There is a new form of education these days. Open Source Education is surely going to change people’s outlook about education and help in spreading of knowledge and provide access to education to children across the globe.
Lisa Petrides,President and Founder of the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education,elucidates the worth of open source education – “Open educational resources provide a learner-centered platform that authentically marries technology with education, provides access and equity to education resources for all, and last but not least, is in some cases enabling the re-professionalism of teaching.”
Earlier, learning was quite a herculean task for the students in absence of classrooms or teachers. Now, with access and distribution of Internet facilities across the world, students have gained access to education for free through websites personalized to this type of education! Promoting open source learning will help in reducing the cost for printing & publishing books, which in turn, will help the students to bring down their own incurring costs. It will also help in curbing the financial barrier to educational resources as students who will be buying books, will be capable of sharing the PDF versions of the books online with the other children for no charge at all.
The curriculum provides online educational resources free of charge, which can be used, distributed and tailored as well. This practice encourages participation from educationalists, developers, parents and students and also invites their feedback and ideas. Wikiversity, Curriki, and MIT Open Courseware are some of the open source curriculum repositories which provide a curriculum framework for a particular course. Curriki is a non-profit social private enterprise devoted to improving the quality of education with global access to free and open edification resources.
With numerous learning platforms available now, both corporate and academic organizations are progressively acquiring its whole host of benefits. For example, instead of having the trainers to travel numerous company sites, the employees can easily access the online company training resources. Moreover, recently the potential of the open source learning management system is being explored by the industry connoisseurs in the sphere of business environments. There are many tools of open source learning available including Xerte, Udutu, and Claroline for helping professionals in creating online courseware and provide knowledge at little or no cost! Moodle is one of the well-known and dynamic online learning tools that offer wide range of tools to enhance the virtual learning experience. It also provides its users the facility to create customized learning environments.
In addition to this, Open source education also helps for higher education initiatives. In accordance with the Online Education Database, in 2003 The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Open Courseware Program started providing its users open access to syllabus, notes, courseware, problem questions and solutions, exam samples as well as some selected video lectures. “Using open source allows the university flexibility to modify software and make it more applicable to the Oxford style”, feels Stuart Lee, Director of Computing Systems & Services at Oxford University.