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Open-Source Digital Edition

VOL.1, ISSUE 3 & 4 15TH MAY 2008


Modern society is now defined as the 'Information Society', a society in which lowcost information and ICT are in general use, or as the 'Knowledge(-based) Society', to stress the fact that the most valuable asset is investment in intangible, human and social capital and that the key factors are knowledge and creativity... Read Open-Source Northeast to Work Smarter in the Information Age. UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, the content






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Feature: What is Web2? Page 3 | Captown Open Education Declaration Page 17 | Wikiversity Page 10 | The Web Ranking of World Universities Page 11 FAQ: What is Linux? Page 15 DistroWatch: Page 17 | Distro in Focus: Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring Page 18 Software: Alexandria Book Collection Manager Page 20 | Page 22 | Software for Photographer Page 23 | Dia, Diagrame Creation Programme Page 24 | Ulteo Virtual Desktop Page 25 Tecnology: Diskless Worksation Using LTSP (with case studies) Page 27 | Low Power Computing Page 32 Policy Forum: No Child Left Behind Page 31 Tutorial: Finding Information for education Page 34 Resources: Open Educational Resources and Tools Page 51 | Tools and information for working smarter, not harder Page 53 Book Recommendation Page 52 | Career Page 55 | Services of Prag Foundation 57 FREE DOWNLOAD AT WWW.MYOPENSOURCE.IN


Open-Source Northeast

Bridging the divide, emPowering the Readers

EDITORIAL BOARD Jayanta B Sarma Kuntal Bordoloi Sanjay Dutta Sanjeev Sarma Amarjyoti Deka ADVISORY PANEL Partha Gogoi Senior Consultant TMA Resources, Vienna, VA Ankur Bora Lead Member o fthe Technical Staff--Speech Lab, AT&T Lab, Inc., Austin, Texas Dipendra Gogoi WebEx Communication India Pvt. Ltd (part of Cisco), Bangalore Anjan Sarma Director, Bhabani Offset & Imaging Systems Pvt. Ltd., Guwahati SUBSCRIPTION Digital: Free, Download or join our mailing list at Print (per issue): Individual: Rs. 49 Institutional: Rs 199 ADVERTISING RATES Please contact at

Open-Source Northeast is a quarterly Information Literacy magazine aimed at the academicians, scholars, enterpreneures and businesses, which is also of interest to the general publicl. The magazine focuses on the benefits of 'Free and Open Source Software' (FOSS) in building Information Communication Technology (ICT) capability for development in today's emerging Knowledge Society. Access to knowledge in all its forms is possibly the single most important factor in determining the success or failure of civil society. While traditional media remain essential, new digital technologies hold potential for enhancing civic life that is still untapped in our region. It is essential, therefore, to promote ICT to help access to knowledge and information. The immediate objectives of the magazine are to raise ICT awareness, promote digital inclusion and literacy, and help readers to acquire skills necessary to use ICT productively and efficiently at an affordable cost. The journal publishes articles, tutorials, career information and latest news on FOSS relevant to individuals, institutions and businesses. The journal aims to provide information on everything 'open' and the essential 'know how' for success in today's emerging Information/knowledge society. The overall aim of Prag Foundation is to improve the opportunities for the community using the simple strategy: "invest in the people, stimulate creativity, confidence and self expression using knowledge and information as a medium". 'Open-Source Northeast' is an endeavour towards this. We invite the readers to subscribe to the journals and also to persuade his/her institution to make an institutional subscription. If you are interested to write in the magazine please do send your article for publication subjected to our editorial review. In addition, please keep regularly writing to us with your comments and suggestions. Mail your comments, feedback and suggestions to which is very much appreciated.

PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY ARUP KUMAR MISRA FOR PRAG FOUNDATION IN ASSOCIATION WITH ALLIANCE FOR COMMUNITY CAPACITY BUILDING IN NORTHEAST INDIA FRONTPAGE DESIGNED BY WEBX, GUWAHATI Advertise your services and business in Open-Source Northeast. With nominal subscription rate, both printand electronic distribution, and targeted readers you are guaranteed to reach your niche market and target audience. Moreover, your sponsorship will go a long way towards bridging the digital divide and e-powering the people. Please help by associating yourself with this effort.



What is Web2? The term ‘Web 2.0’ was coined to define an emerging pattern of new uses of the Web and approaches to the Web development, rather than a formal upgrade of Web technologies as the 2.0 version number may appear to signify. The term Web 2.0 was coined by Dale Dougherty of O'Reilly Media. The term is a poorly-defined which refers to new webbased applications and/or networks that share certain characteristics that include an increased emphasis on user generated content, data and content sharing, and collaborative effort, together with the use of various kinds of social software, new ways of interacting with web-based applications, and the use of the web as a platform for generating, re purposing and consuming

of broadcast output in a ‘Media 2.0’ style. •The increased bandwidth offered by 3G telephony will encourage a move from the desktop and the desktop browser to mobile devices and browsers. Content will be created, shared and consumed on mobile devices. •Ubiquitous computing, computing that is always around us, and always on, will change our everyday digital and media environments; mediating the world in new ways.

Web 2.0 Software One easy way to approach the subject of Web 2.0 is to look at the software that is commonly thought of as Web 2.0 software. Individual systems are hosted on a server and accessed across the web via a browser;

The key Web 2.0 concepts It’s an attitude, not a technology: An acknowledgement that Web 2.0 is not primarily about a set of standards or applications, but a new mindset to how the Web can be used. A network effect: This describes applications which are more effective as the numbers of users increase. This effect is well-known in computer networks, with the Internet providing an example of how network traffic can be more resilient as the numbers of devices on the Internet grows. The long tail: As the numbers of users of the Web grows, this can provide business opportunities for niche markets which previously it may not have been cost-effective to reach. Small pieces, loosely coupled: As the technical infrastructure of the Web stabilises, it becomes possible to integrate small applications. This enables services to be developed more rapidly and can avoid the difficulties ort developing and maintaining more complex and cumbersome systems. Openness: The development of more liberal licences (such copyright licences such Creative Commons; open sources licences for software) can allow integration of data and reuse of software without encountering legal barriers. Trust Your Users: Rather than having to develop complex access regimes, a more liberal approach can be taken who can make it easier for users to make use of services. Network as a platform: The Web can now be used to provide access to Web applications, and not just informational resources. This allows users to make use of applications without having to go through the cumbersome exercise of installing software on their local PC. Always beta: With Web applications being managed on a small number of central servers, rather on large numbers of desktop computers, it becomes possible for the applications to be enhanced in an incremental fashion, with no requirements for the user of the application to upgrade their system. content. they may be interchangeably be called Web 2.0 Web 2 and Media Convergence systems, Web 2.0 services, or Web 2.0 applications. The contemporaneous growth of Web 2.0 co-occurs For those interested in a comprehensive list of Web with increased media convergence, particularly in 2.0 systems with educational applications we respect of broadband communications, telephony and recommend the excellent “Back to school with Web the broadcast media. Several interesting 2.0” series. developments are on the horizon: Blogs (originally known as weblogs): A blog is a •Although there will not ever be a total end to system that allows a single author (or sometimes, but professionally produced and editorialised media less often, a group of authors) to write and publicly channels, media convergence heralds the end of display time-ordered articles (called posts). Readers broadcast media as pure dissemination-only can add comment to posts. mechanisms – part of a Web 2.0 style movement Example uses: towards greater user participation in and repurposing • A group of bloggers using their individual blogs can

Feature desirable content, and then provide feedback on student generated content.

Web 1.0 in contrast with Web 2.0 In Web 1.0 a few content authors provided content for a wide audience of relatively passive readers. However, in Web 2.0 everyday users of the web use the web as a platform to generate, re-purpose, and consume shared content. With Web 2.0 data sharing the web also becomes a platform for social software that enables groups of users to socialise, collaborate, and work with each other. Most Web 2.0 applications aren't downloaded to a user's private computer, but instead they're used directly on the web; users can update content and interact in a seemingly instant way. Web 2.0 applications depend and thrive on community-driven collaboration and input, often referred to as 'user-created' or 'user-generated' content. Content can range from simple textual posts (events, comments, blog posting, etc) to multimedia such as digital audio, video, interactive presentations and other content. The rise of Web 2.0 is a sign of growing maturity in the global view of how we can use the web. build up a corpus of interrelated knowledge via posts and comments. This can, e.g., be a group of learners in a class, encouraged and facilitated by a teacher, or might be a group of relatively dedicated life-long learners. • Teachers can use a blog for course announcements, news and feedback to students. • Blogs can be used with syndication technologies (below) to enable groups of learners and teachers to keep track of new posts. Wikis: A wiki is a system that allows one or more people to build up a corpus of knowledge in a set of interlinked web pages, using a process of creating and editing pages. The most famous wiki is Wikipedia. Example uses: • Wikis can be used for the creation of annotated reading lists by one or more teachers. • Wikis can be used in class projects, and are particularly suited to the incremental accretion of knwledge by a group, or production of collaboratively edited material, including material documenting external activities such as group projects. • Wikis can be used by teachers to supply scaffolding for writing activities – thus in a group project a teacher can supply page structure, hints as to

• Students can flag areas of the wiki that need attention, and provide feedback on each other’s writing. Social bookmarking: A social bookmarking service provides users the ability to record (bookmark) web pages, and tag those records with significant words (tags) that describe the pages being recorded. Examples include and Bibsonomy. Over time users build up collections of records with common tags, and users can search for bookmarked items by likely tag. Because items have been deemed worthy of being bookmarked, social bookmarking services can sometimes be more useful than search engines for finding Internet resources. Using tags, users can find other users who use the same tag and who are likely to be interested in the same topic(s). In some social bookmarking systems, users with common interests can be added to an individual’s own network to enable easy monitoring of the other users’ tagging activity for interesting items. Syndication (below) can be used to monitor a single user’s or all users’ tagging activity that uses interesting tags. Example uses: • Teachers and learners can build up collections of resources, and with a little ingenuity can also use

Feature soial bookmarking systems to bookmark resources that are not on the web. • In this way it is easy to build up reading lists and resource lists. These may, with the use of multiple tags, be structured into sub-categories. • Groups of users with a common interest can team together to use the same bookmarking service to bookmark items of common interest. If they have individual bookmarking accounts, they all need to use the same tag to identify their resources [ ]. Media-sharing services: These services store usercontributed media, and allow users to search for and display content. Besides being a showcase for creative endeavour, these services can form valuable educational resources. The most compelling examples include YouTube (movies) and Flickr (photos), Slideshare (presentations), DeviantArt (art work), and Scribd (documents). The last is particularly interesting as it provides the ability to upload documents in different formats and then, for accessibility, to choose different download formats, including machinegenerated speech. Example uses: • Distribution and sharing of educational media and resources. For example, an art history class could have access to a set of art works via a photo sharing system. • Flickr allows for annotations to be associated with different areas of an image and for comments to be made on the image as a whole, thereby facilitating teacher explanations, class discussion, and collaborative comment. It could be used for the example above. • For Flickr, FlickrCC [ ] is a particularly useful ancillary service that allows users to find Creative Commons licensed images that are freely reusable as educational resources. • Instructional videos and seminar records can be hosted on video sharing systems. Google Video allows for longer higher quality videos than YouTube, and contains a specific genre of educational videos. Social networking systems: Systems that allow people to network together for various purposes. Examples include Facebook and MySpace (for social networking / socialising), LinkedIn (for professional networking), and Elgg (for knowledge accretion and learning). Key to social networking systems are the ability to describe oneself, and the notions of friends, ranking, and communities. The ability to record friends is common in social networking systems. Users can traverse and navigate social networks via series of friends. Ranking and communities are more selectively

implemented. Ranking (often of user contributions) by community members allows for reputations to be built and for individuals to become members of good standing; this can be an important motivator for the individual contributions that make for a thriving community. Community facilities allow for (sub-) communities of members with common interests to be established, and allow for nurturing and growth of common interests in an environment that allows a degree of insulation from the general hubbub of system activity. Example uses: • The use of Elgg at the University of Brighton is discussed in the Institutional good practice briefing paper. • There is a recent report of either Facebook or MySpace being officially adopted by a teacher and used course related purposes instead of a VLE because students would not engage in the VLE. • LinkedIn acts, at a professional level, as a model of educational use in the way in which it can be used to disseminate questions across the community for users seeking particular information. • Other varieties of social networking systems are used at a professional level for community learning and act as potential models for educational use: e.g. Confluence, a corporate wiki system with a social network focus, is currently being used in a pilot project to promote the spread of knowledge in Local Government communities. Collaborative editing tools: These allow users in different locations to collaboratively edit the same document at the same time. As yet most of these services do not allow for synchronous voice or video communication, so the use of third party synchronous communication systems are often needed to coordinate editing activity. Examples are Google Docs & Spreadsheets (for text documents and spreadsheets), and Gliffy (for diagrams). Example use: • For collaborative work over the web, either edited simultaneously or simply to share work edited by different individuals at different times. Syndication and notification technologies: In a world of newly added and updated shared content it is useful to be able to easily keep up to date with new and changed content, particularly if one is interested in multiple sources of information on multiple web sites. A feed reader (sometimes called an aggregator) can be used to centralise all the recent changes in the sources of interest, and a user can easily use the

Feature reader/aggregator to view recent additions and changes. Behind the scenes this relies on protocols called RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and Atom to list changes (these lists of changes are called feeds, giving rise to the name feed reader). A feed reader regularly polls nominated sites for their feeds, displays changes in summary form, and allows the user to see the compete changes. Podcasting is a way in which a listener may conveniently keep up-to-date with recent audio or video content. Behind the scenes podcasting is a combination of audio or video content, RSS, and a program that deals with (a) RSS notifications of new content, and (b) playback or download of that new content to a personal audio/video player. Example uses: • Feed Readers enable students and teachers to become aware of new blog posts in educational blogging scenarios (see above), to track the use of tags in social bookmarking systems (also above), to keep track of new shared media (above), and to be aware of current news, e.g. from the BBC. • Example uses for podcasting are to supply audio or video copies of lectures, to supply videos of experimental procedures in advance of lab sessions, and to supply audio for foreign language learning and teaching purposes (tutorial material and/or exemplar recordings of native speakers). Notes Many Web 2.0 systems are hybrids of the above, and common mechanisms of friends, tags, communities and feeds are used in many different kinds of Web 2.0 applications. The field is growing fast, and many new hybrids and kinds of systems are frequently created.

Social Software All of the above systems can be grouped under the convenient label of social software, software that exists to facilitate group processes. If anything the importance Web 2.0 is that it is inextricably intertwined with the growth of social software.

Bricolage and Mashups Inherent in Web 2.0 software is some ability for users to join together, personalise and configure systems

according to their own needs. Thus, for example, blog users can change the contents of the margins of their posts to allow access to information (e.g. their posts) and even communication facilities (e.g. access to Skype call users via ‘Skype Me’ buttons). The act of experimentally building new artefacts in this way is known as bricolage. Sometimes bricolage facilities are built into Web 2.0 application configuration tools, but sometimes bricolage relies on some HTML knowledge. In the latter case bricolage is beyond the competence of most current users. Web 2.0 also adds the notation of mashups, where users can mix and repurpose data for their own needs. The current state of the art is represented by Yahoo Pipes [ ], a web-based facility that allows users to mix and process web-based data without needing to know a programming language.

Virtual Worlds Virtual worlds are web-based three-dimensional environments that can be explored and interacted with in a way similar to 3D videogames. Several education and business presences (including UNC, IBM, Coca-Cola, etc) have appeared in the virtual world Second Life, making it the most popular example of a virtual world and the kind of community it generates.

Geomapping/Geospatial Tools Web-based mapping tools have increasingly become useful for much more than getting directions. Advances in tools like Google Maps demonstrates the importance and usefulness of maps as a tool for visualizing and comparing several forms of data. Further advances in geospatial tools like Google Earth make it possible to observe and compare large collections of satellite imagery, enhanced with specialized tools and customization capabilities.

Podcasts A podcast initially referred to syndicated audio content, which can be transferred automatically to portable MP3 players, such as iPods. However the term is sometimes misused to describe a simple audio file.

