EDTC 605

EDTC 605 – Multimedia

Reflection

This artifact is a podcast which covers the world of open source, with a focus on that which relates to education. In creating this podcast I was surprised to discover just how many educational projects are currently being developed under the banner of open source. While open source is just a term to describe software in which the source code has been released to be freely modified, the open source movement has come to include much more than just code. These days when one talks about the free sharing of information they also refer to things like Wikipedia, Coursera, and other similar resources.

 

In this artifact I first had a chance to look at the origins of the open source movement and discovered that really from the beginning of the computer revolution the vast majority of software was freely shared amongst its creators. The community was smaller before the web when people used personal servers to share files and used BBS servers as a point of contact. Later on corporations, many started by these same people, began licensing and changing the way we viewed code.

 

The open source movement itself has no real founder, but there are many who helped it along by creating licensing standards like GNU (GNU GPL). Linux has been one of the focal points of the movement with programmers from around the world working together to create an operating system that can now be found everything from desktops to phones. It’s interesting to think that so many have been able to create so much on the work of people tinkering away on bits and pieces of something which is free. Massive corporations like Apple, Microsoft and Google weren’t able to compete in quality with something that a group of strangers created in their spare time.

 

What I find odd is that open source software is not found more in schools, especially with the need for cutting costs, though in some places it’s making headway. Public schools in the US would prefer to use Windows of OSX, and purchase software like Photoshop and Microsoft Office, instead of using the free tools that do the exact same thing. Perhaps the one thing that the open source movement is missing is a decent marketing team? In the research that I did I found that while this may be the case in instances of individual apps, for the most part it’s the lack of those who are qualified to use the open source software that is its biggest hindrance. This has certainly been true in the schools I’ve worked at. Most teachers are unaware of open source solutions or are hesitant to use them due to unfamiliarity. If schools are looking to save money and improve the technology they are working with, it would do them well to hire trainers and IT staff that are comfortable with open source.

Artifact(s)

A Podcast on Open Source

Research

Warger, T. (2002). The Open Source Movement. Educause Quarterly, 18-20. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from: https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eqm0233.pdf.

This article looks at the reasons why a company or school might be hesitant to use open source.  What they found was that staff, for the most part, is either unaware or not qualified to deal with open source software. They also found that there is a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to code that is freely developed, such as it being prone to having people “mess with it.”

Ford, K., & Lott, L. (2010). The Impact of Technology on Constructivist Pedagogies. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from https://sites.google.com/a/boisestate.edu/edtechtheories/the-impact-of-technology-on-constructivist-pedagogies-1

This article is about the changing culture with regard to technology. Digital natives react to technology different, and don’t have the same fears as others do. They instinctively understand how to navigate software, whether proprietary or not.

Beaumie, K. (2006). Social Constructivism. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from http://www.wikispaces.com/file/view/Social%2BConstructivism.pdf

I used this source for a brief section in the podcast about the way that technology can be used to supplement new teaching styles. The article itself looks at multiple perspectives, dealing almost exclusively with constructivism, and breaks them down into four general perspectives. Through these perspectives one can see how a teacher can move a class towards governing their own learning.

Koohang, A., & Harman, K. (2005). Open Source: A Metaphor for E-Learning. Informing Science Journal, 8. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Alex_Koohang/publication/200051088_Open_source_A_metaphor_for_e-learning/links/00b4953bc7003368c1000000.pdf.

In this article the author looks at constructivism and open source as having the same philosophical roots. This was not much a help in creating the factual content of the podcast, but change my views and thus impacted the overall tone.

Lakhan, S., & JhunJhunwala, K. (2008). Open Source Software in Education. Educause Quarterly, (2), 32-40. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from http://er.educause.edu/~/media/files/article-downloads/eqm0824.pdf

This is a comprehensive overview of the open source movement from beginning to end. What was most useful in this article was the listing of well-known open source software and the breakdown of the uses from many others.

Sultan, W., Woods, P., & Koo, A. (2011). A Constructivist Approach for Digital Learning: Malaysian Schools Case Study. Educational Technology & Society,, (14), 149-163. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from http://www.ifets.info/journals/14_4/14.pdf

This is a study that was done in Malaysian schools comparing students that use IT in a constructivist environment and those that don’t. What they found was that there was no significant academic impact between the two groups of students, though there were many qualitative benefits with the latter.

Standards – NETS Standards and 21st Century Skills

The NETS Standards for Teachers addressed in this artifact are:

– Develop technology-enriched learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress.

– Customize and personalize learning activities to address students’ diverse learning styles, working strategies, and abilities using digital tools and resources.

– Provide students with multiple and varied formative and summative assessments aligned with content and technology standards, and use resulting data to inform learning and teaching.

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