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Open Source use in Education

This Prezi addresses the history and philosophy of open source software and it's potential uses in education.

Rich Cole

on 3 April 2014

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Transcript of Open Source use in Education

Open Source use
in Education

History and Development
of Open Source

It all started as free software...
Pro's & Con's of Open Source in schools
Philosophy of Open Source
Jakubowski, M. (Producer). Jakubowski,M. (Narrator). (2013). Open Source Philosophy [Online video]. Youtube. Retrieved June 21, 2013, from: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CKwCfLUwj4&noredirect=1
Open source has evolved beyond referring to just software development. It can describe a way of doing things, a perspective, and a culture—in life, business, government, education, law, and health. All over the world, people are approaching problems with an open mind, using and modifying open source code, and applying open source principles to projects. (OpenSource.com, 2009)
Open Source & Social Constructivism
How do they mix?
Landor Landor (2009). Symbian: Open-source technology with hea [Online video]. Retrieved June 23, 2013, from: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3GNsZPgk08
Armstrong, M. (Producer). Armstrong, M. (Narrator). (2012). Starship ZPD: Navigating to a Social Con [Online video]. Youtube. Retrieved June 23, 2013, from www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4QG3DKneJY
Open source ideals don't only exist in the digital realm...
What is free software?. (2013, March 19). In Free Software Foundation. Retrieved June 19, 2013, from http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html
Chen, I. (n.d.). Overview of Social Constructivism. In An Electronic Textbook on Instructional Technology. Retrieved June 19, 2013, from http://viking.coe.uh.edu/~ichen/ebook/et-it/social.htm
What is open source?. (2009). In Opensource.com. Retrieved June 22, 2013, from http://opensource.com/resources/what-open-source
Open Source Software. (2013, June 3). In Wikipedia. Retrieved June 23, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software
St. Amant, K., & Still, B. (2007). Handbook of Research on Open Source Software: Technological, Economic, and Social Perspectives. N.p.: IGI Global. Retrieved June 23, 2013, from Books 24x7 (9781591409991).
In the 1950s and into the 1960s almost all software was produced largely by academics and corporate researchers working in collaboration and was not itself seen as a commodity. Operating systems were widely distributed and maintained by the community of users. Source code, the human-readable version of software, was distributed with software because users frequently modified the software themselves to fix bugs or add new functionality.
Storm Brewing
The War is declared
Sharing Continues
Richard Stallman:
Birth of Free Software Foundation
First GPL created
Linux Kernel
Open Source Initiative
The Open Source Definition
In the mid to late 90s, when many website-based companies were starting up, free software became a popular choice for web servers. Apache HTTP Server became the most used web server software and still is today. This software was not technologically dependent on GNU, so it's connection with Free Software Foundation was minimal.
Open Office.org
AT&T charges for UNIX: In 1979, AT&T began to enforce its restrictive licenses when the company decided it might profit by selling the Unix system.
The invention of USENET in 1980 connected the programming community and provided a simpler way for programmers to share their software and contribute to software others had written.
In 1984, Richard Stallman launched the GNU Project to write a complete operating system free from constraints on use of its source code. Stallman intended "to develop a freely available implementation of the Unix operating system." (St. Amant, 2007)

In 1985 he founds the Free Software Foundation to promote his concept of “free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. A free software definition is published in February 1986.
By the late 1960's, the cost of developing software was growing due to its increasing complexity. While some software continued to come at no cost, there was a growing amount of software that was for sale only.

Computer programs were treated like any information created by the scientific community: Software was free for everyone to use, study, and enhance. Building on programs created by other programmers was not only allowed, but encouraged. On one hand, nobody owned the programs, and on the other, they were common property of the community. (St. Amant, 2007)

In 1958, MIT creates an artificial intelligence (computer) lab, one of the first of it's kind. A subculture was created among the MIT hackers with traditions and social norms of its own. Important values for the community were freedom, intelligence, technical skills, and interest in the possibilities of computers while bureaucracy, secrecy, and lack of mathematical skills were looked down on. The six rules of this hacker ethic as later codified by Levy were:
Access to computers—and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works—should be unlimited and total.
All information should be free.
Mistrust authority—promote decentralization.
Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position.
You can create art and beauty on a computer.
Computers can change your life for the better.
In 1989, the first version of the GNU General Public License was published. The GPL is called a copyleft license, because in a sense it turns around the copyright by giving the user, not only the author, the freedom to use and to continue to build on the copylefted work.
Around 1981, MIT's AI lab workers left the lab to create a company called Symbolics that was going to sell computers based on technology developed in cooperation in the lab. Many of the lab 'hackers' left to work in this company, leaving only a few remaining.

Richard Stallman, who worked at the MIT lab, saw an ethical problem in the growing trend of treating software in terms of property...
Free Software Definition:

A program is free software if the program's users have the four essential freedoms:
•The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.
•The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
•The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
•The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others. By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this. (Free Software Foundation, 2013)

A software developer can still be paid for creating projects; restricting and controlling the user's decisions on use is the actual violation of freedom.