This article is based on the briefing paper on 'Web 2.0, an introduction' by Mark van Harmelen, School of Computer Science, University of Manchester, 'An Introduction To Web 2.0' (available at and collaboratively produced Wikipedia article on Web 2.0, Further Reading: O'Reilly network has a longer, more critical article on Web 2.0. To find out more about the philosophy behind community-driven, user-generated content, see James Surowiecki's book, The Wisdom of Crowds. Take a look at directories such as or ProgrammableWeb for many more examples of Web 2.0 sites and applications. Read an introduction to Web 2


Cape Town Open Education Declaration Open educational resources (OER) are an Internet empowered worldwide community effort to create an education commons. The term "open educational resources" was first adopted at UNESCO's 2002 Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. In June 2007, educators at the iCommons iSummit in Dubrovnik joined the open movement worldwide to showcase emerging open education initiatives and to explore ways to better create, share and evolve open educational materials. In September 2006, the Third Annual Open Education Conference (Community, Culture and Content) was held in Logan, Utah. The last conference was held on September 24-27, 2007 in Logan, Utah. From 24 October to 2 December 2005 the UNESCO online Forum Open course content for higher education took place. The latest initiative comes from the 'Cape Town Open Education Declaration'. The initiative started from a small but lively meeting convened in Cape Town in September 2007. The aim of this meeting was to accelerate efforts to promote open resources, technology and teaching practices in education. Convened by the Open Society Institute and the Shuttleworth Foundation, the meeting gathered participants with many points of view from many nations. This group discussed ways to broaden and deepen their open education efforts by working together. The first concrete outcome of this meeting is the Cape Town Open Education Declaration. It is at once a statement of principle, a statement of strategy and a statement of commitment. It meant to spark dialogue, to inspire action and to help the open education movement grow. Open education is a living idea. As the movement grows, this idea will continue to evolve. There will be other visions initiatives and declarations beyond Cape Town. This is exactly the point. The Cape Town signatories have committed to developing further strategies, especially around open technology and teaching practices. The Declaration has already been signed by hundreds of learners, educators, trainers, authors, schools, colleges, universities, publishers, unions, professional

societies, policymakers, governments, foundations and other kindred open education initiatives around the world. We encourage you to join us.

OER and Open Source The past 2 years have been marked by a strong increase in the Open Educational Resource (OER) movement and in Open Educational Licenses (like the Creative Commons one). Many of the projects on OER were funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and partly also by the Shuttleworth Foundation that focuses on projects concerning collaborative content creation. There has been a strong international debate on how to apply OER in practice and the UNESCO chaired a vivid discussion on this through its International Institute of Educational Planning (IIEP). By the second half of 2006 it also became clear to some of the forerunners that OER and Free / Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) do somehow belong together. As a result the discussion groups of IIEP on OER and FLOSS were merged and forces were further joined through mergers with a related OECD campaign. What still has not become clear by now to most actors in the OER domain is that there are further links between the OER and the Free / Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) movements, beyond the principles of “FREE” and “OPEN”. The FLOSS model stands for more than this and, like e.g. Wikipedia, shows how users can become active “resource” creators and how those resources can be re-used and freely maintained. In OER on the other hand a focus is still on the traditional way of resource creation and role distributions. FLOSS communities are today known for producing good quality software using a different development approach than proprietary software producer. FLOSS is built by a community of volunteers and might be backed by companies that generate their revenues by providing services related to the software. In more recent years FLOSS communities also gained attention for their community production and support models and regarding their way of knowledge creation and learning. FLOSS communities possess many characteristics that educational settings seek to apply such as: 1. Open and inclusive ethos: everyone can participate, no charges, no deadlines, life long participation 2. Up to date content; everyone can add, edit and update the content 3. Materials are usually the product of many authors

Feature CAPE TOWN OPEN EDUCATION DECLARATION: UNLOCKING THE PROMISE OF OPEN EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES Teachers, students, web gurus, and foundations launch campaign to transform education, call for free, adaptable learning materials online Cape Town, January 22nd, 2008 — A coalition of educators, foundations, and internet pioneers today urged governments and publishers to make publicly-funded educational materials available freely over the internet. The Cape Town Open Education Declaration, launched today, is part of a dynamic effort to make learning and teaching materials available to everyone online, regardless of income or geographic location. It encourages teachers and students around the world to join a growing movement and use the web to share, remix and translate classroom materials to make education more accessible, effective, and flexible. “Open education allows every person on earth to access and contribute to the vast pool of knowledge on the web,” said Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and Wikia and one of the authors of the Declaration. “Everyone has something to teach and everyone has something to learn.” According to the Declaration, teachers, students and communities would benefit if publishers and governments made publicly-funded educational materials freely available online. This will give students unlimited access to high quality, constantly improving course materials, just as Wikipedia has done in the world of reference materials. Open education makes the link between teaching, learning and the collaborative culture of the Internet. It includes creating and sharing materials used in teaching as well as new approaches to learning where people create and shape knowledge together. These new practices promise to provide students with educational materials that are individually tailored to their learning style. There are already over 100,000 such open educational resources available on the Internet. The Declaration is the result of a meeting of thirty open education leaders in Cape Town, South Africa, organized late last year by the Open Society Institute and the Shuttleworth Foundation. Participants identified key strategies for developing open education. They encourage others to join and sign the Declaration. “Open sourcing education doesn't just make learning more accessible, it makes it more collaborative, flexible and locally relevant,” said Linux Entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth, who also recorded a video press briefing ( “Linux is succeeding exactly because of this sort of adaptability. The same kind of success is possible for open education.” Open education is of particular relevance in developing and emerging economies, creating the potential for affordable textbooks and learning materials. It opens the door to small scale, local content producers likely to create more diverse offerings than large multinational publishing houses. “Cultural diversity and local knowledge are a critical part of open education,” said Eve Gray of the Centre for Educational Technology at the University of Cape Town. “Countries like South Africa need to start producing and sharing educational materials built on their own diverse cultural heritage. Open education promises to make this kind of diverse publishing possible.” The Declaration has already been translated into over a dozen languages and the growing list of signatories includes: Jimmy Wales; Mark Shuttleworth; Peter Gabriel, musician and founder of Real World Studios; Sir John Daniel, President of Commonwealth of Learning; Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive; Thomas Alexander, former Director for Education at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; Paul N. Courant, University Librarian and former Provost, University of Michigan; Lawrence Lessig, founder and CEO of Creative Commons; Andrey Kortunov, President of the New Eurasia Foundation; and Yehuda Elkana, Rector of the Central European University. Organizations endorsing the Declaration include: Wikimedia Foundation; Public Library of Science; Commonwealth of Learning; Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition; Canonical Ltd.; Centre for Open and Sustainable Learning; Open Society Institute; and Shuttleworth Foundation. To read or sign the Cape Town Open Education Declaration, please visit:

Feature Open educational resources are educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone to use and under some licenses to re-mix, improve and redistribute. Open educational resources include: • Learning content: full courses, course materials, content modules, learning objects, collections, and journals. • Tools: Software to support the creation, delivery, use and improvement of open learning content including searching and organization of content, content and learning management systems, content development tools, and on-line learning communities. • Implementation resources: Intellectual property licenses to promote open publishing of materials, design-principles, and localization of content. with many contributions from people other than authors 4. Frequent releases and updates where product features and community structures are the result of a continuous re-negotiation / reflection process within a continuous development cycle 5. Prior learning outcomes and processes are systematically available through mailing lists, forums, commented code and further instructional materials (re-use) 6. A large support network; provided voluntarily by the community member in a collaborative manner nearly 24/7 7. Free Riders (lurker) welcome paradox – the more the better 8. New ICT solutions are adapted early by the community Educational settings might be partly aware that FLOSSlike principles can benefit education, but there has been no structured and systematically approach on mapping and transferring them, or to develop new educational models and scenarios around them. The European Union funded FLOSSCom project is likely to be the first attempt to map the open source landscape from an educational point of view, but further research and work still remains to be done.

Related Initiatives Open EducationIinitiatives More and more educators are stepping up to make open education a reality. Examples of open education in action include: * CC Learn * Centre for Open and Sustainable Learning * Connexions * Curriki * Learning Activity Management System (LAMS) * OER Commons * Free High School Science Texts * Moodle * MIT Open Courseware

* Open Courseware Consortium * WikiEducator Getting involved with initiatives like these provides an easy way to further your commitment to the principles outlined in the Cape Town Declaration. Related declarations and statements The Cape Town Declaration is part of a larger global movement towards open education and open access to knowledge. Kindred initiatives include: * Budapest Open Access Initiative * Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities * Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing * Salvador Declaration: Commitment to Equity * UNESCO Forum on the Impact of Open Courseware for Higher Education in Developing Countries If you support the values and strategies outlined in the Cape Town Declaration, we encourage you to consider supporting these initiatives as well. Research and analysis There is an increasing amount of research and thinking about open education. Critical resources in this field include: * Open Sourcing Education: learning and wisdom from iSummit 2007 * Hewlett's Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement * OECD's Giving Knowledge for Free: The Emergence of Open Educational Resources * OLCOS Roadmap 2012 These resources will give you an overview of the issues and opportunities that lie ahead for the open education movement.


Wikiversity:Interactive Learning Resources Set learning free with 6,522 learning resources and growing. At Wikiversity we learn by doing, we learn by editing. Wikiversity is a wiki website where you are invited to explore your learning goals and participate in active learning projects. Everyone is welcome to help create and develop learning resources. If you are not experienced with wikis then you can get started by taking a look at a tutorial and learn about wiki websites. Wikiversity is relates to other Wikimedia Foundation projects such as Wikipedia and Wikibooks, Wikiversity is a community for the creation of learning activities and development of free learning materials. Students and teachers are invited to join the project as collaborators in teaching, learning, and research. Wikiversity strives to be an open and vibrant community where you can explore and learn about your personal interests. Wikiversity hosts and develops free learning materials for all age groups. Wikiversity is for learning. It is a place where you'll find free learning materials and learning projects. Everyone can participate. There is no cost, no advertising, and no credentials required. No degrees are awarded — just learning. Everyone can create and revise teaching materials. Anyone can participate in the learning activities.

Everyone can take a course. Everyone can teach a course. There are no entrance requirements and no fees. All content in Wikiversity is written collaboratively, using wiki software, and everyone is welcome to take part through using, adding and discussing content. One of the main goals of Wikiversity is to provide free and open learning resources to all learning groups. Besides traditional text books, discussion forums, and illustrations, many modes of learning are based on the interaction with a subject. Currently, "interactive resources" are defined as all pages contained in Wikiversity that let a learner interact with the visible objects on that page and thus explore a topic or concept by changing those objects or by recording their behavior in time and space within that page. This may include a wide range of resources, from browser based simulations and interactive graphics to the manipulation of external objects through the controls provided in the page. Also, projects to define a framework for a set of such interactive resources and the organization and policies regarding their creation and use will be discussed in the pages referenced from here. Internet Audio and Video labs are planned to create new internet educational media resources as a division of the School of Media Studies. One of the pilot projects studies and experiments with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).

Open Access Workshop Prag Foundation can help hosting an Open Access seminar, a great way for you to advocate 'open access' at your institution. Use these events to raise awareness about the open access movement and its importance for fostering change in scholarly communication, the advantages of 'open access' publishing and to encourage them to submit their research articles to open access journals. Topics covered would ideally include how 'open access' publishing works, the benefits of open access publishing, the ways in which it improves on the current, traditional model of scientific publishing, and an overview of the various initiatives that currently exist in the 'open access' movement. What format should this event take? The event can take the form of a single speaker followed by discussion, or a program of talks, or a panel discussion with interaction with the audience, ideally with a demonstration of OA journals and archives websites. Who should talk at this event? High-level faculty, enthusiasts and evangelists of open access. We will provide up to date reference material. on the subject and slides (which can be modified if necessary) in advance for the speakers to prepare the talk. Who should attend an Open Access Seminar? All those who are involved in research and who are looking to publish their work, and librarians who are required to cater to the need of the researchers and scholars for scholarly publications. What facilities are needed to host this event? The event organizer should book a venue at the institution. A laptop with appropriate presenting software and a slide projector will be provided by us. A live Internet connection if available will add to the impact of the seminar.


The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities

Cybermetrics Lab, part of the CINDOC - CSIC, is devoted to the quantitative analysis of the Internet and Web contents specially those related to the The "Webometrics Ranking of World Universities" processes of generation and scholarly communication ( is an of scientific knowledge. This is a new emerging initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group discipline that has been called Cybermetrics (our belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones team developed and publishes the free electronic Científicas (CSIC), the largest public research body in journal Cybermetrics since 1997) or Webometrics. Spain. The Cybermetrics Lab using quantitative methods has CSIC is among the first basic research organizations in designed and applied indicators that allow us to Europe. The CSIC consisted in 2006 of 126 centers and measure the scientific activity on the Web. The institutes distributed throughout Spain. cybermetric indicators are useful to evaluate science CSIC is attached to the Ministry of Education and its and technology and they are the perfect complement main objective is to promote scientific research as to to the results obtained with bibliometric methods in improve the progress of the scientific and scientometric studies. technological level of the country which will The specific areas of research include: contribute to increase the welfare of the citizens. • Development of Web indicators to be applied on the CSIC also plays an important role in the formation of areas of the Spanish, European, Latinamerican and new World R&D researchers • Quantitative and studies about technicians the scientific in the communication different through aspects of electronic the science journals and and the repositories, technology. and the The impact of the organization Open Access collaborates initiatives. with other • Comparison of the main World Universities' Rankings institutions Development of of the SpanishARWU: Academic Ranking of World Universities by Institute of Higher indicators about R&D systemEducation, Shanghai Jiao Tong University ( resources in the (universities, Society of Information autonomous governs, other public and private • Indicators and social networks visualization on the research organisms) and with social, economic, Web with friendly, dynamic and interactive graphic national or foreign agents to which contributes with interfaces its research capacity and human and material • Designing and evaluation of documental analysis resources in the development of research projects or techniques of Web resources under the form of consultancy and scientific and • Genre studies applied to the scholar activity on the technical support. CSIC was founded in 1939 from a Web previous body, the Junta para la Ampliación de • Development of applied cybermetrics techniques Estudios e Investigaciones Científicas created in 1907 based on the positioning on search engines of Web under the leadership of the Spanish Nobel Prize Prof. domains Ramón y Cajal. • Analysis of the information usage through Web data The Centro de Información y Documentación Científica mining of log files (CINDOC), was founded in 1954 to strengthen the As the Web is already the main scholarly scientific information of high quality in all fields of communication tool and it collects results of all the knowledge. activities and missions of universities (teaching,

Coverage of the Webometrics Ranking of World Universities This table summarize the actual coverage of the Ranking, in terms of number of countries and higher education institutions around the world. research, third mission), the Webometrics Ranking of World universities is not only showing the electronic publication performance of these institutions but also an overall glimpse of their quality. The Web ranking takes into account web activity (pages, documents and papers) and visibility (external inlinks) and it is very sensitive to bad practices in URL naming such as duplicate web domains.

Objectives of the Webometrics Ranking of World's Universities The original aim of the Ranking was to promote Web publication, not to rank institutions. Supporting Open Access initiatives, electronic access to scientific publications and to other academic material are our primary targets. However web indicators are very useful for ranking purposes too as they are not based on number of visits or page design but global performance and visibility of the universities. As other rankings focused only on a few relevant aspects, specially research results, web indicators based ranking reflects better the whole picture, as many other activities of professors and researchers are showed by their web presence. The Web covers not only formal (e-journals, repositories) but also informal scholarly communication. Web publication is cheaper,

maintaining the high standards of quality of peer review processes. It could also reach much larger potential audiences, offering access to scientific knowledge to researchers and institutions located in developing countries and also to third parties (economic, industrial, political or cultural stakeholders) in their own community. The Webometrics ranking has a larger coverage than other similar rankings (see table below). The ranking is not only focused on research results but also in other indicators which may reflect better the global quality of the scholar and research institutions worldwide. We intend to motivate both institutions and scholars to have a web presence that reflect accurately their activities. If the web performance of an institution is below the expected position according to their academic excellence, university authorities should reconsider their web policy, promoting substantial increases of the volume and quality of their electronic publications. Candidate students should use additional criteria if they are trying to choose university. webometrics Ranking correlates well with quality of education provided and academic prestige, but other nonacademic variables need to be taken into account.

Design and Weighting of Indicators The unit for analysis is the institutional domain, so only universities and research centres with an independent web domain are considered. If an institution has more than one main domain, two or more entries are used with the different addresses. The first Web indicator, Web Impact Factor (WIF), was based on link analysis that combines the number of external inlinks and the number of pages of the website, a ratio of 1:1 between visibility and size. This ratio is used for the ranking, adding two new indicators to the size component: Number of documents, measured from the number of rich files in a web domain, and number of publications being collected by Google Scholar database. Four indicators were obtained from the quantitative results provided by the main search engines as follows: Size (S). Number of pages recovered from four engines: Google, Yahoo, Live Search and Exalead. Visibility (V). The total number of unique external links received (inlinks) by a site can be only confidently obtained from Yahoo Search, Live Search and Exalead. Rich Files (R). After evaluation of their relevance to academic and publication activities and considering

Feature the volume of the different file formats, the following were selected: Adobe Acrobat (.pdf), Adobe PostScript (.ps), Microsoft Word (.doc) and Microsoft Powerpoint (.ppt). These data were extracted using Google,

Yahoo Search, Live Search and Exalead. Scholar(Sc). Google Scholar provides the number of papers and citations for each academic domain. These results from the Scholar database represent papers, reports and other academic items. The four ranks were combined according to a formula where each one has a different weight but maintaining the ratio 1:1: The inclusion of the total number of pages is based on

the recognition of a new global market for academic information, so the web is the adequate platform for the internationalization of the institutions. A strong and detailed web presence providing exact descriptions of the structure and activities of the university can attract new students and scholars worldwide. The number of external inlinks received by a domain is a measure that represents visibility and impact of the published material, and although there is a great diversity of motivations for linking, a significant fraction works in a similar way as bibliographic citation. The success of self-archiving and other repositories related initiatives can be roughly represented from rich file and Scholar data. The huge numbers involved with the pdf and doc formats means that not only administrative reports and bureaucratic forms are involved. PostScript and Powerpoint files are clearly related to academic activities.

