April 13th, 2009 Benjamin Horst
Our friend Christian Einfeldt reports on Slashdot that Hungary and Tatarstan (in Russia) have made strategic moves to adopt Free and Open Source Software.
On April 2, the Hungarian government announced that it will be modifying its procurement rules to mandate that open source procurement funding match expenditures for proprietary software, according to Ferenc Baja, deputy minister for information technology. In Tatarstan, a Republic of 3.8 million inhabitants, the Deputy Minister of Education announced that by the end of this school year, all 2,400 educational institutions in Tatarstan will have completed a transition to GNU/Linux, following a successful pilot program it rolled out in 2008.
With the 2010 annual OpenOffice.org conference to be held in Budapest, Hungary, this is especially timely news.
April 10th, 2009 Benjamin Horst
BestCollegeRankings.org posted a list of 101 Killer Open Courseware Projects from Around the World: Ivy League and Beyond.
The following list of 100 open courseware projects are designed to offer readers access to supplementary materials for education. They are free (hence “open”) and available to anyone who has access to the Internet. The downside to these courseware projects is that you cannot earn credits; however, a few colleges do offer tuition-paying students a chance to earn credits by completing some projects online.
The list is quite sizable and not organized into subcategories (though each entry is annotated), so there’s still work to do if you want to understand it and choose a program and/or individual courses.
To my knowledge, the one university that created Open Courseware and appears to have placed all of its 1,800 courses online, deserves special mention. That university is MIT.
Many other great resources make this list essential to bookmark. Enjoy!
March 25th, 2009 Benjamin Horst
Director of Instructional Technology for a large Texas school district, Miguel Guhlin shares his experience creating online learning environments with Moodle in his post Moodle Habitudes – Constructing Online Learning Environments:
Online learning is critical to our future, both for adults and children in K-12. I’d like to see a series of courses that go beyond how to design online learning–although that is certainly essential–to how to best manage resources to facilitate and enable online learning. As an administrator growing his own program, what planning do I need to put in place to ensure success for learners in K-12 environment?
Guhlin has the rare combination of technical and strategic planning skills to step back from the immediate technology and develop best practices that he can share with other school districts. This article contains much valuable advice for anyone interested in building online learning environments.