Until this point, the GNU project's lack of a kernel meant that no complete free software operating systems existed. The development of Torvalds' kernel closed that last gap. The combination of the almost-finished GNU operating system and the Linux kernel made the first complete free software operating system.
In Feburary of 1992, Linus Torvalds created the
Linux Kernel under the GNU General Public License.
Richard Stallman's free Unix code is still being developed collaboratively by him and other developers. Most components are in place and working. However, the core component, the kernel, was still missing from the code.
The writer of any software holds the copyright for it and can turn over the programs to the public domain. Thus the programs would be free.

However, releasing the programs to the public domain would mean that people would be able to distribute the programs in ways which will restrict the freedom of users, for instance, by distributing them without the source code. A free program would have become non-free.

Richard Stallman wanted the distribution of his programs or any other free software to stay free forever, and together with Free Software Foundation (FSF) legal counsel Eben Moglen, they devised the GNU General Public License (GPL) for this purpose. (St. Amant, 2007)
Thus, the aim of the term open source is to emphasize the practical benefits of the OS development model instead of the moral philosophy behind the free software ideal.
The rhetoric of Richard Stallman caused Eric S. Raymond and Bruce Perens to form the Open Source Initiative (OSI) in February of 1998. They felt that Stallman was "putting off potential collaborators, especially business partners." (St. Amant, 2007)
Here is a company that is going Open Source!
In January of 1998, Netscape announced of
a source code release for
Navigator, as Mozilla.
Open source describes a broad general type of software license that makes source code available to the general public with relaxed or non-existent copyright restrictions.
Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:
1. Free Redistribution
The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.
2. Source Code
The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed.
3. Derived Works
The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.
4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code
The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software.
5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.
6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.

7. Distribution of License
The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.
8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product
The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's being part of a particular software distribution. If the program is extracted from that distribution and used or distributed within the terms of the program's license, all parties to whom the program is redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with the original software distribution.
9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software
The license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be open-source software.
10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral
No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology or style of interface. (What is Open Source, 2009)
Early Open Source Project
Back in 1997, Eric Raymond published 'The Cathedral and the Bazaar,' a reflective analysis of the hacker community and free software principles. The paper received significant attention in early 1998 and was one factor in motivating Netscape Communications Corporation to release their popular Netscape Communicator Internet suite as free software. This code is better known today as Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird.
While the term "open source" applied originally only to the source code of software, it is now being applied to many other areas such as Open source ecology, a movement to decentralize technologies so that any human can use them.
In August 1999, Sun Microsystems released the StarOffice office suite as free software under the GNU Lesser General Public License. The free software version was later renamed OpenOffice.org.
Since 1999, all sorts of open source
software has been created for all sorts of applications.
I recently upgraded our version of Proprietary software that we use for video editing, moving from Adobe CS4 to CS6. At the current time, there were not options available in the open source community that can do all the things that Adobe Premiere can do for free (not yet, anyway). There are OSS options like Light Works, but these versions are for a fee as well. We stuck with the Adobe products due to their usefulness in the professional video world (After Effects integrates seamlessly and is the industry standard for 3D animation).

While the new version of the Adobe suite is very good, there are a few changes that have been driving me and experienced students crazy. For some reason, Adobe removed the Jog and Shuttle controls for moving through video precisely. In the Adobe community, there has been a large voice of disapproval with no way to remedy the situation.

Adobe's response has been to use three hot keys with similar functions, which aren't nearly as effective. While similar, these functions don't handle the same. If this was an Open Source program, developers could update the version and offer it to the community. Unfortunately, the Adobe programs are proprietary and will not open their source code to the masses. We are stuck with the interface that they designed. As Richard Stallman said, this is not right.

That's one more step for me in the video open source software direction as these products come available.
Great video example (Just for Dan Sharpe!)
Be appropriate for deployment in K-12 school environments

Have leadership and a dedicated core developer group

Have an active community around the software

Provide reports of developments and plans for features development

Be able to run on multiple hardware and software platforms

Have well-documented license conditions

Have third-party support and/or other strategic alliances

Provide rapid turnaround processes for supporting requests and bug fixes

Provide well-documented technical information and quality assurance processes

Have professional development of both teaching and technical staff easily available (St. Amant, 2007)

Open Source Selection Criteria
Cherry, K. (2013). What Is the Zone of Proximal Development?. In About.com Psychology. Retrieved June 23, 2013, from http://psychology.about.com/od/zindex/g/zone-proximal.htm
Social Constructivism is when learners are on a joint venture with one another and their teacher to create new meaning. While constructivism, in it's purest form, has students explore and discover on their own; social constructivism adds the element of guidance.

Since many older, traditional teachers come from the school of behaviorism in how their classroom's operate, a move to social constructivism isn't the gigantic leap that a move to pure constructivism would be.

Younger students lack many of the experiences necessary to work fully independent of someone with expertise, so social constructivism makes sense as an educational theory for teacher's to use. It is also why most school districts have made the efforts to get their teachers to teach this way.