RANKING RESOURCES GENERAL / UNDERGRADUATE RANKINGS U.S. News and World Report College Rankings [] Top American Research Universities [] [] Top Research Universities [] German University Ranking [] Guardian's Guide to universities [] The Sunday Times University Guide [] Maclean's Universities Ranking [] German Funding Ranking 2003 [] The Times Higher World University Rankings 2004 [] GRADUATE PROGRAM AND DISCIPLINE RANKINGS America's Best Graduate Schools 2009 [] Graduate School [] The Philosophical Gourmet Report: Ranking of Graduate Programs in Philosophy in the English Speaking World [] National Doctoral Program Survey, 2000[] Customized Graduate Program Rankings [] HERO (Higher Education and Research Opportunities): Official gateway to universities, colleges and research institution in the UK [] Top 100 Business School Research Rankings (University of Texas at Dallas) []

RANKING GUIDES Website of Rankings Symposium at Leiden University, 2006 [] College and University Rankings []

Feature College and University Rankings & Guides to Selecting a School [] MISCELLANEOUS SCHOOL / PROGRAM RANKINGS Princeton Review's The Best Colleges Ranked by Students [] Washington Monthly's "Other College Rankings" [] A New Ranking of American Colleges on Laissez-Faire Principles, 1999-2000 [] 25 Best Distant Learning Universities [] Black Enterprise's Top Colleges for African Americans for 2003 [] CollegeProwler's "College Reality Guides" [] Australian Financial Review Boss: MBA ranking [] B-School Net [] Top 50 Research Universities [] Financial Times MBA Annual Rankings [] Marr/Kirkwood Side by Side Comparison of International Business School Rankings [] Business Education Commission's Top Ten [] Computerworld Top Techno-MBA Survey [,10801,64908,00.html] The Economist Intelligence Unit: Which MBA? Online (Top 100 schools) [] Forbes Best Business Schools [] Marr/Kirkwood Side by Side Comparison of U.S. Business School Rankings [] Official MBA Guide: MBA Program Ranking and Screening [] Cost-Benefit Analysis of American Law Schools [] Brian Leiter’s Law School Rankings Website [] Program Achievement Rating [] The Ranking Game [] Thomas E. Brennan's Judging the Law Schools []

GENERAL GUIDES Big University Guide, 2006l []: The BUG is organised into several chapters with the first providing general university information, then individual chapters for the 4 most popular places to study (Britain, Canada, Hong Kong and USA), a chapter containing information on English Medium universities in Europe, a chapter on other universities around the world, a chapter on standardised tests (mainly about SATs and TOEFL for US colleges), and a chapter about taking a gap year.


What is Linux? Linux is a computer operating system that was created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. It is completely free and open source and thousands of people all over the world are constantly working to improve it. Linux is after Microsoft Windows and Apple’s Mac OS the third most used operating system. Most of the computers that bring you the webpages of the Internet run on Linux. Linux cannot really be installed “as is�. Instead, it is packaged up in so called distributions, which you then install on your computer like any other operating system. Some of the most widespread Linux distros for home use are: SuSE, Fedora, Mandriva, Debian and its derivative Ubuntu. If you are just starting out, Linux Mint is one of the easiest to use distributions for new users.

What is a Distribution? A Linux distribution is built from the Linux kernel and assorted other packages, such as the X Window System and software from the GNU project. There are currenty over three hundred Linux distributions in active development, constantly being revised and improved. A distribution simply refers to a particular assortment of applications married with a version of the kernel, such that its "out-of-the-box" capabilities meets most of the needs of its particular end-user base. A typical desktop Linux distribution comprises a Linux kernel, GNU tools and libraries, additional software, documentation, a window system, window manager, and a desktop environment. Most of the included software is free software/open-source software One can distinguish between commercially backed distributions, such as Fedora (Red Hat), SUSE Linux (Novell), Ubuntu (Canonical Ltd.), and Mandriva Linux and community distributions such as Debian and Gentoo.

What are the most Popular Distributions? 1. CentOS, a distribution derived from the same sources used by Red Hat, maintained by a dedicated volunteer community of developers with both 100% Red Hat - compatible versions and an upgraded version that is not always 100% upstream compatible 2. Debian, a non-commercial distribution maintained by a volunteer developer community with a strong commitment to free software principles 3. Fedora which is a community distribution sponsored by Red Hat

4. Gentoo, a distribution targeted at power users, known for its FreeBSD Ports-like automated system for compiling applications from source code 5. Knoppix, a Live CD distribution that runs completely from removable media and without installation to a hard disk 6. Linspire, a commercial desktop distribution based on Ubuntu (and thus Debian), and once the defendant in the Microsoft vs. Lindows lawsuit over its former name. 7. Mandriva, a Red Hat derivative popular in France and Brazil, today maintained by the French company of the same name 8. openSUSE, originally derived from Slackware, sponsored by the company Novell 9. PCLinuxOS which is the number 2 distribution on DistroWatch as of April 29, 2008. PCLinuxOS is derived from Mandriva 10. Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is a derivative of Fedora maintained and commercially supported by Red Hat 11. Slackware, one of the first Linux distributions, founded in 1993, and since then actively maintained by Patrick J. Volkerding 12. Ubuntu, a newly popular desktop distribution maintained by Canonical that is derived from Debian. DistroWatch maintains a popularity ranking of distribution information on its web site, but this is not considered to be a reliable measure of distribution popularity.

How to Install a Distro? There are many ways to install a Linux distribution: 1. The most common method of installing Linux is by booting from a CD-ROM or DVD that contains the installation program and installable software. Such a CD can be burned from a downloaded ISO image, purchased alone for a low price, provided as a cover disk with a magazine, in some cases shipped for free

FAQ by request, or obtained as part of a box set that may also include manuals and additional commercial software. New users tend to begin by partitioning a hard-drive in order to keep an existing operating system. The Linux distribution can then be installed on the new partition without affecting previously saved data. 2. Another mode of installation of Linux is to install on a powerful computer to use as a server and to use less powerful machines (perhaps without hard drives, with less memory and slower CPUs) as thin clients over the network. Clients can boot over the network from the server and display results and pass information to the server where all the applications run. The clients can be ordinary PCs with the addition of the network bootloader on a drive or network interface controller, and hard disk space and processor power can be offloaded onto the client machine if desired. The cost savings achieved by using thin clients can be invested in greater computing power or storage on the server. 3. In a Live CD setup, the computer boots the entire operating system from CD without first installing it on the computer's hard disk. Some distributions have a Live CD installer, where the computer boots the operating system from the disk, and then proceeds to install it onto the computer's hard disk, providing a

What is a 'Live CD' A LiveDistro or Live CD, is a Linux distribution that can be booted from a compact disc or other medium (such as a DVD or USB flash drive) instead of the conventional hard drive.Temporary operating system data is usually kept solely in RAM. Live CD is used for demonstrations borrowing someone else's computer, to rescue operations, and as installation media for a standard distribution. Many popular distributions come in both "Live" and conventional forms iintended to be used for installation. This includes SUSE, Ubuntu, Mepis, and Fedora. Some distributions, such as Knoppix and Dyne:bolic, are designed primarily for Live CD or Live DVD use. seamless transition from the OS running from the CD to the OS running from the hard disk. 4. Mini CD images allow Linux to be installed from a disk with a small form factor. 5. As with servers, personal computers that come with Linux already installed are available from vendors including Hewlett-Packard and Dell, although generally only for their business desktop lines. Anaconda, one of the more popular installers, is used

What is Desktop Environments? Linux offers many desktop alternatives. The most popular desktop environments are GNOME, KDE and XFCE. These are rather large collections of desktop

GNOME Environement programs, rather than bare bone window managers. These environments present a GUI using a desktop metaphor. What is GUI? GUI (Graphical User Interface) is a type of user interface which allows people to interact with a computer. As opposed to traditional interface, it presents graphical icons, visual indicators or special graphical elements called "widgets". Instead of offering only text menus, or requiring typed commands, the actions are usually performed through direct manipulation of the graphical elements.

KDE Environement All of these environments allow the user to set many personal preferences and to perform common system management tasks. Regardless of the source, all Linux desktop

FAQ applications use the X Window System and thus benefit from features like networking (remote display) and quick mouse-only Cut, copy, and paste. Mouse selected text is automatically copied, and it can then be pasted using a middle click, without the need to resort to use of the keyboard. Desktop Linux environments have been improving in appearance and overall integration over time. This has led to wider adoption of the platform over time. by Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora and other distributions to simplify the installation process.

What is 'Desktop Linux'? Desktop Linux, also Linux on the desktop, is where the Linux operating system is installed on a personal computer and is setup for personal use. The term is intended to clarify this usage from other roles, such as, using Linux as a server. The two roles are similar at their core, because they rely on the Linux kernel. However, desktop Linux will usually have more "end user" software packages installed. Some Linux distributions have targeted the desktop role specifically. Most distribution gives the user the choice to select either a "desktop" or "server" type when the operating system is installed.

Why most PC come with Window installed? Computer hardware is often sold with the operating system of a software original equipment manufacturer (OEM) already installed. It is uncommon for this operating system to be Linux, even though the portability features of Linux mean that it can be installed on most machines. In the case of IBM PC compatibles the OS is usually Microsoft Windows; in the case of Apple Macintosh computers it has always been a version of Apple's OS, currently Mac OS X; video game consoles such as the Xbox, PlayStation, and Gamecube each have their own proprietary OS. That Linux is not installed by default on most computer hardware limits its market share: consumers are unaware that an alternative exists, they must make a conscious effort to use a different operating system, and they must either perform the actual installation themselves, or depend on support from a friend, relative, or computer professional. However, it is actually possible to buy hardware with Linux already installed. Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Affordy, and System76 all sell general purpose Linux laptops, and custom-order PC manufacturers will also build Linux systems. Consumers also have the option of obtaining a refund for unused OEM operating system software. The end

user license agreement for Apple and Microsoft operating systems gives the consumer the opportunity to reject the license and obtain a refund.


Rank Distribution 1 Ubuntu 2 openSUSE 3 PCLinuxOS 4 Fedora 5 Mint 6 Mandriva 7 Debian 8 Sabayon 9 Damn Small 10 Dreamlinux 11 FreeBSD 12 MEPIS 13 CentOS 14 Slackware 15 Kubuntu 16 Puppy 17 Gentoo 18 KNOPPIX 19 Zenwalk 20 Arch 21 Slax 22 sidux 23 Vector 24 PC-BSD 25 Xubuntu Source:, 25th

Hit Per Day 2369 1447 1425 1377 1323 930 835 753 677 666 594 577 551 528 514 487 472 437 429 411 361 335 329 291 281 May, 2008

Distro in Focus

Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring

Visit ndriva-linux-one if you would like to get official CDs of Mandriva One to promote Linux for an association, an event or for you! You can now get it: 1 CD, 10 CDs or 30 CDs. Mandriva Linux One 2008 is the best way to start using Linux. A full Linux operating system on a single CD for both new and experienced Linux users, it is fast to download and install, and also safe to try with a live mode. One is really the one CD you need!

Distro in Focus

Mandriva Linux Free Mandriva Linux Free is a 'traditional' distribution (i.e. one that comes with a dedicated installer, named DrakX, which is first used to install the distribution to the hard disk of the computer before it is run). It is 'free' in both senses: it consists entirely of free and open-source software, and it is made available for public download at no charge. It is usually available in CD (three or four discs) and DVD editions for x86 32and 64-bit CPU architectures. It is aimed at users to whom software freedom is important, and also at users who prefer a traditional installer to the installable live CD system used by One. The package selection is tailored towards regular desktop use. It consists of a subset of packages from the 'main' and 'contrib' sections of the master tree. Mandriva Linux One It is a hybrid, being both a Live CD and an installer (with an installation wizard that includes disk partitioning tools). Several Mandriva Linux One versions were provided for each Mandriva Linux release preceding Mandriva 2008. Users could choose between different human languages, select either the KDE or GNOME desktops

and include or exclude non-free (as in speech) software. (It is not possible to fit both KDE and GNOME desktops, or more than a few languages, on a single live CD.) The 'lead' version is the KDE version[citation needed] with non-free software included. The One images consist of a subset of packages from the 'main', 'contrib' and 'non-free' sections of the master tree, with the documentation files stripped from the packages to save space. Mandriva Linux One 2008 has a smaller range of versions. There are KDE and GNOME versions with the default set of languages. There are also two KDE versions with alternative sets of languages. All versions include non-free software.


Alexandria Book Collection Manager Alexandria is a GNOME application to help manage a book collection. It retrieves book information (including cover pictures) from several online libraries, allows you to search for a book (either by EAN/ISBN, title, authors, or keyword), can import and export data into ONIX, Tellico, and EAN/ISBN-list formats, generates Web pages from your libraries, allows marking your books as loaned, saves data using the YAML format, features an HIG-compliant user interface, shows books in different views that can be filtered or sorted, and handles book rating and notes.

manage your own sources • saves data using the YAML format • can import and export data into ONIX, Tellico and EAN/ISBN/UPC-list formats • generates fro m your libraries XHTML web pages themable with CSS •allows marking your books as loaned, each with the loan-date and the name of the person who has borrowed them • features a HIG-compliant user interface • shows books in different views (standard list or icons list), that can be filtered and/or sorted • handles book rating and notes • supports CueCat barcode readers

Features Alexandria is a simple program designed to allow individuals to keep a catalogue of their book collection. In addition, it enables users to keep track of books which are on loan. • retrieves and displays book information (sometimes with cover pictures) from several online libraries and bookshops, such as m azon (searches, .fr, .de, .jp and .ca websites, as well as • Proxis a rnes and Noble p anish Ministry of Culture Thalia Internet Bookshop Italia Renaud-Bray US Library of Congress British Library • allows books to be added and updated by hand • enables searches either byEAN/ISBN/UPC, title, authors or keyword • supports the Z39.50 standard and allow you to

• includes translations for several languages • is documented in a complete manual (at the moment only in English and French)


Š2004-2006 The FreeBSD Project. FreeBSD and the FreeBSD Logo are registered trademarks of the FreeBSD Foundation.


Key points about, Free Open Productivity Suite

the and provides everything most people need in an office productivity suite. It is stable, reliable, and robust, built up over twenty years' development. Unlike its major competitor, it was designed from the start as a single piece of software, which makes for higher quality software and a more consistent user experience. It is actively developed, with several releases every year. The main components of the Suite are the Writer wordprocessor; the Calc spreadsheet; Impress for presentations (screenshot); Draw for graphics; and the Base database. is both easy to use and easy to migrate to, for both experienced and beginners alike. It has a familiar user interface, and is able to read and write the vast majority of legacy file formats (including common Microsoft Office formats). It is supported in over seventy languages, with active support both Community based (free) and from commercial organisations (paid-for). is released under an open-source licence (the LGPL), which means it may be used free of any licence fees, for any purpose: private,

governmental, commercial, etc. Once acquired (either as a free download or as a CD) it may be installed on an unlimited number of computers, and may be copied and distributed without restriction. supports extensions, allowing users to add on extra functions easily from an extensions repository. This is a key differentiator from the competition. is available on all major computing platforms and is supported in over seventy languages. Our best estimate is that currently enjoys over 15% market share for office productivity suites.

Latest Stable Version The latest version of the leading open source office productivity suite. 2.4 includes many new features, enhancements, and bug fixes to all its Tcore components.the new features are described in the release notes. 3.0 beta is ready for testing The Community is pleased to announce that the public beta release of 3.0 is now available. This beta release is made available to allow a broad user base to test and evaluate the next major version of, but is not recommended for production use at this stage.

Software I

f you are a regular user of, here's a great opportunity to help us make the next release the best ever.

