Yesterday was Thanksgiving here in the United States. I spent the day with my family. I reflected on the things that I am grateful for and one of them was completion of my book, Energize Education through Open Source. I am grateful that through this work, educators will be made aware of open source educational technology, how to acquire it and how to implement it. I hope this book makes a difference for the better.
SALSA (Styled & Accessible Learning Service Agreements) is an open source Web-based application for syllabus creation. It is developed and maintained by Utah State University and utilizes an approachable form-style interface. Two of its strengths are policy inclusion (accommodations, course evaluation, etc. ) and the creation of syllabi with well-defined learning objectives. (Thanks to George Joeckel for telling me about SALSA.)
OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) provides Internet-ready laptops to school-age children in developing nations around the world. The laptops run Linux, an open source operating system, and provide access to educational technology that would otherwise not be present in these nations, as well as a way for students to connect with each other and their teachers. To learn more, acquire a copy of Energize Education through Open Source: Using Open Source Software to Enhance Learning.
There are plenty of open source productivity suites from which to choose. So, if LibreOffice doesn’t meet your needs, you may want to check out Apache Open ffice.org, Calligra Suite or GNOME Office. There’s no reason to resort to the expense of proprietary productivity software.
ClamAV is open source anti-virus software that won’t slow down your computer. Reason? ClamAV runs only at preset times to scan for viruses and does not actively block them by running in the background like most proprietary anti-virus software.
WordPress is an open source tool initially designed for blogging. It has since become a powerful tool for designing Web pages, and you don’t need to know any HTML.
Mathomatic is an open source portable computer algebra system. Among its other amenities, it can be employed to solve algebraic and arithmetic equations as well as calculus transformations. Learn more about Mathomatic here.
Celestia is an open source real time space simulator for Linux, MacOS and Microsoft Windows. It allows users to explore the galaxy in three dimensions. Clicking on heavenly bodies reveals such information as distance from Earth and levels of light emitted in comparison to that of our sun. Celestia is part of the KDE Education Project.
When you start using Linux, an open source operating system, in addition to such amenities as stability and security, you will also be able to boast one of the cutest mascots in computing –Tux the Linux Penguin.
That’s right! Energize Education through Open Source is now available as an eBook. To learn more, or to purchase the ebook edition, check out this link.