Posts Tagged ‘Open Source’

Following Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s lead in OpenCourseWare and Yale University’s Open Yale Courses, Stanford University is offering 10 free online courses in computer-science and electrical-engineering courses this fall.  Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE) provides the Stanford experience with students and educators around the world.  SEE offers online access to the school’s popular course sequences: the three-course Introduction to Computer Science taken by the majority of Stanford’s undergraduates and seven more advanced courses in artificial intelligence, robotics, and electrical engineering.

It is quite simple to take any of the SEE online courses.  All you need is a computer and an Internet connection.  SEE courses include lecture videos, reading lists, handouts, quizzes, tests, and even a social network for other SEE students.  The course content is offered through a variety of media and formats, including videos on YouTube, iTunes, Vyew, WMV Torrent, and MP4 Torrent. The courses will be covered under a Creative Commons license.  Stanford encourages students and educators to use SEE course materials in their own classrooms or for noncommercial purposes. A Creative Commons license allows for free and open use, reuse, adaptation and redistribution of Stanford Engineering Everywhere material.

According to Stanford, SEE encourages educators and students from across the world to “form virtual communities around the classes.”  The SEE program could be expanded to include more courses if it proves popular and successful. This is a terrific news for students and educators around the world who can’t afford Stanford’s tuition and want to experience the world class education, they can take Stanford up on the offer.   They can now take classes with Stanford students and download lecture videos, handouts, assignments and even exams, almost exactly the same course material available to Stanford students. But of course a big difference is that non Stanford students won’t get any credit.

If you’re ready to start the SEE courses, you can now access these 10 SEE courses [http://see.stanford.edu/SEE/Courses.aspx] here.  Good luck.

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My colleague, Dennis Vital, came across an article “The Top 50 Proprietary Programs that Drive You Crazy – and Their Open Source Alternatives” on the WHDb. The article is written by Jimmy Atkinson who compares various proprietary programs/products with open source programs. Dennis alerts me about this post since he knows I am a strong advocate for the use of Open Source in schools. I am glad he did and I found the article is very interesting. Overall, Mr. Atkinson does a great job of compiling the list. I am not surprised that many of my favorite Open Source programs are included although some are missing (i.e., KompoZer, NotePad++, GimpShop, VLC player, and etc). Nonetheless, here are the top 50 proprietary programs and their Open source alternative discussed in the article. To read the full article, please visit Jimmy Atkinson’s post on the WHDb.


1. Windows Vista OS to Ubuntu OS

2. Internet Explorer Browser to Firefox Browser

Office Suites

3. Microsoft Office to OpenOffice

4. Mactopia to NeoOffice

Office Tools

5. MathWorks MATLAB to Scilab

6. Microsoft Access to Kexi

7. Microsoft Word to OpenOffice Writer

8. Microsoft Excel to OpenOffice Calc

9. Microsoft Visio to Dia


10. Blackboard to Moodle

11. Box to Cabos

12. Microsoft Project to Open Workbench

13. Mindjet to FreeMind

Graphic Programs

14. Adobe Illustrator to Inkscape

15. Adobe PhotoShop to GIMP

16. Adobe Premiere to Avidemux

17. AutoCAD to Archimedes

18. Microsoft PowerPoint to OpenOffice Impress

19. Microsoft Paint to Tux Paint

Web Editors

21. Adobe GoLive CS2 to Mozilla SeaMonkey

22. Adobe Dreamweaver to NVU

23. Macromedia Flash Professional to OpenLaszlo

24. Microsoft Frontpage to Bluefish

25. Windows Notepad to ConTEXT

26. Altova XMLSpy to XML Copy Editor


27. Adobe Acrobat to PDFCreator

28. Adobe Framemaker to DocBook

29. Microsoft Publisher to Scribus


30. AIM to Pidgin

31. FeedDemon to RSS Bandit

32. Microsoft MSN Messenger to aMSN

33. Microsoft Outlook to Thunderbird

34. Skype to Wengophone


35. iTunes to Songbird

36. Nero Burning Rom to K3b

37. Quicktime to Darwin Streaming Server

38. TiVo Desktop to Galleon.tv

39. Windows Media Player to Miro


40. CuteFTP to Filezilla

41. iBackup to ZManda

42. Norton Ghost to Partition Image

43. Rational Purify to Valgrind

44. WinZip to 7-Zip


45. Kaspersky Anti-Virus Personal to Winpooch

46. McAfee VirusScan to ClamWin

47. Norton Personal Firewall to WIPFW


48. Authorize.net to OpenSSL

49. Microsoft Money (Plus) to TurboCash

50. Quickbooks to Compiere

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I just returned from attending the Creating Futures Technology Conference (CFTTC) in Biloxi, Mississippi.  The CFTTC is Mississippi’s only statewide technology conference and trade show for post-secondary education.  The first CFTTC was held in 1997 and was sponsored by the Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) and the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges (SBCJC).  This was my fifth time to present at the CFTTC.  I have always enjoyed the opportunity of sharing my ideas and thoughts on the use of technology to help Mississippi students learn with colleagues at other colleges and universities in Mississippi.  For the past two days, I made three presentations at the CFTTC and thought they went well.  Here are my slideshows.  Hopefully, they are helpful for those who were unable to attend the CFTTC this year.

Presentation 1

Teaching and Learning with the Digital Natives


Presentation 2

The University of Southern Mississippi’s Podcasting Pilot Project




Presentation 3

Open Source in Higher Education



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MECA 2008 Conference

I am now attending the MECA (Mississippi Educational Computing Association ) 2008 Conference in Jackson, Mississippi. MECA celebrates the silver anniversary this year with a recorded participants over 1,100. I have been attending the MECA conference since 1995 and have made presentations each year for the past 13 years. This year is no exception. I am the lead presenter of 3 presentations. You can view my presentations in this post if you who can’t attend the conference this year.

Software for Starving Students

Developing Data Literacy with InspireData

Top 20 Free Web Applications for Teachers and Librarians

Also, an opening keynote presentation “Literacy & Learning in the 21st Century” delivered by David Warlick is embedded here as well.

Literacy & Learning in the 21st Century

Second Life A Teacher Primer by David Warlick

I will add other MECA 2008 conference presentations when become available. Stay tune!

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The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a very popular free alternative to Photoshop. However, Photoshop users have a hard time to switch to GIMP because of the difficulty to locate Photoshop’s features in the GIMP. Fortunately, the GIMPshop developed by Scott Moschella can help these Photoshop users. GIMPshop is a fork of the free/open source GIMP, which changes the layout of the user interface to mimic Adobe Photoshop. Its primary purpose is to make Photoshop users feel comfortable using GIMP. GIMPShop was originally developed for Mac OS X, but has been ported to Windows, Linux, and Solaris.

GIMPshop is a powerful Photoshop look-alike. It modifies the menu structure and adjusts the program’s terminology to closely match Photoshop’s. Though GIMPshop does not support Photoshop plugins, all GIMP’s own plugins, effects, filters, brushes, etc. are supported. If you are looking to do basic photo-retouching, or something far more sophisticated, like work in multiple layers, I think GIMPshop has the tools you need.

Besides the GIMPshop site, you can find some tips and tutorials of using GIMPshop at the GIMPshop.net and the UpState Forums.

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