Full constructivism is better suited for experienced and adult learners that already know how to work independently. I have noticed that fully online learning formats lean towards constructivism, as the only true guiding influence that the learner has is information provided in the LMS (Learning Management System).
What is Social Constructivism?
Psychologists John Dewey and Jean Paiget, from the late 1800s, were the early theorists behind the concept of constructivism. The emergence of Lev Vygotsky in the early 1900s led to a shift in thinking towards his brand of constructivism called social constructivism.

One of Vygotsky's main concepts was called the 'Zone of Proximal Development,' which "is the distance between the actual development level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers." (Cherry, 2013)

This describes the range of abilities a person can perform with assistance but can not yet perform by themselves. This idea leads to the need of either: 1) a teacher to offer guidance until the student can do it on their own or 2) an advanced peer helping a student that that is less skilled. This usually includes some sort of project-based (or doing) learning as part of the process.
Brief History of Constructivism
An example of this is learning how to ride a bike. The learner is usually given early assistance through training wheels (put on by an adult) or stability of the adult helping to keep the bike balanced. By themselves, the learners may not ever be able to ride a bike, especially if their first tries involve a few bad crashes. With this assistance, the learner can gain confidence and skill at balancing their bike as they ride until the training wheels/balance help is removed. The rider can now ride, albeit somewhat shaky. From here, the learner will continue to practice on their own to become better and more skilled at riding their bike.
The link to Open Source
If Vygotsky is correct and children do learn in social & group settings, then the use of technology, especially open source, is a natural fit. Here's why:

Open source technology is generally created in a collaborative nature.
It is often times free, so students can use these tools at home as well as in school.
Many open source tools are of professional quality (or at least simulate the real world) which will help prepare students to use this and other technologies in the future.
Open source programs usually have a large and collaborative community. You can find help by simply looking and/or asking.

Not only can school's save a substantial amount of money over using proprietary software, the students have access to it for their use as well. How can we use open source software and what kind can we use in schools?
The plethora of free online tools that schools can use to compliment their technology offerings to students is staggering by itself, but this is a conversation for a different Prezi. What open source options are there for schools and what can they do? These examples pass the Open Source Selection Criteria established by Bernard Golden in his 2005 book 'Succeeding with Open Source Software.'
Open Source Used in Schools
Operating Systems: At the back end of a school’s IT architecture, software is used to run servers, intranets, and proxy caches, and to provide printing, file serving, e-mail, and Internet access, and to run desktop computers. Common open source operating systems software deployed in schools include versions of Linux, Debian, Mandrake, SUSE, and Redhat Fedora.

Server Terminal Systems: On the front side, for computers stations in classrooms and administration offices, terminal services can be used by utilizing the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP), an add-on piece of software for Linux that allows many computers to be used simultaneously.

Learning Environments: Moodle is a very easy to use and fully functional learning management system. Great for use by classroom teachers, even better for online courses.

Office Productivity: Classroom and administration computers can use Open Office instead of paying for Microsoft's Office suite and get essentially the same products (Word, Excel & PowerPoint & Paint).

Graphics Manipulation: GIMP is about as close to Photoshop that any software out there has come.

3D Graphics & Animation & Gaming: Blender does just about everything that can be done using proprietary programs like Maya and 3Ds Max. Blender is used in the professional editing world.

Sound Editing: Audacity (and Handbrake) offer professional sound editing tools at no cost.

Video Editing: Light Works is a professional video editing program that has been used in Hollywood for decades. The free version is missing some features, but the cost to license is very low ($60 per year).

Online games: Lin City NG and NASA World Wind are available for teaching and learning purposes among many other options in the open source community.

Internet Browser: Mozilla offers a very stable, fast internet browser not prone to all of the Internet Explorer viruses.

Website/Blog Creation: Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org. The .com version is a free online version while the .org version is the open source platform used by millions.

*The final eight options can be used in classrooms to teach students real world skills.
The multitude of options available for teachers to use to teach their students from open source offerings gives the educator the easy transition to turn their classroom into a social constructivist classroom.
Expansion of the term Open Source
Open source has a much lower price and the total cost of open source is lower (usually).
...is more reliable (usually).
...is more secure (usually).
...is more powerful (usually).
...is more network friendly.
...formats can be more customized.
...is more empowering.
...doesn't lead to 'vendor lock-in.'
...is easy to learn how to use.
...lets teachers and students have software at home.
Some software isn't compatible with open source.
Proprietary software has more features.
Proprietary software is more user friendly (sometimes).
There are no open source solultions to some school needs.
Some curricular software is not compatible with open source.
Open source is harder to deploy (sometimes).
Proprietary software offers better service & support (sometimes).
K-12 users are more familiar & comfortable with proprietary software.
It's difficult to integrate open source & proprietary solutions (sometimes).
Schools need proprietary software to use some third-party programs (sometimes).
By Richard Cole
A video summary of what you've learned so far...
Outfitting a school with Open Source software
Full transcript