OpenEd17: The 14th Annual Open Education Conference
October 11 – 13, 2017  ::  Anaheim, CA

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Thursday, October 12 • 9:45am - 10:10am
Toward an Integrated Open Textbook and Free Software Platform in Science Education

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Open source software can be used to greatly enhance the learning experience of students in STEM courses. The challenge of its effective deployment and its course integration are substantial, however, even with an open textbook. Integrating a science textbook within a controlled open source software environment provides students and educators the advantage of access to a common set of mathematics, science, simulation, and multimedia software, as well as software development and teaching tools. Avenues for this integration range from the production of custom open source software distributions to the configuration of dedicated inexpensive computers to accompany textbooks. The former approach includes the production of a live free software distribution with the desired software, teaching resources and open textbooks already integrated to run on existing student and institutional hardware. The open source tools available to facilitate this creation along with the limitations of this approach are explored. An alternate approach, based on the advent of inexpensive system on a chip (SOC) computers having sufficient computational power at low cost puts distribution of an integrated open textbook/software educational platform within reach for students and institutions. This modality of textbook and software distribution presents its own advantages and challenges that are considered.

avatar for Robert Petry

Robert Petry

Dr., Campion College at the Unviersity of Regina

Thursday October 12, 2017 9:45am - 10:10am PDT