What's new in 3.0? The most immediately visible change to 3.0 is the new "Start Centre", new


fresh-looking icons, and a new zoom control in the status bar. A closer look shows that 3.0 has a myriad of new features. Notable Calc improvements include a new solver component; support for spreadsheet collaboration through workbook sharing; and an increase to 1024 columns per sheet. Writer has an improved notes feature and displays of multiple pages while editing. There are numerous Chart enhancements, and an improved crop feature in Draw and Impress. Behind the scenes, 3.0 will support the upcoming OpenDocument Format (ODF) 1.2 standard, and is capable of opening files created with MS-Office 2007 or MS-Office 2008 for Mac OS X (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx, etc.). This is in addition to read and write support for the MS-Office binary file formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt, etc.). 3.0 will be the first version to run on Mac OS X without X11, with the look and feel of any other Aqua application. A more detailed guide to the features can be found at tml. Download free from



This article at presents the general idea of workflow in digital photography, and then focuses on how to deal with different file formats of interest (JPEG, TIFF and raw) using free and open source software. While this subject can be approached from many different starting points, the examples that follow are based on the use of the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution. Of course many of the programs discussed are also available for other operating systems such as Windows and OSX.

GIMP is 'GNU Image Manipulation Program'. It is a free program for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc. GIMP is expandable and extensible.

Inkscape is an fre and open source vector graphics editor similar to Illustrator and CorelDraw, It uses the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format, supports many advanced features with a streamlined interface. It is very easy to edit nodes, perform complex path operations, trace bitmaps and much more.


Dia [] Dia is a GTK+ based diagram creation program for

Linux, Unix and Windows released under the GPL license. Dia is roughly inspired by the commercial Windows program 'Visio', though more geared towards informal diagrams for casual use. It can be used to draw many different kinds of diagrams. It currently has special objects to help draw entity relationship diagrams, UML diagrams, flowcharts, network diagrams, and many other diagrams. It is also possible to add support for new shapes by writing simple XML files, using a subset of SVG to draw the shape. It can load and save diagrams to a custom XML format

(gzipped by default, to save space), can export diagrams to a number of formats, including EPS, SVG,

XFIG, WMF and PNG, and can print diagrams (including ones that span multiple pages). We feel Dia is in a state where it can be actively used. Many features are implemented and the code is quite solid and mature. Try downloading Dia and tell us what you think of it. Version 0.96.1 is ready for download.


Ulteo Virtual Desktop: your Linux applications on Windows [] A full Linux system that integrates nicely into Windows

The power of your Linux applications on Windows

without the need to reboot! With Ulteo Virtual Desktop, you just have to run the application you need to use from the Ulteo panel and its window will show up like any other Windows application. Ulteo Virtual Desktop is free. You save time because you can have both Windows and Linux applications integrated into a single desktop. Additionally, the Ulteo Virtual Desktop is a safe and virus-free place. It will even self-upgrade regularly with latest version of the system and its applications. It's been designed for individuals and corporate users who need to use both Linux and Windows applications within the same desktop environement.

Which applications are supported? A full range of Linux applications are supported in the standard version. At the moment, you will find a selection of applications that include: * Firefox web browser enabled with Flash & Java * The full office suite that can deal

with your MS Office documents * KPdf to deal with your PDF documents * Kopete: the multi-Instant Messaging software that supports MSN and other protocols * Skype * Thunderbird + Enigmail (so you can encrypt your emails!) * Gimp and Digikam to manage your pictures * Inkscape and Scribus to create great graphics and newspapers * and... many others! From the Ulteo "My Digital Life" panel, you can add new "application balls", such as additional desktop application, games and soon development

Software applications! It's very easy to add or remove and always leave a clean system. What about my documents? When running an application on the Virtual Desktop, you can access any document available in "My Documents" on Windows. Can I print from these Linux applications? The answer is: yes. Does it support sound? The answer is: yes. Hardware & software recommendation Ulteo Virtual Desktop requires a PC (x86-based) with a modern 32-bit CPU and at least 512MB RAM. At least 4 GB of free HD space is required. A PDF reader is needed. For a better experience, we recommend a DualCore CPU and 1GB RAM. Ulteo Virtual Desktop has been tested successfully on Windows XP and Windows Vista (32-bit only for now). What about performance? Ulteo Virtual Desktop doesn't run traditional virtualization software. We have built the Ulteo Virtual Desktop using a special Linux kernel patch called "coLinux" that achieves great performance, close to a native installation on the PC. How to get the Ulteo Virtual Desktop?

installed on the PC to replace Windows) or the Windows Document Synchronizer (to be released soon) if you plan to stay under Windows, you will feel a new experience with your PC! Which applications are provided with the Ulteo Online Desktop? At the moment, you will find a selection of applications that include: * Firefox web browser enabled with Flash & Java * The full office suite that can deal with your MS Office documents * KPdf to deal with your PDF documents * Kopete: the multi-Instant Messaging software that supports MSN and other protocols * Skype * Thunderbird + Enigmail (so you can encrypt your emails!) * Gimp and Digikam to manage your pictures * Inkscape and Scribus to create great graphics and newspapers * and... many others including plan to add Windows applications soon! How to use the Ulteo Online Desktop? Ulteo brings OpenOffice to Web browser

The Ulteo Online Desktop has been designed to offer

What you need is just a web-browser with Java enabled. Preferred web-browsers: Firefox 2, IE7, but others work too. Start here! What's the cost for using Ulteo Online Desktop? Ulteo Online Desktop is FREE to use! You can start a session, use it, get your data synchronized, share your

both the software applications you are using and the your personal data within a webbrowser. As a result you can retrieve your Digital Life anywhere! Coupled to the Ulteo Application System (that can be

online desktop, everything for FREE. If you want more storage, more invitations, more frequent data synchronization, you can subscribe an Ulteo Premium. We have various offers, depending on your needs. And don't forget that subscribing a Premium is also a very good way to fuel Ulteo development!

Ulteo Online Desktop: your applications and data in a web browser!


GNU/Linux and Technology for Diskless Workstation using LTSP By Bruce Byfield, January 25, 2007

The K12 Linux Terminal Server Project (K12LTSP) is a thin client Linux distribution based on The Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) packages designed for use in schools which has a low cost of implementation. Masterminded by Eric Harrison, an employee of the Multnomah Education Service District in Portland, Oregon, K12LTSP is available in both Fedora Core and CentOS-based editions. These distributions together with Edubuntu and Skole Linux, is generally considered one of the leading educational versions of GNU/Linux.

Setup and installation K12LTSP uses the Anaconda installer, and can be used as a workstation distribution. Unsurprisingly, however, installing the software as a thin client is more complicated. The K12LTSP site gives a listing of hardware requirements for servers and clients, but t these are minimums.

Hardware Requirement For the server, a dual processor is preferred, so that a runaway process can be killed without disrupting a class in session. Two SCSI hard drives are desirable, although some of the recent SATA drives might be fast enough and reliable enough to be suitable replacements. Either way, the hard drives be set up to mirror each other in a RAID 1 array. The server should have 100MB of RAM per client, rounded upwards -twice what the K12LTSP site suggests -- in order to accommodate the use of memory-hungry programs such as It also requires two Ethernet

cards: one to create a private network on a hub for the clients, and one to connect to the rest of the network. For client machines, clock speed is relatively unimportant, although anything less than a 100MHz Pentium is likely to have an ISA bus and require manual configuration. Nor is more than 4MB of memory on the video card needed in a typical class. What is important is RAM. 64MB listed on the K1LTSP site sometimes results in hard disk thrashing. It is recommended to double that, as well as using a light window manager such as IceWM instead of GNOME or KDE. In addition, clients need a 100Base-T Ethernet card. Older client machines may also need USB ports so that students can use memory sticks.

Software Selection In the latest version, K12LTSP's packages are based on Fedora Core 6, with additions from Fedora Extras. The packages include standard free software for desktops, including Firefox and, which Arkiletian describes as the programs most widely used in his school outside of computer classes. However, the distribution also includes its own unique touches, often in the form of scripts for specific purposes, such as integrating with other operating systems or restoring the default desktop on the clients, and are probably unknown to most teachers beforehand except, in some cases, as an icon on the desktop. From the end user's perspective, the most obvious difference between this operating system and less specialized distros is the extensive range of educational software K12LTSP provides, such as Tuxtype, gPeriodic, and Celestia, the 3-D space


Case Studies One of the areas where LTSP had a lot of success is in schools where budget issues severely limit their capacity to bring decent computing facilities to their students.

Government schools in Kannur How things got started... School Children of Government schools in Kannur, Kerala now have access to their own computer education facilities running on GNU/Linux operating system packed with the latest GNU free softwares. The introduction of computer education facilities in large number of schools in Kannur, Kerala was one of the prime development project initiated by the Member of Parliament (MP) from Kannur along with the district administration authorities. As a part of constituency development program, the project was supported by local administration and the money for computer resource came from MP fund. Using GNU/Linux and disk-less workstation network in schools, a substantial amount of money could be saved and hence large number of computer facilities could be setup benefiting more number of schools. Why Free Software? It offered the best cost effective solution. GNU/Linux meets all the requirements for students.Setting up a computer lab in school using LTSP network cost less, is easy to setup and maintain. Not much demanding on hardware upgrades,more stable and reliable operating system and long term sustainability. Lots of free/open source applications are available on GNU/Linux. By using LTSP, maintenances and administration is easier as there is only one server to be maintained. Moreover, the students have access to the source code for developing their own projects. The plan... We used the LTSP server and thin clients. The state owned technology enterprise unit Keltron provided all the hardware infrastructure to schools. The software solutions based on GNU/Linux and technology for diskless workstation using LTSP ( Linux Terminal Server Project) server and ether-boot was carried out by Swathantra Software Solutions & Support, Kannur. RedHat 8.0 distribution was used and configured for setting up LTSP server.The LTSP server is a Pentium IV machine with CD-ROM drive and hard disk. The disk-less workstations are of Intel celeron machine without any hard drive and cdrom drive. Since project involved setting up installation on new hardware starting from scratch, the procedure was a bit simpler. All the machines, video cards, network cards, hubs, and other accessories were of identical type. This reduced the complexity of the setup to a minimum. Making the setup working on one server was good enough and this configuration could be copied to other machines. To boot disk-less workstations from remote server, ether-boot ( was deployed. Boot image downloaded from the site was burnt into the ROM chip of each and every Network Interface Card (NIC). After the successful testing , all the machines were sent to the schools. To begin with, each school have one server and 3-5 disk-less workstations. Local network was setup using standard hub and cables. A custom made RedHat 8.0 installation is done inside the server and LTSP & DHCPD configured to use dynamic IP for the network. In order to make X- window load much faster than the default GNOME or KDE, the thin window manager "icewm" is installed on all the server. Icewm is configured with custom menu and selected applications. The other installed GNU software package include, Openoffice, multimedia, Internet applications , programming tools and many applets for educational use( physics, chemistry,maths etc.). A custom made single CD (GNU Utilities for Education) is used for setting up the installation fast and simpler. Evaluation... Project implementation has been very successful.Everything worked as expected and is running smoothly. The new setup has been well accepted by teachers and students. After providing basic training on how to use GNU/Linux based system, the teachers have been making smooth transition to GNU/Linux syystem.The initial response of the teaching community is very much encouraging to accept GNU/Linux in education. The Future... The success of this project had generated good response from others. In future plan is to implement LTSP in more schools/organizations and provide the necessary help and training. Also we plan to collect and deploy many more free/opensource application suitable for teaching and learning and provide the package to all schools.


Cutter Project The Cutter Project has been set up in the UK to provide commercially supported turnkey desktop systems for education and business users. Existing desktop PCs are used as LTSP clients to applications servers running both Linux and Microsoft Windows, giving coverage of all major applications. A shared filesystem gives users full transparency of data. Cutter focuses on carefully selected packages and hardware options to ensure high availability and radically lowered support and maintenance costs. The systems and support will be sold through distributors as well as directly. Link to Cutter Project: ''I can't tell you how good it was to see a classroom of 40 kids all logging in to KDE as if it was the most natural thing in the world. You know intellectually that they are going to do it, but to see it happening .... a great feeling!'' --- Mike Banahan

Orwell High School in England The school needed approximately 120 workstations to service 4 labs for their 1000 student. They needed distributed print services, shared server resources, and high end office software within a very restrictive budget. The natural first place to look was Microsoft, but high requirements for client machines, prohibitive software licenses, and very complex system management procedures made them look elsewhere LTSP was the solution they settled on. They are currently driving all 120 workstation from 5 central servers, distributing application load across 4 IBM Blade servers, sharing a central RAID drive array. There was an inevitable need to access Microsoft-only packages for legacy school applications, so a Windows Terminal server was installed, and the students and faculty can access it via a Linux RDP client from any of the workstations "I can't believe how easy it has been to move to Linux. The systems were installed and working within a week and it has been a revelation how simple and painless the process has been. I have saved thousands of pounds per year and got a brand-new ICT infrastructure at the same time". -- John Osborne He added: "Without switching to Linux, I would have been forced to cut back on our ICT hardware and software provision. There simply wasn't the budget to upgrade to the latest versions of the software, nor to keep replacing suites of PCs on a three or four year cycle. Now I have no licensing costs to worry about for the Open Source parts of the solution. We shall be moving to a complete Open Source basis as quickly as is practical and hope to start working with other schools interested in this type of development to share ideas and best practise". The entire case study is available Highly recommended reading and sharing for any business or school considering deploying workstations in their environment simulator. In the latest version, the list of educational software has grown so long that it is divided into two sections -- one for kindergarten to grade five, and one for grades six and above. For teachers, the outstanding feature of K1LTSP is Fl_TeacherTool. It allows teachers to interact with client machines via VNC. At a glance, teachers can see what clients are in use, and what processes each is running. By clicking the Monitor button, they can see the desktops of other clients on their own machine. If a student is doing something he shouldn't, the Control button lets teachers take control of the student's desktop. In addition, Fl_TeacherTool has several controls specifically for teaching. With the Distribution function, teachers can send files to students. Broadcast is even more powerful, sending copies of

whatever the teacher is working on directly to one or more students' desktops so that they can follow along, and eliminating the need for a white board or handouts. Broadcast is especially useful in detailed work such as computer programming, where students need to pay close attention to what is happening. The main drawback of Fl_TeacherTool is its use of the Fl toolkit rather than more widely used GTK or Qt. Yet, despite the name, Fl_TeacherTool is not just for teachers; potentially, it could be used by any administrator who needs to interact with users.

Advantages and Disadvantages Because it uses thin clients, maintenance is low. Software does not have to be installed on each client - although the option is available -- and clients can be swapped out easily when they fail. More importantly, running K12LTSP gives new life to

Technology old labs. Even seven or eight years old machines are good enough to be used as thin clients thus providing service long after their use as workstations is past. Not only are they kept out of landfills, but running them is a major cost-saver. Even with memory upgrades to client machines and a state-of-the-art server, setup cost would be about a tenth the cost of buying replacement workstations. K12LTSP labs have their limitations. They are suited only to standard computing. For memory-intensive activities such as animation, they are impractical regardless of how much RAM is in the servers and clients, because the memory swapping is too frequent. However, for the average class, the environmental, economic, and pedagogical arguments that can be made in favor of K12LTSP are exactly the sort that can

persuade school boards to experiment with free software. Recommended reading: 6 Resources for ltsp at LTSP: An Emerging Cheapest Open Source Client/Server Architecture for Business

For setting up Linux Terminal Server and Thin Clients with Edubuntu, another great Linux distro for school, there is an article published in the issue 13 of Free Software Magazine available at cles/linux_terminal_server.

FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR LTSP PILOT PROJECT Alliance for Community Capacity Building in Northeast India in Association with Prag Foundation announces funding for one state of the art computer cluster based on LTSP technology in one of the primary schools in and around Guwahati. This will serve as a pilot and test the feasibility of such a project successfully implemened with local expertise which offers the desired benefits to the teachers and students and run on a sustainable basis. The project is envisaged to be a joint effort between a Computer Sciences department (or equivalent) of an educational institute and a primary school. The school will provide the physical space while the computer sciences department provides the necessary expertise to implement the project and train the primary school teachers including producing a easy to understand technical manual. The school is required to nominate two teachers who have an aptitude and some prior experience of using a PC (not essetial but desirable). THe project is ideal to be taken up by one or two student working towards a degree in computer science under the supervision of a lecturer. Applications are invited from interested parties (Computer Sciences department or equivalent plus a Primary School) with an estimate of cost and time required to implement the project. The application should include a preliminary plan of actions and evidence that necessary technical expertise, adequate physical space and electricity connection are available. The application should write a brief demonstrating enthusiasm for OpenSource Software and ICT as a tool for education and development. Send your application to

Policy Forum

No Child Left Behind

Information Literacy: Unlocking Child's Door to the World


What kind of assignments are your children bringing home? Does the emphasis appear to be on rote drill and practice of basic skills demonstrated by circling or underlining responses and filling in blanks? How often is your child asked to interpret information provided in a chart, graph, map, picture or paragraph of text? Even more to the point, how often are they required to justify their answers by identifying supporting information from a resource? Are they asked to explain something they have read in their own words in order to demonstrate their understanding of a concept or relationship? The nature of an assignment, to a large extent, determines the quantity and nature of thinking required by the student to complete it. Assignments that require students to become "information literate," that is able to locate, interpret, organize and share information in a meaningful way, provide experiences which help prepare students to become able thinking, productive citizens and life long learners. It is to this end that national information literacy guidelines were developed. What are the Information Literacy Standards? Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning is the latest in a long series of guidelines developed by the American Association of School Librarians and the Association of Educational Communications and Technology. The guidelines provide teachers and library media specialist direction as they design learning activities to prepare students for a successful future in the Information Age. The guidelines identify nine standards and identify skills, behaviors, and attitudes students need to develop to become successful citizens and lifelong learners. The first three standards focus on the ability to access, evaluate and use information to meet an identified need. The next three focus on developing independent learning. In other words choosing to apply information literacy skills and doing quality work when seeking information and generating knowledge. The final category of standards relates to the development of social responsibility and ethical behaviors in the use of information, including recognition of the importance of information to a democratic society. All nine standards are worded in terms of behaviors and attitudes a student should demonstrate whenever they are locating, organizing,

sharing, or in any way interacting with information. The Information Literacy Standards, Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning may be found at wer&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay. cfm&ContentID=19937. What does this mean for your child? There is no textbook for life, and schools can no longer define success in terms of student learning of a predetermined set of facts. Schools need to educate students to cope with a future of constantly changing needs and information. The Information Literacy Standards provide a mechanism for helping students become responsible users of information for both academic and recreational uses. All across the country, the educational reform movement has encouraged a change in the way teachers and students interact. Traditionally the teacher was viewed as the source of most, if not all, necessary information, as well as being the decision maker about what should be learned. More and more the teacher is becoming a coach encouraging students to generate questions and discover the underlying facts, concepts and relationships which serve as the foundation for real world decision making. As a result, students have the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to locate, collect, organize, and present information; to evaluate information for its relevance, accuracy and possible bias; and to adopt ethical behaviors related to the use of information. Using these skills enables them to be successful in whatever direction their lives might turn. They will be able to find the answer for themselves rather than being at the mercy of others who provide prepackaged selected information related to a topic or issue. At the most basic level, students need to be able to use guide words, subheadings and indexes to locate specific facts to answer who, what, when, why and where type questions such as "What is a community?" or "Who founded your town and when?" It is important that all students be exposed to more challenging questions, which require greater skill in locating and interpreting information, such as "What factors cause towns/cities to develop where they do?" or "What features do most capitol cities share and why?" True information problem solving activities involve identifying a plan of action or a decision which is supported by a foundation of facts, but given an original interpretation. An example would be asking

Policy Forum students to draft and deliver a speech defending how they would vote as a senator on a bill designed to extend low cost, government funded, flood insurance to individuals who continually rebuild communities in known flood plains. Participation in this type of learning activities will help prepare students to succeed in the real world after their formal education is completed. Quite likely your child's school or your district has shared what they are doing to insure instruction meets national standards in such content areas as math, science, language arts, or social studies. In contrast have you heard anything about what is being done to insure all students become "information literate"? Ask the principal if your school has a copy of the new national information literacy guidelines, Information Power Building Partnerships for Learning , or the companion document, Information Literacy Standards for Student Learning, which include examples of the types of information literacy lessons in a variety of content areas for different age levels. Begin by raising awareness of this important issue. What could be more important than insuring your child has the opportunity to develop these essential life skills? Prepared by Dr. M. Ellen Jay

Media Specialist Damascus Elementary AASL President 1999-2000 Reference: "Information Literacy: Unlocking Your Child's Door to the World." American Library Association. 2006. ntsandcomm/informationliteracy.htm (Accessed 15 May, 2008) Helpful Websites: “This site supports Schools Library Services and school librarians in England and helps them assert the importance of their role and the significance of the school library.” It defines advocacy, discusses how advocacy can benefit you, and provides case studies and a toolkit. “This site is mainly intended for professional librarians working in schools in the UK,” but provides links from the English-speaking world. It was created to be a “source of support with organizations and links to useful resources and research reports” for school library media specialists.


Low-Power Computing Small and inexpensive notebooks designed primarily for schoolchildren — particularly in developing countries — have been a hot topic ever since Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project began in 2005. Production XO OLPC (left), Classmate (middle) and Eee (right) laptops became available in November 2007. The revamped machine created by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project [] looks like an e-book and has had its price slashed to $75 per device []. OLPC is a not-for-profit organisation, whereas Intel, which notoriously joined and then exited the OLPC project is not. Nevertheless, Intel's World Ahead program has the laudable aim of 'connecting the next billion people to uncompromised technology around the world', and part of that program is a low-cost notebook platform called

OLPC (bottom), Classmate (middle) and Eee (top)

Classmate [ ssmatepc/;]. ASUS's Eee has proven extremely popular since its mid-2007 launch. Designed in conjunction with Intel, the Eee has a broader remit than the OLPC and the Classmate in that it's less specifically targeted at developing countries and therefore less rugged. In the UK, the Eee is distributed by RM as the RM Asus miniBook. ZDNet UK's labs recently reviewed the following eight systems:

1. Lenovo ThinkCentre A61e* (compact desktop PC) 2. Aleutia E1* (mini-desktop PC) 3. Inveneo Computing Station (mini-desktop PC) 4. NComputing L230* (thin client) 5. NComputing X300* (thin client) 6. ASUS Eee (notebook) 7. Intel Classmate PC (notebook) 8. OLPC XO (notebook) Source: Low-power computing: a tech guide by Charles Mclellan, Published: 26 Mar 2008 [,1000000323,39363065-1,00.htm] HP 2133 Mini-Note PC The HP 2133 Mini-Note PC, a notebook that is both portable and affordable. While designed specifically for the education market, the 2133 Mini-Note is also appropriate for business and mobile professionals looking for a secondary (or tertiary) laptop. HP first briefed the Test Center on the Mini-Note and then sent a unit to the lab for review. Like the EEE PC, the Mini-Note is available with Linux, Novell (NSDQ:NOVL) SuSE. However, the Mini-Note 2133 is also available with Windows Vista -- both Business and Home Basic -- as well as FreeDOS. The 4 Gbyte model, at $499, comes only with SLED 10 pre-installed. XP will be available down the road. The tested unit was a Vista system. For solution providers in the education vertical, the Mini-Note provides flexibility -- some school districts prefer Linux, others want to stick with the familiar Windows. Source: Review: HP 2133 Mini-Note PC by Fahmida Y. Rashid, ChannelWeb, Apr. 08, 2008 []

Simple brain exercise can boost IQ Over at NewScientist is a very interesting article regarding increasing intellect. A group of neuropsychologists claims that there is now a specific task that can add points to a person’s IQ. Most importantly, they contend that the harder a person trains with the task the greater the increase. The discussion is about the concept of “fluid intelligence”, or Gf. It is defined as the ability to reason, solve new problems and think in

the abstract and correlates with professional and educational success. Most importantly, the general thinking is that Gf is largely genetic. While training helps one get better at a specific task, generally speaking training does not always transfer to improvement in other tasks. Not so in this new study. The researchers gave trainees IQ tests before and after specific training intervals. The result, those who did the training scored higher and the more they trained, the higher they scored. Reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0801268105). For more on this interesting study, see


Finding Information Education



This unit will help you to identify and use information in education, whether for your work, study or personal purposes. Experiment with some of the key resources in this subject area, and learn about the skills which will enable you to plan searches for information, so you can find what you are looking for more easily. Discover the meaning of information quality, and learn how to evaluate the information you come across. You will also be introduced to the many different ways of organising your own information, and learn how to reference it properly in your work. Finally, discover how to keep up to date with the latest developments in your area of interest by using tools such as RSS and mailing lists.

Learning Outcomes By the end of this guide you should be able to: 1. conduct your own searches efficiently and effectively; 2. find references to material in bibliographic databases; 3. make efficient use of full text electronic journals services; 4. critically evaluate information from a variety of sources; 5. understand the importance of organising your own information; 6. identify some of the systems available; 7. describe how to use bookmarks/favorites for web resources; 8. understand how and why to cite references in your work; 9. produce a bibliography; 10. identify and use different tools and techniques to keep yourself up to date.

1 Finding and usingiinformation 1.1 Assessing your current level of knowledge If you explore all the resources and activities in this unit, you might need to allow between two and nine hours to complete it. Before you read this guide, why not use the selfassessment questions below to rate your current level of knowledge? Mark the most appropriate number on the scale. When you have finished, you can review your answers. A score of three of less might indicate a gap in your knowledge or understanding, and you may want to pay particular attention to these areas when you work

through the guide.

1.2 Key resources When you need to find information in education, how confident are you that you know the best places to search (e.g. search engines, subject gateways, online databases etc.) to find the information you need? 5 – Very confident 4 – Confident 3 – Fairly confident 2 – Not very confident 1 – Not confident at all How familiar are you with journal articles as a source of information? 5 – Very familiar 4 – Familiar 3 – Fairly familiar 2 – Not very familiar 1 – Not familiar at all 1.3 Searching for information on education How well does the following statement match what you do when you begin a new search for information? Before I begin a new search for information (maybe for an assignment, or to help you choose your next holiday destination), I spend some time thinking about what I already know, what the gaps in my knowledge are, and the best types of information to meet my needs. 5 – This is an excellent match; this is exactly what I do 4 – This is a good match; I usually do this 3 – This is a reasonable match; I do this to some extent 2 – This is a poor match; I don’t really do this 1 – This does not match; I don’t do this at all How well does the following statement match what you do when you are thinking of keywords or search words to use to search for information? When thinking of search words, I break down my topic into broad areas and then identify the most appropriate search words. I also consider any synonyms or alternative subject words that might have been used to describe my topic. 5 – This is an excellent match; this is exactly what I do 4 – This is a good match; I usually do this 3 – This is a reasonable match; I do this to some extent 2 – This is a poor match; I don’t really do this 1 – This does not match; I don’t do this at all 1.4 Evaluating information How well does the following statement describe your approach to evaluating the information that you use? When I come across a new piece of information (e.g. a website, newspaper article) I consider the quality of the information, and based on that I decide whether

Tutorial or not to use it. 5 – This is an excellent match; this is exactly what I do 4 – This is a good match; I usually do this 3 – This is a reasonable match; I do this to some extent 2 – This is a poor match; I don’t really do this 1 – This does not match; I don’t do this at all 1.5 Organising information How confident are you that you know when it is appropriate to cite references (refer to the work of other people) in your written work? 5 – Very confident 4 – Confident 3 – Fairly confident 2 – Not very confident 1 – Not confident at all How confident do you feel about producing bibliographies (lists of references) in an appropriate format to accompany your written work? 5 – Very confident 4 – Confident 3 – Fairly confident 2 – Not very confident 1 – Not confident at all 1.6 Keeping up-to-date How familiar are you with the following different ways of keeping up to date with information; alerts, mailing lists, newsgroups, blogs, RSS, professional bodies and societies?

5 4 3 2 1

– – – – –

Very familiar Familiar Fairly familiar Not very familiar Not familiar at all

2 Searching for information on education 2.1 Planning your search Your approach to searching will depend to a great extent on what kind of person you are. In an ideal world, when searching for information for a specific purpose, we would all find what exactly we were looking for at the first attempt, especially if we are in a hurry. However, it’s always a good idea to have some kind of plan when you are searching for information, if only to help you plan your time and make sure you find the information you need. If I was starting to search for material on how to reduce the impact of my life on the environment, I would form a rough plan. I propose the following plan as one I could use, and as a plan for you to use. 2.1.1 Choosing keywords Keywords are significant words which define the subject you are looking for. The importance of keywords is illustrated by the fact that there is a whole industry around providing advice to companies on how to select keywords for their websites that are likely to make it to the top of results lists generated by search engines. We often choose keywords as part

I have a vague idea of what it is I am looking for - something on living in a more environmentally friendly way. I then think carefully about what it really is I’m looking for– there are many ways I could be more environmentally friendly, but the most pressing issue I’ve heard about in the news lately is about greenhouse gases, and how to reduce your carbon footprint (the amount of greenhouse gases you as a householder cause to be emitted into the environment). From this, I choose my keywords – carbon footprint, greenhouse gases, reducing. I decide where to look. My whole approach depends on how long I’ve got and what the information is for. In this instance, the information is for me, for my own personal use, and there is no deadline on when it is needed for, so I will probably start off using a search engine. If I was preparing a report for work, or an assignment that required me to prepare an in-depth argument, balancing up the pros and cons, I would want to allow more time and try more than one resource – maybe some of the academic resources which we will look at in more detail in a later section - to get a critical mass of material. Then I search. At this point, I need to assess how my results match up with my original idea, my ‘information need’. In this instance, I find a good deal of useful material on the first page of search results. The results match what I’m looking for, so I stop searching. If, however, the need and the results don’t match up – and it might be because I’ve got too many, too few or the wrong emphasis in my results, I need to think again. I have a number of options at this point. I might refine my search, by either changing keywords – adding, taking away or replacing them. I might check the tool I am using to make sure I am making the most of any advanced features on offer. I might reflect on whether the tool I am using is the right one for the job. I might even have to go right back to the beginning, to my original vague notion and question what it really is I am looking for.

Tutorial of an iterative process; usually if we don't hit on the right search terms straight off, most of us tweak them as we go along based on the results we get. However, if you are looking for specific information it is sometimes better to take a systematic approach to choosing your keywords. Follow my example below. 1. Ask yourself, what do I need to know? – I need to know about the positive effects of classroom assistants on the development of adolescents with behavioural problems. 2. Break the topic down into its broad areas or concepts. You will usually find that your question breaks down into a couple of ideas or concepts. Classroom assistants – development – adolescents – behavioural problems. 3. Think of some alternative words for the words you have chosen – for instance, 'young people' and 'adolescents' mean roughly the same thing. So that you don't miss anything, remember: Plurals – child, children Abbreviations – UK, United Kingdom Variations in spelling – colour, color, specialised, specialized Variations in terminology used in different cultures and countries – for instance, 'children with emotional and behavioural problems' (UK) are referred to as 'maladjusted children' in the US. •This will help to ensure that you find things that an author might have referred to using different terms. It is important to think of synonyms or alternative subject words when you are planning a search because including synonyms will ensure that you don't miss relevant material. But don't worry if you can't always find any sensible substitutes for the words you have chosen – there might not be any. In this example, I might use: — young people and teenagers as well as adolescents — emotional problems as well as behavioural problems •Write out your query in full – I need to know about the positive effects of classroom assistants on the development of young people or teenagers or adolescents with emotional or behavioural problems. By using this approach, I have created a search statement that I can use to search any resource, whether it’s a search engine, a database or an electronic journal. 2.2 Basic principles Whatever resource you choose to use to find information on the internet, many of the same principles apply. Each source that you use will

probably look quite different from the one you tried before, but you'll notice that there are always features that are similar – a box to type your search terms in, for instance, or a clickable help button. Different resources refer to the same functions using different terminology, but the principles behind them are exactly the same. The trick is to check the clues given on the screen or in the 'help' of the individual database you are using. Use the checklist of common features at the bottom of this page to explore: * A search engine such as Google [] – particularly the advanced search features * A book catalogue, such as WorldCat [] * A database, such as the ERIC – Educational Resources Information Center [] * A site providing access to electronic journals, such as The Directory of Open Access Journals [] Checklist of common features * Is there any online help? * Can I do a simple search? * Can I look at the information in both short and detailed form? * Can I choose where in the record I want my search terms to be found? * Can I search for phrases? * Can I combine search terms? * Can I use truncation? * Can I use wildcards? * Can I do an advanced search? * Can I get a list of what I've found?

