Education

  • Preface This essay expands a proposal on Open Data in schools that I made in 2011, which requires very little, if any, funding and central authorization/coordination to be implemented. As of this writing, I know of no other proposal of the same kind, with the exception of this 2012 presentation from New Zealand. Also, I have not heard of any large scale implementation, or had occasion to do any real work on this topic.
  • (this is a proposal for a talk and related workshop that I submitted for a conference that took place in autumn 2013. The proposal was accepted but eventually didn’t happen due to lack of funding for travel expenses. Since the idea is not tied to that specific event in any way, here it is) Young people have always been critical of politics and public institutions in general. This, of course, is absolutely natural and even necessary, to a degree.
  • Last fall, as a follow-up of my participation to CONSEGI 2011 in Brasilia, and in the context of my Open Data for Education proposal, I asked several Brazilian teachers to share if and how they were using Open Data to teach. These are, in no particular order, the first answers I got. I hope they will stimulate more contacts and exchange of experiences and best practices in this field, among them, and all other teachers worldwide who are interested in this topic.
  • More than ten years ago I discovered John Naisbitt’s famous quote: “We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.” This month I’ve discovered a wonderful piece by Neal Gabler that goes further: The Elusive Big Idea. This is a really short excerpt of the best points, but please read the whole piece and think seriously about it! (for the record, the fourth point below is one of the many reasons why I still prefer writing and reading to podcasts and videoclips)
  • The fOSSa 2010 conference in Grenoble did a good job to prove (since it’s still sorely needed, see conclusions below) that Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) isn’t some unreliable toy for amateurs.FOSS for the Software and Web Industry I have already described in other articles the lessons that ALL managers could have learned at fOSSa and its coverage of the relationships among FOSS, education and environmental sustainability. Besides that, there were lots of interesting, if highly technical talks (I really want to study GeoBi for example).
  • (this page is part of the Family Guide to Digital Freedom, 2007 edition. Please do read that introduction to know more about the Guide, especially if you mean to comment this page. Thanks) (continues from here) Do teachers force students to think and look for substance even when using a computer? Children who are told to use a computer for study “just because”, often only learn how to waste time and be superficial.
  • (this page is just one part of my “Dangerous Copyright Myths” piece. Please also read the introduction and index for more context) Myth 6: Copyright is not necessary because humankind and artists did perfectly well without it for centuries This is the “Mozart was great without copyright, nor did he care about it” school of so-called thought: copyright would be dangerous or at least useless because it is a very recent thing.
  • (this page is just one part of my “Dangerous Copyright Myths” piece. Please also read the introduction and index for more context) Oh, yeah, work on commission. Absolutely nothing wrong with it… as long as you don’t base the whole system on it. Proposing a switch to work on commissions comes from the fact that even those who believe myth number 1 cannot deny that skilled labor has a lot of value, much more than the cost of one copy of a work.
  • (this page is just one part of my “Dangerous Copyright Myths” piece. Please also read the introduction and index for more context) Myth 3: All creative activities give equal opportunities to make a comfortable living even without copyright This belief that any kind of author has so many alternatives to make a living from his or her creative talent alone is very strong, because it’s a very convenient one: “it’s not my fault if he’s lazy”.
  • (this page is just one part of my “Dangerous Copyright Myths” piece. Please also read the introduction and index for more context) Free (as in Freedom) Software makes a very smart use of copyright for the common good. Copyright remains a much simpler way to protect or share software than patents, tradermarks and so on. It is also hard to believe that, if copyright didn’t exist at all or software were not copyrightable, there would be no need for the GPL or similar licenses.