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

On Fri, Jun 03, 2005 at 11:10:47PM -0400, David Crusoe wrote:
> All, 
> 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.

This is no doubt why Tux Paint has been so successful, while Tux Math has
been stuck in a rut.  There are dozens of excuses I can think of as to why
I haven't "finished" Tux Math, and one of them is lack of feedback from
educators (this was so in the beginning; since then, teachers have actually
discovered the app and sent me email about it :^) )

Tux Paint, on the other hand, is one of those 'open-ended' applications
whose sole purpose is to allow a child to be creative, and does its best to
keep out of the kid's way. :^)

I would love it if I had the time and resources to work on nothing _but_
educational software for Linux. (Preferably open source, of course.)
I would want resources such as the "solid research" mentioned above. :^)

> 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.

I'm waiting for the Riverdeeps and like to realize what's going on
in these parts, and finally decide to jump on the bandwagon and port their
apps to Linux.  (I mean, hell, how hard is porting DirectX to SDL, anyway?
THAT was the whole POINT of SDL when it was conceived! :^) )

They should think of it this way:  Schools are saving scads of money by
switching to mature Open Source software like the Linux OS and OpenOffice.org.
That, arguably, leaves the schools with some cash left over to 'upgrade'
to the dandy new Linux flavor of their latest educational software.

(don't blame _me_... _I_ sent my resume to those companies back in 2003 >:^P )