3 Resources 3.1 Introduction You can find a lot of information about education on the internet. To find this information you might choose to use: * search engines and subject gateways; * books and electronic books; * databases; * journals; * encyclopedias; * news sources; * reports; * official publications; * statistics; * internet resources. 3.2 Search engines and subject gateways Although both search engines and subject gateways

Tutorial will help you find the resources that you need, the types of information that you find will differ. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo! search the internet for keywords or phrases, and then show you the results. These results are not mediated by the search engines, and therefore you need to use your own judgement on the reliability of the results. You may, for example, find websites written by experts, alongside websites written by someone with little knowledge of the subject. You may wish to try using some search engines such as: * Google [] * Yahoo! [] * AltaVista [] * [] for the subject you are interested in. You can also find more scholarly information through the search engine Google Scholar [] Google Scholar searches peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organisations. However, as not everything listed on Google Scholar is freely available, you may find that you cannot access certain resources. Subject gateways (also called Directories), in contrast to search engines, provide links to more academic, reliable information. They usually provide a brief description of the resource as well as a link directly to it. Directories and gateways can be browsed and usually searched too. Most directories and gateways are maintained manually with strictly imposed quality criteria, so the resources directories and gateways return will generally be of a consistent quality. As a result of the limited coverage, you may get a smaller number of results or 'hits' returned from a directory or gateway. Subject gateways you may wish to try include: BUBL [] Contains selected information resources covering all subject areas. Search by keyword or browse by subject. Intute: Education [] A free online service providing access to websites selected and evaluated by subject specialists. 3.3 Books and electronic books Books are a good source of information. The publishing process (where a book is checked by an editor before publishing, and often reviewed by

another author) means that books are reliable sources of information, although they may need to be evaluated for bias. A growing number of books can be found online. WorldCat [] References to over 1 billion items in 10 000 libraries worldwide To find out about other books available in your subject area, you can search library catalogues and/or online bookshops. These are listed on the Open Library page Catalogues and bookshops [] . 3.4 Databases At a basic level, a database is a collection of information which can be searched. It is a way of storing, indexing, organising and retrieving information. You may have created one yourself to keep track of your references – or your friends' names and addresses. They are useful for finding articles on a topic, and can be used to search for many different types of information. You may find some of the following databases useful for your topic. They contain different types of information, but are all searchable. ROUTES [] ROUTES is a database providing access to selected quality-assessed freely available internet resources, selected by course teams and the Open University Library's Learning and Teaching Librarians. DfES news centre [] Database of the Department for Education and Skills Press notices. ERIC – Educational Resources Information Center [] Provides access to the ERIC searchable database of more than one million abstracts of education-related articles and information, based in the U.S. 3.5 Images Images can also be found online. Some useful image databases are: Flickr [] A photo sharing website that contains pictures relating to all subjects. Note that in order to reuse a picture from this site you may need to get the permission of the person who uploaded the photo. Photobucket [] An image sharing website containing a search function. Note that in order to reuse a picture from this site you may need to get the permission of the person who uploaded the photo.

Tutorial There are also a number of freely available image resources in the ROUTES database. 3.6 Journals Journals and articles written by academics or experts are an excellent source of information. Journals are usually published monthly or quarterly, and contain a selection of articles providing details of recent research. Often they will also contain reviews of relevant books. They are usually published more quickly than books, and so are often more up to date. To access content of journals, most publishers require a subscription. There are, however, some journals which you can freely access in full text via the internet without paying a subscription fee. You can see an example of a journal article here: Potter, Christopher Thomas. "Motorcycle Clubs in Britain During the Interwar Period, 1919 – 1939: Their Social and Cultural Importance" [ 5.html] . International Journal of Motorcycle Studies. 2005. 1 (1) Alternatively, go to the Directory of Open Access Journals below and search for an article on your subject. Directory of Open Access Journals [] DOAJ provides free access to selected scholarly journals. It can be browsed by title or subject, as well as searched for keywords. 3.7 Encyclopedias Encyclopedias can be useful reference texts to use to start your research. There are some available online, such as: Wikipedia [] A freely available collaborative encyclopedia. Encarta [] An online encyclopedia from MSN. 3.8 News sources Many news sources are now available online. Searching an online version of a newspaper is easier, quicker and more effective than searching through printed indexes, microfilm or actual newspapers. Guardian Education [] The Guardian and Observer's educational content with special reports, exclusive online features and links to relevant sites. Searchable archive of stories goes back to January 1999. TES Online [] Online version of the Times Education Supplement. TES Scotland Online

[] Online version of the Scottish edition of the Times Education Supplement. Times Higher Education Supplement [] Online version of the Times Higher Education Supplement. A subscription is required to access the whole content but you can set up a free online trial. BBC News: Education [ stm] Searchable up-to-date source of news in education with contents lists, text and graphics links and links to relevant stories from the BBC archive. Also links to BBC news programmes which you can watch or hear online. 3.9 Reports Often research results, policy documents, conference papers etc. do not always get published through official channels in journals, books or conference proceedings. Consequently they may be more difficult to track down. Education-Line [] An electronic archive of "grey" literature in the field of education and training. Provides access to current research papers and pre-print texts submitted for comment, full-text articles, reports and archive material. 3.10 Official publications It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the plethora of green and white papers, reports of advisory committees, guidance notes and circulars relating to education. You may be able to get access to some of them via the websites of relevant government departments and committees. Department for Education and Skills [] Publications section of the Department for Education and Skills website. Department of Education for Northern Ireland [] Publications section of the Department of Education for Northern Ireland’s website. Learning Wales [ ublications/?lang=en] The publications section of the Welsh Assembly Government's Training and Education website. OFSTED [] Homepage of the Office for Standards in Education. Contents

Tutorial include inspection reports, publications list (some available for downloading) and an enquiry service. Scottish Executive [] Publications section of the Scottish Executive website Scottish Executive with information on the Scottish Executive Education Department and the Enterprise & Lifelong Learning Department. 3.11 Statistics There is a lot of statistical data on the internet relating to education. UK National Statistics [] This website contains an extensive range of official UK statistics and information about statistics. Under browse by theme there is an education and training subheading. 3.12 Internet resources There are many websites where you will find useful information for education. With all information on the internet you need to make a judgement on the reliability of the information. HERO (Higher Education Research Opportunities in United Kingdom) [] The official gateway site for academic research and higher education in the UK, organised into six zones; studying, research, business, inside HE, culture & sport and universities & colleges. It also includes news and features on all aspects of UK higher education. UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service for the UK) [] Site contents include course information, advice for students and institutions, statistical data and news. Higher Education Funding Council for England [] Funding authority for research and teaching in higher education institutions in England. Higher Education Funding Council for Wales [] Welsh further education funding body. Scottish Funding Council [] Funding body for teaching and research in further and higher education institutions in Scotland. 3.13 Choosing the right tool for the job Before searching it is always a good idea to check what the source you have chosen covers to make sure it will unearth information that matches your search need (you will notice that all the resources we’ve covered in this guide have short descriptions to enable you to decide which to use). Some of the decision makers, depending on the context of your search might be:

* Does it have full text? * Does it cover the right subject? * Does it match the type of information I need, e.g. news, figures, facts, opinion, research, etc? * Does it match the right format of information I need, e.g. books, journal articles, theses, images, etc? * Does it contain peer reviewed information? 3.14 Summary There is a lot of information available on education via the internet. Try the activities below to start exploring what is available.

4. Evaluating education information on the internet Activity Use the Intute ‘Internet for Education’ Tour [] to find out the types of information available, and to identify some key websites. Don’t forget to add any interesting and useful sites to your basket within the tutorial, or make a note of them to explore in more detail another time. Activity Use the Intute ‘Virtual Training Suite for Education’ to find out the types of information available, and to identify some key websites. Go to [] and select a topic or topics of interest to you from the ‘Education’ section to find out more about internet resources for education. 4.1 PROMPT There is so much information available on the internet on every topic imaginable. But how do you know if it is any good? And if you find a lot more information than you really need, how do you decide what to keep and who to discard? In this section we are going to introduce a simple checklist to help you to judge the quality of the information you find. Before we do this, spend a few Activity Imagine you are trying to find out about a current story in the news. Have a look at this website – [] We would recommend this to you as a ‘quality’ source of information. If you agree with us, jot down as many words as you can think of to describe what is good about the website. For example, you might think it is clearly presented. What did you come up with? We thought it was:

Tutorial Clearly presented Up to date Relevant to our purpose Authoritative (clear who is responsible for it) Gives a balanced view Based on good evidence minutes thinking about what is meant by information quality. We think there are six distinct aspects of information quality. These are: Presentation Relevance Objectivity Method Provenance Timeliness Or, for short, P R O M P T. Let us look at the six aspects, one by one. 4.2 P is for Presentation By presentation, we mean, the way in which the information is communicated. You might want to ask yourself: * Is the language clear and easy to understand? * Is the information clearly laid out so that it is easy to read? * Are the fonts large enough and clear? * Are the colours effective? (e.g. white or yellow on black can be difficult to read) * If there are graphics or photos, do they help the information to be communicated? * If there is audio or video, is it clear? * What about the use of animation? Is it helpful or distracting? Presentation is particularly important on the Web Activity Have a look at this website and explore it. What do you think of it? Can you suggest some problems with the presentation? [] You may have agreed with our concerns below. We thought there were problems with * layout and navigation * choice of font * choice of pictures and design * choice of print size * lack of structure * language because we all spend so much time reading online. Poor presentation can have a negative effect on our

physical and mental well-being. One of the acknowledged experts on the ‘usability’ of websites is Jakob Nielsen. If you would like to hear him talking about usability on the Web you could listen to this podcast interview [ ml] or have a look at his website [] . 4.3 R is for Relevance Relevance is an important factor to consider when you are evaluating information. It isn’t so much a property of the information itself but of the relationship it has with your question or your ‘information need’. For example, if you are writing an essay about play therapy, a book or website about maths skills in the under-10s would not be relevant. So there are a number of ways in which a piece of information may not be relevant to your query: * geographical (It may relate to countries or areas which you are not interested in) * level (It may be too detailed/specialised or too general/simple for the level at which you are working) * emphasis (It may not contain the kind of information you are seeking – this is often a question of emphasis, which may not be identifiable from a title, summary or abstract). 4.4 O is for Objectivity Activity You are helping your 6 year old child with some homework on dinosaurs. Together you do an internet search and you find these: 1. LearnEnglish Kids – Dinosaur [ _dinosaurs.html] 2. BBC Science and Nature – Prehistoric Life [] 3. Natural History Museum – Dinosaurs [] 4. Wikipedia – Dinosaurs [] 5. Tyrannosaurs [ opoda/340.750.html] 6. Dinosaurs [ dinosaurs/] Which do you think is most likely to be relevant and why? We think that the LearnEnglish Kids or BBC Science and Nature – Prehistoric Life sites are probably the

Tutorial most relevant for our purposes . They are clearly presented and at about the right level, in tone and detail, for our 6 year old. We might reject the Natural History Museum and Wikipedia sites on the grounds of level, because they may be too detailed and aimed at older children. We might reject the Dinosaurs site on the grounds of emphasis, because it is not appropriate to our needs. One of the characteristics of ‘good’ information is that it should be balanced and present both sides of an argument or issue. This way the reader is left to weigh up the evidence and make a decision. In reality, we recognise that no information is truly objective. This means that the onus is on you, the reader, to develop a critical awareness of the positions represented in what you read, and to take account of this when you interpret the information. In some cases, authors may be explicitly expressing a particular viewpoint – this is perfectly valid as long as they are explicit about the perspective they represent. Hidden bias, whether or not it is deliberate, can be misleading. This could be particularly important in a subject area where there is controversy. With a controversial topic such as this, it is not too difficult to identify the viewpoints represented and Activity Can you think of any issues or topics where information may be biased in some ways? We thought of a few: * Vegetarianism * Testing drugs on animals * Human cloning * Capital punishment * Energy saving * Smoking Let us take an example – look at each of these websites and consider whether you think they are likely to give objective information about the use of animals for testing new drugs. [] BBC Science and Nature -Animal Experiments [ eriments/] RDS online [ D=94] Home Office-Animal Testing [

research/animal-testing/] therefore be aware of potential bias. In other cases it may be less obvious. It is important to remember to look out for vested interests. A website about headaches which is sponsored by a drug company is unlikely to be objective. Here the vested interest is financial. It is worth remembering that there are different types of vested interest: * financial vested interests (protecting or selling a product or service); * media manipulation (a 'good story' to sell papers or push up ratings); * political propaganda (influencing public opinion); * government propaganda (influencing public behaviour). We do of course need to be conscious that our own judgement can be influenced by our beliefs. 4.5 M is for Method Method is about the way in which a piece of information is produced. This is quite a complex area as different types of information are produced in different ways. These are a few suggestions to look out for: Opinions – A lot of information is based on the opinion of individuals. They may or not be experts in their field (see P for Provenance) but the key message is to be clear that it is just an opinion and must be valued as such. Research – You don’t have to be an expert on research methods to ask some basic questions about research information. You need to develop a critical approach to reports of research, particularly when these are summarised in the popular media. All these questions (and more) are important because Activity For example, here is a news story: A study by researchers at an American University reveals that 8 out of 10 people dislike music being played while they are shopping. What questions might you want to ask about the methods used to carry out this research? We thought we would want to know: * How many people did they ask? * Did they ask both men and women and, if so, in what proportion? * What ages were the people they asked? * How did they ask people? (did they stop them in the street? Was it a postal questionnaire?)

Tutorial they could affect how much you are likely to trust the results. For example, a group of 20 year old women are likely to give a very different response from a group of middle aged men. Reviews of Research – Many articles and books contain reviews of research. We use reviews as a shortcut to looking for all the primary research ourselves. But reviews vary. Some merely bring together the reviewer's selection of research on a topic, others, sometimes called 'systematic reviews' or 'overviews', try to collect and review all the research on the topic in question. It may be important to your work to ascertain which kind of review you are looking at. 4.6 P is for Provenance The provenance of a piece of information (i.e. who produced it? where did it come from?) may provide another useful clue to its reliability. It represents the 'credentials' of a piece of information that support its status and perceived value. It is therefore very important to be able to identify the author, sponsoring body or source of your information. Why is this important? 4.7 T is for Timeliness The date when information was produced or published can be an important aspect of quality. This is not quite Activity Can you think of any reasons why you would want to know who produced a particular website? We thought of a number of reasons why we would want to know the authors or the organisation responsible: Authors – If you know who the author is you can: * find out whether they are an acknowledged expert in the subject area; * find out what other papers or books they have published; * perhaps trace unpublished material like their PhD thesis; * find out if they are known to have a particular perspective on the topic and whether their views are controversial; * perhaps contact them in person. Organisations – knowing about the sponsoring organisation can tell you a great deal. We have already looked at 'vested interests' and it is important to be able to identify and take account of these. Here are some of the questions you might wish to ask: What is the 'business' of the organisation? * is it a commercial company? * a voluntary organisation?

* a statutory body? * a research organisation? How well established is it? * does it have a 'history'? * is it ephemeral/short-lived? Can you identify the people involved in the organisation? * could you contact them if you wanted to verify the information or find out more? * do the people have 'other interests' or links which might have a bearing on the way you regard the information? Activity As an example, can you tell who is responsible for this site? [] You will probably have deduced that this site is a spoof. Others may not be as easy to identify.

as simple as saying that 'good' information has to be up to date. 4.8 Summary In this section we have introduced you to the PROMPT Activity Here is an example of a news item from an online news source: 91927.stm [ 491927.stm] Would you say that the information above is out of date? Well, it is and it isn’t. In other words, one person’s out of date cutting is someone else’s historical document. Some documents (the Domesday Book for example) are indeed timeless in that they will always be regarded as relevant. In other cases, it will be very important indeed for information to be up to date. Activity It is, of course, more important for some kind of information to be up to date than others. Have a look at the list of types of information below and think about which need to be up to date: * A road map * A painting * A news item * A press release

Tutorial * A review of research * A book of poetry * A government circular * A scientific research article * A patent * Population statistics * A technical manual * A news website We thought these needed to be up to date: * A road map * A news item * A press release * A review of research * A government circular * A scientific research article * Population statistics * A news website checklist as a useful tool for assessing the quality of any piece of information. If you use it regularly you will find that you develop the ability to scan information quickly and identify strengths and weaknesses. As a closing exercise you might like to pick one of the websites below or any of your own choice and try to evaluate it using the PROMPT criteria. To make it easier for you we have provided a printable checklist (see below). Click on 'View document' below to open the printable checklist. There are extra digital resources associated with this unit. Please go to the website to use them. Document : g_checklist.pdf * US Dept of Education [] * OFSTED []

5 Organising your information 5.1 Why is it important to be organised? * 87% of items that are filed into a filing cabinet are never looked at again. STANFORD UNIVERSITY * The world is producing nearly two exabytes of new and unique information every year – an exabyte is a new term that had to be coined for a billion gigabytes. All the words ever spoken by human beings comes to five exabytes. UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA (BERKELEY) [ ow_much_information_produced_world_year_en.pdf] * More new information has been produced in the last 30 years than in the 5,000 years before that.

