowledge must be shared” with the world for benefit and upliftment of the worlds people (this is what our spirituality/philosophy has taught us as well)12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 3
  4. 4. Importance of Open Source Software for India • Schools, Colleges, Small-Medium Businesses, all over India use pirated software and become a target for anti-piracy operations; OSS provides an opportunity to stay legal and hassle-free • Most curriculum needs of Colleges can be met well by using Open Source Software (we do not hear of IIT students working on Windows machines at all) • For Students, research possibilities are immense; Linux and Open Source have pervaded into various industry fields – Mechanics, Bioinformatics, Aerospace, Biology, Metallurgy • Job opportunities – Industry Demands 2,00,000 Linux professionals; gets only 50,000 (Source: Linux For You, June 2005)12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 4
  5. 5. Lacunae in the Education System • Fresh graduates from IITs often already have 2-3 years experience in coding on Open Source technologies – PHP, Python, others • Why can this not be emulated in the thousands of private colleges mushrooming all over the country? Students who are often coming out from these colleges mostly carry irrelevant computing knowledge • Colleges are not doing enough to inspire students – provide little business knowledge/intelligence – Industry exposure is very limited – missing passion to serve the society/country (institutions of learning need to be more service-oriented)12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 5
  6. 6. Lacunae in the Education System • Laid-back attitude of Students – very little self-initiative for research; entrepreneurial zeal is missing – consider this (examples from a recent visit to Germany): • Student of Sociology was writing code in Perl for a thesis of his choice, where he required computing • Conference of Typo3 Content Management Framework (CMF), 3 college students produced the T3N magazine using this open-source CMF; Did research, coded, interviewed people, wrote articles, generated ads from industry, got the magazine published; they now have, before even passing out, orders from the industry; are forming their own company [We have been to 3 institutes in Uttaranchal and UP (over 1 year); Interviewed/met nearly 150-200 students; Weve not found a single case study of such excellence, self-initiative] • Government policy issues (lack of consistent policy) – Economic Times, 09 October, 2002: “Open IT – Govt to re-write code in Linux” – Economic Times, 15 October 2004: “Over 12,000 teachers in schools run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) will be trained by Microsoft in providing computer-aided education12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 6
  7. 7. What must be done • Firing Students imagination :: Initiatives by Colleges – Move beyond mediocrity • Develop passion for excellence • Stop accepting mediocre Thesis/Project Reports – Inculcate entrepreneurial spirit in students; use government schemes honestly – Introduce students to Open-Source • Programming languages such as PHP, Python, Mojavi, Ruby, others • Invite industry experts to speak on these – Introduce industry-initiatives such as Joint product-development and custom-software-projects (industy needs low-cost software, which can only be made by reducing cost of producing software; use students; partner with software companies) – Invest in building sound IT infrastructure internally through joint teams of industry-staff-students (Registrar Department automation; use tools such as Typo3 for Intranet/Extranet)12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 7
  8. 8. What must be done • Initiatives by Students – Move beyond mediocrity (there is no fun in being ordinary) – Use your college internet and subscribe to mailing lists – Setup Linux on your Home PC – Read Linux magazines – Join the Linux Users Group (LUG) in your city – If you have a flair for writing (English or Hindi), contribute at WikiPedia (the largest resource of knowledge in the world – built through contributions from people all over the world) • Intitiatives by Government – Have a consistent policy towards adopting Open Source (else well be soon left behind by China, SE Asian countries) – Give instructions to all government institutions to adopt Linux-Apache- MySql-PHP (LAMP) for websites – Government bodies are very poor in documenting their knowledge, or even what they do, on the web; this needs to be picked up (in US/Europe, even Churches are spending huge money on building web communities)12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 8
  9. 9. Open Source tools for Education • Tools available for – E-Learning, Content Management, Time Table Management, • Why Cotent Management – For internal/external web-based communication by the institute – Internal Student portal – Facilitating Teachers – Creation of new content and the maintenance of existing content are simplified • Content can be provided and moderated by selected personnel from their respective faculties/departments, without technical knowhow of HTML and other web jargon • Students, Teachers and Parents can participate in protected sections of the website – Visitors enjoy an enhanced online experience through increased and up- to-date information12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 9
  10. 10. Content Management for Institutes : Typo3 Features of CISCE w ebsite • Notice Board; Online Syllabus • Live publishing of Articles and Images • Alumni section • Search all Affiliated Schools • Students Discussion Board Features Planned/ Possible • Events Calendar of all affiliated schools • Facility for all Schools to create their own pages • Photo Gallery for each school • e-Newsletter • Essay competitions for students • Weekly Question/Poll • Student Areas for storing Documents, Links, otherWebsite for • Syllabus/AssignmentCouncil for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) Documentation (E-Learning)Implemented using Typo3 CMS • Online TimeTables 12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 10
  11. 11. Who is using Typo3 Open Source CMS • Institutes worldwide – In a 2003 study, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Culture (bm:bwk) gave a clear recommendation for TYPO3. After analyzing approximately 300 Content Management Systems, TYPO3 was confirmed as having special suitability for educational institutions. – Stanford Networking Research Center – Otis College of Art + Design, Los Angeles – University of Pisa - Humanities Network – Council for Indian Scool Certificate Examinations (built by Srijan) – Complete reference list available at: (Over 60 live examples listed/reported) • Social organisations – UNICEF, Germany – Greenpeace, Germany – South-Asia Medicinal Plants Portal (built by Srijan) – Comprehensive list available at: http://www.typo3.com12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 11
  12. 12. Who is using Typo3 Open Source CMS • Government (E-Government functions) – Hamburg Tourism Department – Municipal Department, City of Munich – many more cases • Global Corporations – Dassault Systems, France – DHL Event Manager – Volkswagen – Investor Relations – 3M – New York Times – Bharti Tele-Ventures (built by Srijan) – Complete reference list available at: October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 12
  13. 13. Key Takeaways • Educational institutes: – Promote a learning environment based on Linux and open source software; – implement tools such as Typo3 for your web-communication and as student portals; – Form industry-teacher-student teams for product development • Government: Promote Open Source software and technologies next time you release a tender • Business leaders: Explore using Linux as a Server software, desktop software • Research organisations: Take initiatives in mapping knowledge that your organisation carries and share it online (using Open Source platforms) • Students: Learn to use Linux; install it as a second operating system on your computer; become part of a local Linux Users Group (LUG)12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 13
  14. 14. Key Takeaways • Open Source will help – you save money – promote a culture of sharing – build a strong, self-reliant India – build a better world12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt. Ltd. 14
  15. 15. Thank you12 October 2005 Srijan Technologies Pvt . Lt d. 15