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Re: [school-discuss] my puzzle about OSS in education

That open source software is nearly universally available to everyone is a powerful argument in its favor. The open source community model allows feedback from instructors: the users themselves are a big petri dish that allows proven quick and meaningful feedback to developers.

On Jun 3, 2005, at 8:10 PM, David Crusoe wrote:


For all this discussion, I haven't seen much about the pedagogical
design of FOSS learning systems, for example, TuxType or TuxMath.
Meaningful pedagogical models are built from solid research; one
example is FastMath from Tom Snyder productions [No, I'm no
affiliated]. To be effective, research on learning and learning
through computer-based interventions MUST be applied to FOSS
development as an integral part of the development cycle.

So while at the moment the discussion centers mainly on the
cost-effectiveness of FOSS solutions, it could easily move into the
effectiveness & efficacy debate quickly with a strong research-based
software design that experienced classroom adoption. Likewise, it
isn't that "computer software" can teach, but how it requires one to
think that helps to teach and train.


--dave crusoe / HGSE TIE '05

On 6/3/05, Sydney Weidman <weidmans@xxxxxxx> wrote:
On Thu, 2005-06-02 at 15:32, Greg Farrell wrote:
Thanks No One.  I'm compiling a report for all the
schools in my province on OSS options for them.  Each
district and school is set up differently, and each
will try a different application to introduce
themselves to OSS, I'm sure.

Being able to include information like this will help
schools know beforehand where limitations may exist
and keep them from getting bad impressions where it
could be avoided.

Any information of this kind will help our schools
make the best choices for a switch to OSS.  I've been
trying to find real examples of OSS effects on
learning content value for the schools that have
implemented OSS because I know this question is at the
forefront of the discussion for many of the schools
here.  So any statistical or anecdotal measure like
the one you've provided helps me a lot.

Greg Farrell

I don't direct this at you in particular, but I find it amazing that
educators nearly broke the school doors down getting technology into
classrooms without doing a lot of number crunching. (The numbers are now
starting to show that there may be no positive effect on achievement).
But when you suggest using something that promotes sharing over
something that forbids it, everyone wants proof of its effectiveness.
Free Software is such that if we want it to be effective, we need only
pool our resources and make it so. We don't have to be passive
consumers, allowing ourselves to be bullied into believing that things
will never change.