Open-Source Education

Every teacher has faced this micro-dilemma; do I scour the net looking for good resources or do I write my own?  It seems a waste to write my own, when there are any number of excellent, high-quality resources freely available.  And yet, taking into the account the time it would take to find what I was looking for and edit it to my student’s needs, it seems easier to just write my own.

So I do, and if I’m feeling conscientious I put it up online somewhere for others to have if they want… which creates an even denser fog of resources available online.

Programmers solved this one.

Rather than having a two, or two dozen or two hundred people working independently on their own code, they would put their code (while it was in progress) up somewhere public.  Then, people interested in that code (or in writing similar software) could see it, use it, and if they wanted to, add to it, or make suggestions on how it could be improved.

Why would people do this? Why should anyone freely share their hard work for all to take and use? Why would anyone work on someone elses code without pay?

Questions like these made this idea, what later became Open-Source ideology, laughable.  And it was laughed at.

Then it became incredibly popular, as people used it intensely, and open-source platforms like Android, began to rapidly outpace their privately-maintained and corporate-model counterparts, like Microsoft and Apple.

My idea, still in embryonic stage, is to take Open-Source culture and bring into our school syllabi and curriculae.