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Ideas for a lesson on Open Source (OCR GCSE Comp)

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by A_Teacher_Of_Computing, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. Struggling to think of an interesting way to do this one, any ideas?

     
  2. When I taught this last year, I made a multiple choice quiz that I gave them at the start to test their exisiting knowledge. I then asked them to look up their answers and see if they were correct. I would them get them to look at examples (this website is good). With the current news regarding computing and education, you could look at the exisiting open source software and ask them to discuss positive and negative aspects of it. Lastly, show them some icons (without the names) of well known open source software and ask them to identify them and come up with an idea as to how the logo came about and what it is supposed to mean.
     
  3. I teach 6 lessons on it in Year 8, and they absolutely love it. Here's an excerpt, let me know if it's of any use! (it's L4): http://www.mediafire.com/?pa6lve7a2xmwwm8
     
  4. Mr_G_ICT

    Mr_G_ICT New commenter

    just saw this post and had a look at the powerpoint, it looks ace.
    You also refer to open source as the future? (is this a little bit biased?) - that's not me trying to be a troll, just thinking about presenting both sides of an argument.
    What do they end up producing at the end of the unit. I see they make a poster in this lesson, but what is the overall outcomes that you assess?
     
  5. They produce a report to the Headteacher on key open source programs and how they could be used in subjects across school!
    I did allow kids who were against FOSS to create posters arguing why commercial software was better. This provided a great debate in class - some didn't understand why FOSS could be free when big companies charge fortunes for their products. Others just preferred Photoshop, Office etc - fair enough. I think they were all pretty much sold on Linux though as soon as you install Desktop Effects and show them the Round Cube....
     
  6. Round Cube ?
     
  7. First, I make sure they understand what open-source is. We modify something from a Greenfoot tutorial (for example).
    Then I leave them to it. Half will present arguments in favour of FOSS. Half will present arguments against it.
    I point them towards a few things:
    - The idea of downloading OpenOffice and tweaking it for
    your language or adding functions (as was done with NeoOffice), or forking it completely if support fails (to
    LibreOffice). I mention other forks, both sucessful and not-so sucessful - e.g. Paint.NET 2 forked to *nix as Pinta and the dying Netscape being open-sourced.
    - I point them to the opening section of Free As In Freedom, so they know how Richard Stallman started, after he couldn't hack a printer to improve functionality - see the opening section of Free As In Freedom.
    - I point them to Bill Gates' Letter to Hobbyists
    - I point them to ***
    Those who argue for FOSS, generally do well and enjoy the research. Those who argue against FOSS complain of feeling unclean. Those who argue well, against FOSS, grow up to be politicians and lawyers.
     
  8. Thanks everyone, the PPT was a perfect starter for t elesson to get them talking about open source... easily adaptable to KS4 and 5.
     

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