For most students and teachers, our lives revolve around tests. For students, the tests determine whether they’re a success or a failure. The same is increasingly true of teachers. Take my career as an example.
Online learning is becoming more prevalent, which means educators need easy to use tools for creating online learning materials. There are several closed source, commercial programs available (e.g., Adobe’s Captivate), but these programs are expensive (even at academic discount prices) and are sometimes too complex for educators who just want to quickly and easily create a learning object. An excellent, easy to use, open source alternative is Xerte, a learning object creation tool developed by the University of Nottingham.
There is a long list of sites powered by Open edX, a platform hoping to be powerful and extensible enough that education experts can use it not only to run courses, but to try out new ideas for how to educate online. See the full list on GitHub.
In this interview, I spoke with Ned Batchelder of Open edX about his team (photo below, Ned is in blue) who he says are working to make the platform “the best place to experiment with new ideas, and then share those ideas with other educators who can build on them and make their own improvements.”
Let’s see how they’re looking to reach that goal today.
Data.gov has taken open source to heart. Beyond just providing open data and open source code, the entire process involves open civic engagement. All team ideas, public interactions, and new ideas (from any interaction) are cross-posted and entered in Github. These are tracked openly and completed to milestones for full transparency. We also recently redesigned the website at Data.gov through usability testing and open engagement on Github.