INFORMATION SKILLS FOR AN INFORMATION SOCIETY – Carol Kuhlthau (1987) Eric Clearinghouse for Information, ISBN 0937597147 * A new blog is created every second. TECHNORATI [] * 10% of salary costs are wasted as employees search


Tutorial or information to complete tasks. COMPUTERWORLD [ 165B20A390CC25721B000B3233] The world today bombards you with facts. There is such a wealth of information coming at you from a variety of sources that to be able to work effectively you need to have some system for organising it all. Think of a typical day – how much time do you waste looking for a piece of information you need? 5.2 Ways of organising yourself Activity Jo, a student, has identified some sources to write an assignment on GM foods. Have a look at the three images above and see if you can spot what problems might occur if Jo wants to use these. This is what we thought: Image 1: We think that these must be some notes that Jo has made about one of the sources s/he's looked at – there's even a good quote, flagged up as important – but there's no indication of the title of the book or journal article in which s/he found it. Image 2: We think this looks like a photocopy of a journal article, but it isn't a very good one because the photocopier has cut the name of the journal and the article title off the top. Image 3: We think this is part of a reference – it could be a reference to a book or a journal article, there isn't really any clue, and it could be the title of a chapter or journal article, or a quote. Jo can't remember why it was so important. To use these items in an assignment, Jo would need the full reference which s/he hasn’t got. Jo would need to spend more time trying to track these sources down again if s/he wanted to use them. By taking a bit more time to be organised at the start, you can actually save yourself time later on. How do you organise yourself? The silver surfers are using the internet for leisure purposes, and so they don’t really need to keep track of things, because they are sites they regularly use or can search for again. Activity Make a note of how you organise your: * emails * internet bookmarks or favorites * computer files * your household paperwork, for example bills, insurance documents, guarantees, receipts * book, CD, record, video or DVD collection

Compare your notes with the 3 people below: Person 1 – “I tend to be organised because I have my books grouped by author, and if they’re in a series then the series has to be in order. My CDs are alphabetised by surname, or name of band, with compilations alphabetically by title at the end of the sequence. I also have a filing cabinet for all household paperwork, with individual files for gas, electricity, car, and so on. Yes I’m a born librarian.” Person 2 – “I don't really organise my emails, I read then delete unless its a receipt then i'll print it off and put it in a safe place! (Never to be seen again). I do add my favorite webpages to my toolbar, but this is more down to laziness rather than organisation. All my household bills are shoved in a box which i tidy out once every six months. My books are on a bookcase in no particular order as are my DVDs and CDs. Yes, i really am this disorganised but somehow it hasn't had a negative effect on me so far!!!!!!!!” Person 3 – “I tend to be quite ruthless with filing – a hatred of clutter helps. Emails: only open 3-4 times per day, when read either: a) delete; b) action if short, c) keep to action later that day or next. I have a fairly simple filing system but tend not to save on the basis that someone will have a copy. I have an automatic ‘rule’ set to delete emails more than 6 months old. I’ve never missed any deleted ones. PC filing: no more than ten folders on broad topics and no more than 4-5 subfolders in each. I find it easier to file and retrieve using broad topics. I try to keep the contents down to a single screenful. Older files are ruthlessly purged. Favourite websites – no more than a dozen which I use regularly – others are easily found anyway. Paper filing at home: a (deliberately) small filing cabinet sectioned into utilities; insurance; car; job; credit cards; etc. I only keep one years worth of bills etc. and try to throw out the oldest when a new one arrives but that doesn’t always work out. So between Xmas and New year I go through and shred anything older than the year just finishing. My New Year purge also applies to books (if I haven’t opened it for 2-3 years I’m probably not going to), CDs/DVDs (1-2 year rule) and clothes (1-year rule). Local charity shops do well. This policy has the double benefit of keeping collections to a reasonable size and making me think: do I really need to buy/keep/store it if I’m going to throw it out in a

Tutorial couple of years? But I guess minimalism is not to everyone’s taste! My motto: if in doubt throw it out.” Whilst each of these people have different ways of organising information one thing becomes clear: find a system that works for you and use it. How complex or simple your system is will depend on the type of information you deal with, and how you are going to use it. The researchers have to keep a research log, and will eventually be writing a dissertation that will reference all the sources they use. So the researchers are more organised and are careful about storing their information. 5.3.1 Desktop Search Tools Finding your paperwork or electronic files can be a problem. You may find that even if you do have some sort of filing system, your structure soon gets quite large with files in multiple locations, which can be hard to navigate. You may find yourself making arbitrary decisions about which folder to place a document in. It may make sense now but in the future, when you look where you think it should be, it’s not there. At times like this you may resort to the search command from the Windows Start menu. If, like me, you have a PC with hundreds of thousands of files, you may find that search can take quite a while. This is because, unlike search engines, the basic search tool on Windows PCs does have to search through every file when a search is made. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a search engine for your desktop? Well, the good news is that there are several available, some of which are free for personal use. The majority of the free desktop search tools are provided by the big search engines – in the hope that by providing a complete search experience you will use them for all your search needs. For an overview of desktop search tools read the following article by Pandia [] The first time you use a desktop search tool, it will Activity Download one of the following desktop search tools. You need to check your PC specifications first to make sure that you can run it on your machine. * Ask [] * Copernic [] * Google Desktop [] * Windows Live Toolbar []

* Yahoo! Desktop Search [] When you have installed a tool do a search on your PC using the tool. Now do the same search using the Windows search command from the Start menu. Did you get the same results? need to build an index of the contents of your hard drive. This can take several hours, so you will have to be patient. Once the tool has built an index, any new documents you put on your computer will tend to be archived as they arrive, so the index will keep itself up to date without you noticing. So why, you may ask, do I need to bother with organising my files when I can search for them? Using tools such as these means that you may not need to be quite so organised about how you organise your information. However, when you perform a search, there is an assumption that the term you are searching for appears in the document somewhere. But there may be occasions when you can’t decide what term to search for, or you may not know if it is in the document if you haven’t actually read the item. Additionally each search you perform does take some time, and you may have limited time available, so it makes sense to have some system of organising your files to complement such desktop search tools to maximise your chance of finding the information you need. 5.3.2 The 5 Ds If you don’t use a system at all, then you could suffer from the effects of information overload: * losing important information * wasting time on trying to find things * ending up with piles of physical and virtual stuff everywhere One technique you might like to apply to your files (be they paper or electronic) is the 5Ds. Try applying these and see if you can reduce your information overload. The 5 Ds – Adapted from John Caunt (1999) 30 minutes to manage information overload, London: Kogan Page 1. Discard 2. Deal with it (Make a DIN! – Do It Now!) 3. Determine future action (SIFT it – Schedule It now For Tomorrow) 4. Direct/distribute it (a. why are you directing it? / b. What do you expect recipient to do with it?) 5. Deposit it (file it) 5.4 Social bookmarks If you find you have a long unmanageable list of

Tutorial favourites/bookmarks you might like to try social bookmarks as an alternative. Activity – what you need to know about social bookmarks Read 7 things you should know about social bookmarking by Educause (2005 May). Available from Educause Learning Initiative [ ] Answer the following questions: * What are the differences between social bookmarks and ordinary browser bookmarks (favorites)? * What are the benefits of using social bookmarks? * Are there any drawbacks of using social bookmarks? * How is tagging different from formal metadata? This is what we thought: * Social bookmarks are stored publicly on a website, whereas bookmarks are stored on your PC. Social bookmarks have tags, that help you identify what the site is about, whereas favorites just have a title and are stored in a folder structure. Social bookmarks are shared whereas favorites tend to be personal. * You can access your social bookmarks from anywhere. You can see other people's social bookmarks on the same topic, so you might find new information or see things you hadn’t thought about before. You can find people who are interested in the same things as you. * There may be some dodgy tagging, so people don’t use the tags in the same way as you, or may use the tag in a derogatory manner. You may find you get items that bear no resemblance to what you’re looking for because of the different way people use tags. * Tagging is done by amateurs, there is no formally controlled vocabulary or taxonomy, and it can be of poor quality. Tags change to reflect current trends. The formal metadata done by professionals has a structure and vocabulary that doesn’t always reflect terminology you would use. To explore social bookmarks for yourself, try one of the tools listed here: [] Furl [] Spurl [] Feed me links [] Hyperlinkomatic [] Simpy [] Frassle [] Blinklist [] Social bookmarking tools are good for:

* exploring current trends and technologies * small, close-knit communities with agreed tagging conventions * helping to remember terms that are meaningful to you * access from anywhere – unlike favorites which are PC-specific * preserving a snapshot of a site – for example Furl can keep a record for you so if the site should change or be removed you can still see a copy of the original. 5.5 Copyright – what you need to know An original piece of work, whether it is text, music, pictures, sound recordings, web pages, etc., is protected by copyright law and may often have an accompanying symbol (©) and/or legal statement. In the UK it is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 which regulates this. In most circumstances, works protected by copyright can be used in whole or in part only with the permission of the owner. In some cases this permission results in a fee. However, the UK legislation includes a number of exceptions known as ‘fair dealing’. Fair dealing allows the free use of part of a published work for noncommercial research or private study, for criticism or review purposes, or for reporting current events. The source must always be quoted, so make sure you get all the details when you take a photocopy, or print from a web page so you can acknowledge where you got it from. If you would like to read a bit more about Copyright and what is permitted, have a look at the Copyright site [] on the information Skills for researchers page To find out about copyright in other countries you might like to check out the International Federation of Reproductive Rights Organizations [] website. This is an international membership organisation, and if you follow the link to their membership page then you will see a list of international copyright organisations. 5.6 Referencing We mentioned above that we need to reference sources to ensure we abide by copyright legislation. But there is another reason we need to give accurate references to items we use – so we can share it. Consider this scenario. A friend says they’ve just read an interesting article where Joshua Schachter, founder of has spoken about why it isn’t a

Tutorial faceted search system, and you should read it. How would you go about finding it? Would you start looking in a news database, a search engine or a journals database? When I tried this by putting Joshua Schachter’s name into various search tools, using 'delicious' as a search term, and 'faceted' as a term I found I got lots of articles, but I didn’t know whether any of them was the right one, as none of them seemed quite right. So what is the minimum level of information needed to find the right article? Activity – what information is needed to find the correct source? For the following types of resource, identify necessary and sufficient information to be able to discover an item with a degree of certainty that it is the correct one. Complete the table by choosing from the list below to identify what you feel is the minimum level of information for each type of resource. E.g. for Book you might feel that ISBN and author is sufficient so your first row would be: Book (paper) ISBN, Author Director, author, title, article title, broadcaster, type of podcast, ISBN, publisher, pages, date, volume, title of video, where it was published, author/organisation, date you visited the site, issue number, URL Resource Identifying information Book (paper) Book (electronic) Journal article (paper) Journal article (electronic) Website Video Podcast This is what we thought: Book (paper): author, title, date, publisher, where it was published, ISBN Book (electronic): author, title, date, publisher, URL, ISBN Journal article (paper): author, article title, journal title, date, volume, issue number, pages Journal article (electronic): author, article title, journal title, date, volume, issue number, pages, URL Website: author or organisation, title, URL, date you visited the site Video: director, title of video, date Podcast: title, date, broadcaster, URL, type of podcast You also need accurate information to be able to find resources you have used in the past. Sometimes an ISBN number or URL just isn’t enough. What happens if the book goes out of print, or the web page is

withdrawn or someone gives an incorrect reference? By giving more information, you increase the chance of being able to locate the item again. You may also find that the level of detail you need to give varies according to the purpose. For example if you want to buy a book from Amazon, usually an author and/or title is sufficient. For a reading list, you would usually include the year too, as often academic text books have different editions, so the year is important to make sure you’ve got the right version. To help people to share this information, reference styles have been developed. These are standards that specify what information is required to produce a reference, and how it should be laid out in a consistent manner. If you read an academic article or book, you will often find a list of references at the end. Depending on what courses you study, you may have to write an essay, in which case you will be expected to acknowledge the sources used in a bibliography or reference list. You will see reference styles also called citation styles. For this unit, consider 'reference' to mean the same thing as 'citation'. The minimum elements for all references are: * author or equivalent * title * date * publisher * place – either physical location or URL The thing that changes from style to style is how they look when you write the reference for your bibliography, and how you present them in the text. 5.7 Bibliographic software If you are considering taking your studies further you Activity – exploring reference styles Try the citation builder at Calvin [] . Type in the following reference into the citation builder using 'Electronic' under 'Source type' and 'Journal' under 'Resource'. K Brock Enger (2006) ‘Minorities and online education’, Educause Quarterly, 29 (4), pp.7–8 [online]. Available from df [ df] Have a look at the reference in each of the different styles (MLA, APA, Chicago) and see if you can spot the differences. Here are the three references produced by this tool.

Tutorial MLA: Enger, K B. "Minorities and online education." Educause Quarterly 29.4 (2006): 7–8. 20 Nov. 2006 f [ df] APA: Enger, K. B. (2006). Minorities and online education. Educause Quarterly, 29(4), 7–8. Retrieved November 20, 2006, from f [ df] Chicago: Enger, K B. "Minorities and online education." Educause Quarterly 29, no. 4 (2006): 7–8. f [ df] . As you can see, the differences tend to be in how each reference is formatted. In MLA and Chicago styles the author names are given in full, whereas APA has used initials for first names. MLA underlines the journal title, but the other two styles italicise it. They each format the volume and issue number differently. There are other differences that make each style unique, but the core information remains the same. Leeds University Library provides a list of useful citation and referencing links [] where you can see examples of a range of different styles. might like to consider using bibliographic software. Bibliographic software can be used to sort references, annotate them, manage quotations or create reading lists There are several software packages on the market. Some are listed below. * BibTex * EndNote * Procite * Reference Manager * RefWorks If you are not sure whether to invest in one of these packages, you might lie to try out Zotero [] , a free web-based tool that allows you to manage your references from within your web browser. At the time of writing, Zotero was available in Beta version, and is only available for users of the Mozilla Firefox browser.

5.8 Plagiarism Referencing is not only useful as a way of sharing information, but also as a means of ensuring that due credit is given to other people’s work. In the electronic information age, it is easy to copy and paste from journal articles and web pages into your own work. But if you do use someone else’s work, you should acknowledge the source by giving a correct reference. Taking someone's work and not indicating where you took it from is termed plagiarism and is regarded as an infringement of copyright. To attempt to pass off such work as your own is cheating. Activity – how does it feel to be plagiarised? Read the following article – Bloomfield, S. and Gumbel, A. (2006) ‘The teenage plagiarist’, Independent, 7 May, p. 24. Available from: _20060507/ai_n16353946 [ s_20060507/ai_n16353946] The article is about a recent plagiarism case, which illustrates the consequences of being caught plagiarising. While you’re reading, think about the following questions and make a note of your answer. * How does it feel to be a victim of plagiarism? * Why is it important to be aware of, and avoid, plagiarism in your work? This is what we thought: If you had worked really hard on something, wouldn’t you feel angry if someone else stole your work. Wouldn’t you want everyone to know that was your work, not theirs, and they should be punished for the crime. If you plagiarise, you are also limiting the development of your own learning. You’re not giving yourself chance to think and develop, because you’re just copying someone else’s thoughts. There can also be legal repercussions. Ms Viswanathan's plagiarism has resulted in public humiliation, and the loss of her literary career. Who is going to want to publish her now after she’s been caught plagiarising? As a student, submitting a plagiarised essay may not result in the loss of money, but it could result in you failing your course or being downgraded. By ensuring that you manage your information, and keep accurate records of sources you use, you can ensure that you are not guilty of plagiarism.

