Public Software for the Public Sector
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Public Education Software News
with support from UNESCO
|Vol.1 No.4 December 2011|
IN THIS ISSUE
UPDATES FROM THE PUBLIC SOFTWARE CENTRE
Public Software Capacity Building for Teacher Educators
Two capacity building workshops were conducted for teacher educators by the Public Software Centre (PSC).
District Institute for Education and Training (DIET) Dharwad (which was created from a teacher education institution that is over 150 years old) faculty were introduced to basic computer use as well as public software educational tools. Dharwad DIET became the first DIET in the country where student-teachers participated in the Ubuntu Certification course and received certification from IIT Mumbai.
An Ubuntu installation workshop was conducted for all DIETs in Karnataka to enable them to install and use public educational software applications in their computer labs. Since Ubuntu GNU/Linux system is virus resistant, this would significantly reduce maintenance efforts at the DIET computer labs across the state, apart from saving anti-virus upgrade annual costs.
Faculty from PSC also worked with teacher educators at the Kumta DIET to finalise the National Curriculum Framework 2005 position paper commentaries in Kannada for mathematics and science subjects, which are available on the portal http://RMSA.KarnatakaEducation.org.in.
PSC also conducted Ubuntu Certification workshops for American India Foundation and Vedanta Foundation. These NGOs work with schools across Karnataka and will support the Subject Teacher Forums set up by Rashtriya Madhayamika Shiksha Abhiyaan (RMSA).
PSC continued to work with RMSA, where the teachers trained to be the State Resource Persons will be conducting workshops to train 60 Master Resource Persons (MRP) each for mathematics, science and social science through December and January. These MRPs will then train high school teachers at the district level.
A Record My Desktop workshop was also conducted for the teachers of the Teacher's Community of Learning Project, in Bangalore. Teachers learnt how to dub and edit videos using public software tools. One of the videos created by a teacher on Lunar eclipse (which took place on December 10 in India) as part of the workshop is available in the resource section. This video has been made using Stellarium, a desktop planetarium, LibreOffice Impress, recordmydesktop and KdenLive public software applications, in a single day.
As part of our work with the Spoken Tutorial Project of the National Mission on Education through ICT (NMEICT), the PSC has developed several tutorials on various educational tools and applications including QCAD, NetBeans, Audacity, Inkscape, Drupal, Geogebra and Libre Office.
The focus of our work in this area continues to be on spreading awareness in and on capacity building for higher education institutions, particularly polytechnics. Capacity building workshops have been conducted for MN Technical Institute and are also being planned for faculty in SJCE college, St Philomena's College and SJP Polytechnic.
Our knowledge management and knowledge networking (KMKN) work continues to build a community of organizations who can learn and support each other in the adoption of public software.
PSC partnered with Child Rights Trust (CRT) for the adoption of public software office applications as well as desktop publishing tools like Scribus and Inkscape for their publications as well as for their network across Karnataka. .
Besides CRT, Makkala Jagriti, has also adopted PS for their office and for their learning centres which work with government schools.
European Parliament votes in favour of net neutrality ensuring that internet service providers do not block, discriminate against, impair or degrade the ability of any person to use a service to access, use, send, post, receive or offer any content, application or service of their choice, irrespective of source or target." Net neutrality is an important step to keeping our Internet a public resource. Read more here
Petition for West Bengal on 'stop its shift towards closed source proprietary software in e-governance and education, and declare a pro-FOSS policy'.
Tamil Nadu's Information Technology Department has decided to use the BOSS (Bharat Operating System Solutions) operating system, which is a free and open source computer operating system developed by the National Resource Centre for Free/Open Source Software of India. You can find the order and read more on the issue here.
Adobe (one of the biggest proprietary software vendors) is stopping work on its proprietary 'Flash' player for browsers on mobiles. Proprietary formats are a huge issue in multi-media, especially since the web is more and more audio-visual than just text. Increasingly html5, an open standard is being preferred.
The State Government is formulating a policy for animation, visual-effects and gaming to help Karnataka become the hub for animation industry in India. Public Software applications in this can greatly benefit digital small and medium enterprises and prevent incidents like the recent raids on enterprises using pirated software. Read more here
PSC was invited to participate in a panel on computer aided learning at NCERT, in a workshop organised by MHRD for education secretaries and at another MHRD workshop on Teacher Education, for SCERT directors across the country. In these events, we spoke of the need to transition from first generation programs, where 'computer teachers' teach proprietary operating system and office suite directly to students to second generation programs, where teachers use a variety of ICT tools to teach regular subjects. Second generation programs include the Kerala IT@Schools and PSC program in Karnataka.
A copy of a 'public educational software' DVD, containing a custom Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution with all educational software applications required for school and technical education was shared with the participants of the first workshop.
Prof. Parasuraman, Director, Tata Institute of Social Sciences speaks about why the spirit of public software is important and relevant to public educational institutions and how TISS has significantly benefited from migrating to Public Software, the immediate benefit being the huge reduction in computer maintenance efforts. You can watch the video here.
Please see the video on Lunar eclipse created by a school teacher at http://rmsa.karnatakaeducation.org.in/?q=front
Our new Public software stickers are available here.
PSC announces “Take your Website Back”, a course for basic Website Content Management and Administration Course for NGOs using Drupal. Drupal is a free and open source content management system (CMS), which enables it to be freely shared and customised. Using a CMS like Drupal can enable organisations to take charge of their website and make regular updates including uploading documents, sharing events' information, providing links, blogs of staff members etc. For more information about the course and for registration, email KMKN@Public-Software.in
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