Why FOSS in education makes sense

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Computers have been used in education for over a decade, and while the scope of their usage has changed over the years, they are still largely restricted to be used as instructive media. This usage stems primarily from the use of closed systems that are unavailable for study.

With FOSS, students get to experience a whole new way of learning - by doing. This not only takes a large load off of an instructor's shoulders, but also prepares students for an industry that moves too fast to jump on to.

This talk will cover how FOSS helps in education, and also touch upon the role of computers in education. We will also list real world examples where students have benefited from an open curriculum.

Blog post: http://tech.bluesmoon.info/2005/11/why-foss-in-education-makes-sense.html

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Why FOSS in education makes sense

  1. 1. Why Foss in Education makes sense Philip Tellis / philip@bluesmoon.info Yahoo! FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  2. 2. $ whoami Philip Tellis philip@bluesmoon.info @bluesmoon yahoo geek FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  3. 3. What this talk is not about Educational tools under linux Free educational tools Cost benefits of using foss in schools FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  4. 4. What this talk is about Foss as a means of fostering education Foss as a means of validating research The fossification of education FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  5. 5. The role of computers in education Computer Education Other Education Academic related Administrative FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  6. 6. The role of computers in education Instruction delivery Instruction enabling Administration FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  7. 7. Instruction delivery Throw information at students until they know it all Don’t let them go ahead unless they pass all tests Throw data at students and let them process it Let the student derive information FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  8. 8. Instruction delivery Throw information at students until they know it all Don’t let them go ahead unless they pass all tests Throw data at students and let them process it Let the student derive information FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  9. 9. Instruction delivery Throw information at students until they know it all Don’t let them go ahead unless they pass all tests Throw data at students and let them process it Let the student derive information FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  10. 10. Instruction delivery Throw information at students until they know it all Don’t let them go ahead unless they pass all tests Throw data at students and let them process it Let the student derive information FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  11. 11. Instruction enabling The computer as the laboratory C programming can only be taught on a computer Playing with Math and Science on the computer FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  12. 12. Do we want the computer to program the child or the child to program the computer? FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  13. 13. Language learning is natural Natural languages are learnt through living Learning is inherited from ones surroundings Create virtual lands where the mother tongue is the topic to be learnt Mathland, Physicsland, Poetryland FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  14. 14. Language learning is natural Natural languages are learnt through living Learning is inherited from ones surroundings Create virtual lands where the mother tongue is the topic to be learnt Mathland, Physicsland, Poetryland FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  15. 15. Language learning is natural Natural languages are learnt through living Learning is inherited from ones surroundings Create virtual lands where the mother tongue is the topic to be learnt Mathland, Physicsland, Poetryland FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  16. 16. Language learning is natural Natural languages are learnt through living Learning is inherited from ones surroundings Create virtual lands where the mother tongue is the topic to be learnt Mathland, Physicsland, Poetryland FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  17. 17. Debugging ones mistakes Don’t punish children when they make mistakes Teach them to debug Teach them to read other peoples’ problems and debug them too FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  18. 18. This is where Foss shines FOSS is great for learning because the source code is available. Not just for reading, but for modification, and experimentation. FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  19. 19. Use FOSS tools instead of proprietary ones Should we teach students specific tools or give them the ability to learn any tool? Should we NOT teach the current popular tools? Throw responsibility into the hands of students FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  20. 20. Popularity begets Obsolescence FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  21. 21. Academics and FOSS Academia spreads knowledge by publishing papers, results and findings. Foss is a solid implementation of these ideas Foss allows one to build on another’s knowledge Foss allows verifiability – the basis of all scientific publishings FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  22. 22. We need to foster this at the school level Students of higher classes can build tools for lower classes Students work in a virtual world for the topic they study Programming expertise is not required, but domain expertise is built Students learn by collaborating and studying others’ implementations FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  23. 23. Doing, teaching, collaborating Learning is fostered by doing, teaching and collaborating This is why Foss makes sense for education We have plenty of examples in computer science and bioinformatics Let’s apply this to other fields too FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  24. 24. Education needs to be Free and Open FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  25. 25. Education wants to be Free and Open FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense
  26. 26. Thanks http://tech.bluesmoon.info/2005/11/why-foss-in-education-makes- sense.html FOSS.IN/2005 – 2005/12/01 Why Foss in Education makes sense

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