There’s a very cool project I am very lucky to have the opportunity to work on, this coming month. It’s pretty exciting to me, because it involves introducing elementary school children to free & open source software, particularly creative tools such as my dearly beloved Inkscape and Gimp.
Here’s a bit of a teaser: I put together a two-page guide on open source for K12 Educators as part of this project. You may download it as a PDF or read the excerpt below. I’m making it available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license, so please feel to remix and redistribute it as you wish! (sans the Red Hat logo, of course, which is noted as being a registered trademark :) ) Inkscape source files for each page are available for your ease of remixing! :) (You’ll need free and open source fonts Junction and Comic Serif Pro so make sure you have those installed.)
Since this needed to be a single double-sided sheet of information, it’s been edited quite judiciously! A lot of great stuff has been left out here, but I think this is a sampling of the best-of-the-best of the resources out there. So if you’re a K12 educator looking for more information on open source but overwhelmed by the amount of info out there, I’m hoping this will be a good shortlist for you to start from!
That being said, of course, if you’ve got a great K12 Educator FLOSS resource in mind, please please please drop a note in the comments!! :)
Also, mad props to Karsten Wade for providing great pointers to many of the sites listed in the guide!
A forum for discussing how the open source way can be put into practice to improve
the world of education: for teachers, children, parents, professors, administrators,
and anyone who wants to learn or teach.
A wiki with a lot of great information on open source in K12 classrooms, including a
blog, application directory, lesson plans, and case studies.
Prominent K-12 education and open source technology blogger.
An excellent site with tons of information about using open source software in the
K12 classroom with examples and the results of a survey of K12 educators using
open source, federally-funded and put together by the Northwest Educational
High-quality, free manuals for free & open source applications, many of which are
useful in the classroom
Open Educational Resources are teaching and learning materials that you may freely
use and reuse, without charge. OER often have a Creative Commons or GNU license
that state specifically how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared.
Catalog of public domain vector artwork, convenient for classroom usage.
CONNECT WITH OTHER OPEN SOURCE EDUCATORS
An active social network & forum for K12 educators to discuss open source.
Open-source-friendly and technology-centric educators’ community.
SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS OF INTEREST
A rich authoring environment for kids with 2D and 3D graphics, images, text,
particles, videos, and sounds. Developed as part of One Laptop Per Child.
Open source application that enables kids to create interactive stories, games, music,
FINDING OPEN SOURCE APPLICATIONS
Wondering if there’s a free & open source alternative to an application you use in the
classroom? Look it up on OSalt.com!
Catalog of open source applications for K12 usage. Applications are listed by operating
system (Windows / Mac / Linux.)
Another catalog of open source applications for K12 usage.
Open source suite of K12 Applications produced by the KDE project.
I’m hoping to post more information on this project at the end of this week… stay tuned :)