Sunday, July 13, 2008

Origins of Open Source

In an earlier post, I recommended that everyone who uses computers should read Linus Torvald and David Diamond's book Just For Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary. I also think that folks should read something about Richard Stallman, the father of GNU (GNU's Not Unix) Operating System. Technically, it was Richard Stallman's work and Linus Torvald's work that when combined created what is popularly known as Linux.

John Sedgwick recently interviewed Richard Stallman for the May 2008 issue of Boston Magazine. The result was The Shaggy God. The article is easy to read and provides a few references to the history of Free and Open Source Software. It also gives a glimpse into the life and inklings of the thinking of an extremely bright revolutionary visionary. The little I've read of Richard Stallman causes me to anticipate that he is passionate, intense, and highly technical and exacting in both his personal and professional conversations. I think it would be an interesting experience to hear him speak and/or present.

I'm not sure that people like Stallman and Torvalds understand and appreciate people who are merely end-users of their systems. However, end-users are the ones who can make a difference in the world. Stallman and Torvalds are loners. Most end-users are not loners. They use technology as a social network. The philosophy that Stallman and Torvalds espouse is one that end-users can begin to understand and embrace and share as they use Open Source software.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What makes an "integrated with technology" lesson plan "integrated with technology"?

Whew! It's hard to believe that these hot and humid days of July are allowing my brain to think of school. Well, actually, my only other choice is to think of major housework that needs to be done. So, what have I been thinking of? What makes an "integrated with technology" lesson plan "integrated with technology"? I did an Internet search and didn't come up with anything conclusive.

Is it that the end product is created using technology or is it that the process of learning was enhanced by using technology tools? Is there a minimum amount of technology needed for a lesson to be labeled 'integrated with technology'? What are the standards for using technology while teaching and learning?

It seems to me that the Open Source community could take the National Educational Technology Standards and create a how-to design and implement effective integrated with technology lessons. Anyone interested in pursing this with me?