Who is using open source and why it's important.

Open source and its popularity is increasing and this article 'I didn't know they used Open Source' is aimed at businesses, but is quite a good insight into the widespread phenomena that is Open Source and its increasing popularity within mainstresm arenas.

So what's the potential of Open Source for Education?

OERs are teaching, learning and research resources freely available within the public domain and for the most part protected by Creative Commons or Copyleft licences. There is an increasing set of Open Educational Resources - (OER) online that cover a wide range of subjects and topics. At this point there are many which are unregulated which has both pros and cons.

The more educators get involved with OER the more assured students can be of the quality of the information they are engaging with.

For some initial links you can visit the following sites and engage in the Open Source debate in Education and beyond. These are just a few examples - please upload any you may find as you encounter the diversity that is Open Source software and culture.

1.UNESCO supports an OER strategy as a way 'to provide quality education, build capacity and share knowledge as the key to sustainable social and economic development and intercultural dialogue' (Unesco, 2012)

2. OER commons offers free teaching and learning resources from around the world.

3. Open Study - supports peer 2 peer learning and 'is  a social learning network where students ask questions, give help, and connect with other students studying the same things. Our mission is to make the world one large study group, regardless of school, location, or background' (Open Study 2012).

4. MIT Open Courseware MIT have shared some of their programmes courses online. Many colleges are doing this and offer great resources, ideas and paves the way for OPEN certificate programes like P2PU Open Masters.

Keywords: GNU Open Source P2P Participation Public Domain

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