6 Keeping up to date 6.1 Introduction

Tutorial The process of keeping up-to-date in your chosen subject area is useful for your studies and afterwards, for your own personal satisfaction, or perhaps in your career as part of your continuing professional development. There are a great many tools available that make it quite easy to keep yourself up to date. You can set them up so that the information comes to you, rather than you having to go out on the web looking for it. Over the next few pages, you will be experimenting with some of the available tools. Keep a note of any tools you use and how they work, so that if you find out later they are not as useful as you had hoped, it will be easy for you to unsubscribe, and avoid being overwhelmed with information you perhaps weren’t expecting. 6.2 Alerts Online bookshops and some of the major search engines offer ‘Alerts’ services. These work by allowing you to set up a profile once you have registered on their site, and when there are items meeting your criteria you receive an email. The good thing about alerts is that you don’t have to do anything once you have set up your profile. The downside, particularly with alerts services from the search engines, is that given the extent to which internet traffic is on the increase whether new web pages or new blog postings, you may end up with rather a lot of information to deal with. Google [] and Yahoo! [] offer alerting services for new web-based content e.g. blog postings, news. For more academic information, MyIntute [] is a personalisation service from the Intute gateway. Gateways like Intute index quality controlled internet resources. By registering you will receive email alerts for new items matching your criteria when they are added to the Intute gateway. This also applies to any searches that you save. Keep up to date with new books in your subject area Activity – setting up alerts Choose one of the alerting services outlined above and set up an alert. You may have to register for an account first, if you haven’t already got one. by registering with an online bookshop, such as Blackwells [ lerting.htm] 6.3 Mailing lists and newsgroups

Mailing or discussion lists are email-based discussion groups. When you send an email to a mailing list address, it is sent automatically to all the other members of the list. The majority of academic-related mailing lists in the UK are maintained by Jiscmail. You will find details of joining these mailing lists on the Jiscmail [] website. Mailing lists are useful for getting in touch with like-minded colleagues. They are also handy for keeping up to date with current thinking and research. A common problem with mailing lists is the sheer volume of material available You may feel pressured to read every single contribution. You can 'manage' this information by choosing carefully which to join. Most Jiscmail mailing lists feature an archive, so you can check the quality of the discussion and the number of messages before you decide to join. Some mailing lists also offer a 'digest' function, whereby you will receive a single message containing all the day's messages to the list, rather than all of the messages individually. Mailing lists are not just about keeping up to date academically, of course. Google maintains a listing of ‘newsgroups’ at [] where you can find discussions about every topic under the sun. Groups are created around a topic, profession or common interest, and can be very useful as a source of information, and to bring like-minded people together. Newsgroups are similar to discussion lists in that you can send and receive messages, but instead of them arriving in your email box, you can access the newsgroup's files to read the postings – it is rather like looking at a notice board. Activity Spend a few minutes browsing through either the Jiscmail or Google listings to see if there are any email lists or newsgroups that you might like to join. 6.4 Blogs Technorati [] reports that over 100 000 new ‘blogs’ are created each day. Because these online diaries offer instant publishing opportunities, you potentially have access to a wealth of knowledge from commentators and experts (if they blog) in a wide range of fields. Most internet searches will turn up results from blogs, but there are some blog-specific search engines such as: Blogdigger [] and

Tutorial Google’s blog search [] . Some blogs also offer RSS feeds, so you can add them to your feedreader to keep up to date with what your favourite ‘bloggers’ are writing. One thing to bear in mind is that the content of blogs is likely to be as diverse and varied as the people who are writing it. It’s therefore practical to apply some evaluation skills if you intend to rely on the information you find on blogs in any way – in particular look for timeliness (how often is the blog updated?); provenance and objectivity (what is the blog for? who put it there and why?) 6.5 RSS RSS (‘Really Simple Syndication’ or ‘Rich Site Summary’) newsfeeds supply headlines, links, and article summaries from various websites. By using RSS ‘feedreader’ software you can gather together a range of feeds and read them in one place: they come to you, rather than you having to go out and look for breaking news. The range of RSS feeds on offer is growing daily. There is probably a feed to cover all aspects of your life where you might need the latest information, and you may find that most of the websites you visit already offer RSS – look for the orange button! To set up RSS feeds, firstly you need to choose what sort of feedreader to use. There are online feedreaders, which you can access from any computer, anywhere, or desktop feedreaders, which are pieces of software which you can download and use on your own computer. Bloglines [] is a popular online feed reader, whilst Awasu [] is a desktop feedreader. There are a number of ways of getting feeds into your feedreader, depending on which one you use. Rightclicking on the orange button might give you the option to add the link directly to your feedreader, or there may be commands built in to your feedreader to enable you to add it. If you click on the orange icon on the BBC website, for example, you get instructions as to how to add the feed to your feedreader. You will also find that your feedreader will enable you to easily add feeds from their pre-selected content. For example, in Bloglines, Activity * Choose a feedreader * Add some of their pre-selected content * Set up a feed to, for example, the BBC or your daily newspaper. Depending on the feedreader you have chosen, you may have to check exactly how it works to get the feeds in.

once you have logged in, selecting Directory will give you a list of popular content. Choosing ‘subscribe’ will add them to the ‘My Feeds’ list. 6.6 Professional bodies and societies Consider joining a learned society or professional organisation. They can be very useful for conference bulletins as well as in-house publications, often included in the subscription. Don't forget to ask about student rates. Try looking for the websites of learned societies associated with your subject area (e.g. The Royal Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). You may have to pay a subscription or be a member of the society to access all of the information on the web but they are very good places to find out about conferences or talks and current research findings in your subject area. You might find it worth taking out a personal subscription to useful journals or newsletters in your subject area. These could be professional, academic or trade-related. Look at journals circulated at work, or available in a workplace library or information unit. Alternatively, use a local library to scan current copies of journals, particularly useful if you do not want to take out your own subscriptions. Do this Now you have completed this unit, you might like to: * Post a message to the unit forum. * Review or add to your Learning Journal. * Rate this unit. Try this You might also like to: * Find out more about the related Open University course [ cation_and_teacher_training.shtm] * Book a FlashMeeting to talk live with other learners * Create a Knowledge Map to summarise this topic.

Acknowledgements The content acknowledged below is Proprietary (see terms and conditions) [ ?id=15] and is used under licence. Acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this unit: Unit Image: Courtesy of banlon1964: Grateful thanks are extended to all third parties who contributed and gave permission for their material to be used. All other materials included in this unit are derived from content originated at the Open University.


To access this unit online and to participate with others using this material please visit or put 'OpenLearn' and ' LIB_3' into a search engine This work (whole or in part) may only be copied and used strictly in accordance with the terms and conditions of OpenLearn and the Creative Commons Licence(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Licence [] Resources MIT webcast on fair use and the cultural commons MIT has released the webcast of a forum, Copyright, Fair Use, and the Cultural Commons [], originally held on April 28, 2007. From the description: Moderator William Uricchio [Co-Director, Comparative Media Studies Program and Professor of Comparative Media Studies at MIT, and Professor of Comparative Media History at Utrecht University] sets the scene for panelists’ discussion of current copyright wars with a brief historical overview of copyright protection. Hal Abelson [Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, MIT School of Engineering] offers his sense of how copyright concerns constrict life at the academy. MIT, he says, has begun putting fences up around its own course materials, including the most basic and central of thinkers. For instance, it has limited online, published versions of Aristotle, Pascal and Fermat to students in a particular course, for a single semester. Huge expense goes into getting permissions from faculty, and university lawyers are so concerned about offending copyright holders that they bar reams of material from MIT’s OpenCourseWare site. Abelson believes these fences risk “destroying the university as an intellectual community,” and recommends using open content (granting Creative Commons licenses) as much as possible, as well as aggressively exercising fair use. This is the Open Source Software in Education website, developed by the European Commission. The projects aim to provide information, advice, guidance and research on the use of open source software in education for the education community, for policy

makers and planners and for educational software developers. Open-Of-Course [] New interactive platform for free content courses and tutorials. is a new website for courses and tutorials that are published as open content. Current focus is at the start mainly on open source software courses and the goal is create a multilingual platform for free quality educational information.Take a look at our website for more information. Resources for researchers The University of Cork open source resources for researchers site, contains useful lists: research bibliography, advocacy sites, project repositories and news sites. Open Admin for Schools [] Open Admin for Schools is a freely available web based school administration program. It now includes an online gradebook, and allows parent viewing of attendance, report cards, and gradebook, if desired. Open Solutions for Education [] Provides world class open technology solutions to the K-12 education community that are economical, easy to use, compliant with open standards and integrated in support of effective administration, instruction and student achievement. ATutor [] ATutor is an Open Source Web-based Learning Content Management System (LCMS) designed with accessibility and adaptability in mind. Administrators can install or update ATutor in minutes, develop custom themes to give ATutor a new look, and easily extend its functionality with feature modules. Educators can quickly assemble, package, and redistribute Web-based instructional content, easily import prepackaged content, and conduct their courses online. Students learn in an adaptive learning environment. Eduforge ( Eduforge is an open access environment designed for the sharing of ideas, research outcomes, open content and open source software for education. You are welcome to use our community resources or start your own project space.

Book Review

Book Review

Wide Open - Open source methods and their future potential by Geoff Mulgan, Omar Salem, Tom Steinberg, Publication Type: Pamphlet Publication Date: 20th April 2005 ISBN: 1841801429 Free Download: The rise of the Internet has made it possible for knowledge to be created and shared in ways that emphasise its character as a common good, rather than as something to be owned. In the world of open source programming, the computer software is distributed under licence, allowing users to change or share the software’s source code – the human readable version of a computer programme. This open and collaborative approach to creating knowledge has produced remarkable results, such as the Linux operating system and the web-based encyclopaedia Wikipedia. In defiance of the conventional wisdom of modern business, open source methods have led the main underlying innovations around the Internet. Other fields have much to learn from open source methods – because they bring principles and working methods which can help to produce better knowledge, goods or services, or make them available on more widely beneficial terms. From the formulation of public policy to more open forms of academic peer review, setting up mutual support groups for people facing similar health problems to collaborative forms of social innovation, the principles of open source promise to radically alter the we approach complex social problems. The future potential of these methods is such that they will soon become commonplace in our lives. Just as it is now impossible to think about getting things done without considering the role of the Internet, so will it soon be impossible to think about how to solve a large social problem without considering the role of open methods. Geoff Mulgan is Director of the Young Foundation and former Head of Policy in the Prime Minister's Office. Tom Steinberg is Director of mySociety and is currently a fellow at the Young Foundation. Omar Salem is a student at Oxford University and an intern at the Young Foundation.

LINUX: Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition (Version 1.0.0) Paul Sheer ISBN : 0130333514 Free Download This book covers GNU/Linux system administration, for popular distributions like Red Hat and Debian, as a tutorial for new users and a reference for advanced administrators. It aims to give concise, thorough explanations and practical examples of each aspect of a UNIX system. Anyone who wants a comprehensive text on (what is commercially called) "Linux" need look no further -- there is little that is not covered here. A site with training materials for both users and trainers for the OpenOffice productivity suite. The Documentation Project creates and maintains documentation in English for Documentation includes user guides, FAQs, HowTos, application help, samples and templates and training materials.


Tools and information for working smarter, not harder Today, technology has provided tools to make all aspects of academic life easier, more effective, and more immediately accessible. But to try to keep up with technology has become its own overwhelming chore. This page offers a taste of some technology resources that have most positively impacted my work as an academic. Bibliographic Software: • Procite • Endnote • Reference Manager • Ibidem • Papyrus • Scribe Web Browser: • Opera Instructional Tools: Includes tools for grading and checking for plagiarism, among others. Web Publishing: Used for creating web pages of your own. Miscellaneous Tools: Includes tools for creating online surveys, finding "dead" web links, and more.

Bibliographic Software Bibliographic Software: Used for a range of tasks including internet search/retrieval of bibliographic information for sources (with a protocol called Z39.50) from databases, sharing bibliographies on the web, maintaining a database of all bibliographic information for sources, generating bibliographies (in conjunction with a word processor) in a range of common formats, and storing and organizing all research and teaching notes pertaining to each source. For more reference management program comparisons, see: NT Evaluation. See below for descriptions of the top reference management programs. • Procite • Endnote • Reference Manager • Ibidem • Papyrus • Scribe Procite []: Special benefits: • Can do all of the above • Unlimited field length (you really can include all of your teaching notes in the notes or abstract fields) • Grouping capabilities (you can maintain one

database for all of your data from the courses you’re taking, your teaching notes, your dissertation, publications-in-progress and yet can sort all of these sources into topic files as well) • Visual layout with tabs aids in ease-of-use Problems: • Some people find it more difficult to use because it has so many more features than other applications from same distributor • No spell check • $109.95 (student price) Endnote []: Special Benefits: • Understood as the “easy” bibliographic application • Is being regularly updated • Has spell check • Can format entire text according to formatting guidelines Problems: • Field length limited to 8ish pages • No grouping capabilities (must signal separate projects through keywords + searching or through keeping references in separate topic databases [but this is a pain for duplication/ease of searching issues]) • $109.95 (student price) Reference Manager []: Special benefits: • Is being regularly updated • Has spell check • Can search across several databases at the same time Problems: • Field length limited to 8ish pages • No grouping capabilities (must signal separate projects through keywords + searching or through keeping references in separate topic databases [but this is a pain for duplication/ease of searching issues]) • $109.95 (student price) Ibidem (bundled in Scholar’s Workstation) [ ]: Special benefits: • Not affiliated with/compatible with Microsoft Word • Designed for humanities academics • Works well with range of information, includes database applications for other kinds of information Problems: • Not affiliated with/compatible with Microsoft Word (i.e. have to use their word processor, Nota bene) • $249 (student price) Papyrus []:

Resources Special benefits: • Free Problems: • Not Z39.50 compatible (therefore must go to all internet sources directly and then import) • A dos program, so it’s ugly • Limited field length, even in “notecard” section • No grouping capabilities Scribe []: Special benefits: • Free • Designed by academics for managing notes Web Browser: Used for "seeing" websites; some browser applications also include tools for receiving/sending/storing email, for storing research notes, for receiving RSSfeeds, and other functions. Some browsers are also better than others at helping to protect users from dangerous files. Opera http://[]: Very flexible according to user preferences; very light (i.e. loads faster w/ a range of connections than other popular browsers); includes terrific organization system for emails with very handy email searching, etc.; also includes “notes” function for taking and organizing notes while surfing; rss feed reader; newsgroup reader; independent company. Free

Instructional Tools Gradekeeper []: Like a paper gradebook. You can record grades and attendance for the entire school year. You can add students, assignments, and scores to your gradebook by just clicking and typing. When you set up grade scale and weight of assignments, gradekeeper will automatically calculate grades for you. ~$20.00 Turnitin []: Although highly controversial, this plagiarismdetection system is widely used. Check with your university to see if it's a subscriber.

Web Publishing 1. Experiments in Web Programming 2. Wesite design tutorials for web developers [ x.cfm] 3. Netcraft What's That Site Running Results [] 4. Course Resources for Intro to Web Design with DreamweaverMX [

st1/resources.htm], from University of British Columbia 5. The Patty Site [ fm]: Dreamweaver MX Resources 6. W3 []: At W3Schools you will find all the Web-building tutorials you need, from basic HTML and XHTML to advanced XML, SQL, Database, Multimedia and WAP. 7. Web Developer's Virtual Library []

Teaching with Technology UMUC-Verizon Virtual Resource Site [ egies.html]: Find out what do you want to use technology for?

Miscellaneous Tools Internet Archive [] Poll Builder []: The Poll Builder provides a free, simple, one-step process to create polls that you can embed in your Web pages. You can select the background color for the poll and have up to 5 possible responses. Research + Tools []: Center for History and New Media (CHNM) publications and software are defining digital humanities for the next generation of academics, librarians, and museum professionals. Source: ogy.html

Career Online System Administration Course [] Overview This courses teaches students how to install GNU/Linux. The courses uses the Debian distro as an example. Students install, create and manage user accounts, install new hardware, make backups and many other mission critical tasks a System Administrator would need to know. Structure Approximately 30 hours Requirements For this course you need only one machine. The System Administration course begins by explaining how to install Debian. Run this course after you have completed and are familiar with the material covered in the Fundamentals course. Outcome In order to successfully complete the System Administration course you would need enough knowledge to install an operating system. After completion of the Fundamentals and System Administration courses you would have the equivalent knowledge of a Junior Administrator in Linux. You will have enough knowledge and experience (through intensive labs) to assist a fully qualified System Administrator in a commercial business situation. At this stage all you will lack is further experience to enable you to perform the function of System Administrator. Free Download You can download a PDF version of the course from here

Linux Skills Certification

LPI is committed to the development of a global standard in Linux certification. We believe that such a certification program must meet the requirements of both IT professionals and the organizations that would employ them. To achieve this goal we have adopted an open, rigorous, and consultative development process which uses both volunteer and hired resources. Our development process is widely recognized and endorsed and has met the strict requirements of independent certification authorities. The LPI Certification (LPIC) Program is: 1. Designed by a community of Linux professionals, volunteers, vendors and educators 2. Challenging: if you don't know the subjects you won't pass 3. Accessible and available at thousands of test centres around the world or at special events 4. Of high quality: relying on critical input from numerous Linux experts and employing scientific and industry-recognized psychometric processes 5. Distribution-neutral: verifying knowledge on any standard Linux system 6. Relevant: surveying thousands to determine the skills that need to be tested 7. Training-vendor independent: encouraging a variety of methods and approaches to test preparation 8. Supported and sponsored by a large number of Linux companies and projects

LPI Approved Training Materials (LPI-ATM) The LPI-ATM program is a quality assurance process designed to identify training materials that accurately support LPI certifications. Products designated as LPIATM have passed stringent quality assurance testing to assure all LPI test objectives are covered within the content. Certification candidates are encouraged to seek LPI Approved Training Materials to optimize your ability to pass the exam. For information about third-party training products have passed LPI's quality assurance requirements and are LPI Approved Training Materials (LPI-ATM) visit proved_training_materials_lpi_atm. 9. A certification the Linux community can respect

Career and be proud of

Red Hat Certified Engineer Red Hat certifications are among the most respected credentials in IT. Certifications are earned when a user demonstrates, by way of a performance-based exam, the ability to solve and perform real-world tasks. A full hierarchy of credentials provides the comprehensive and flexible program required by the highly specialized enterprise IT organization of today. Choosing the right certification depends on your background, job role and goals. Whether you have advanced or minimal experience, Red Hat has the training that will enable you to develop the hands-on, real-world skills you will for the job and the exams. Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT) and Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) are performance-based tests that measure actual competency on live systems. RHCT is the first step in establishing Linux credentials and is an ideal certification for those transitioning from non-UNIX/Linux environments. RHCE was recently named the hottest certification in all of IT by Global Learning Services India offers training throughout the Indian Sub continent on Linux, open source software, tools and programming languages. More information at


A public Charitable Trust 26, Adarshapur, Byelane No. 2, Kahilipara, Guwahati 781003 | Our Current Services in collaboration with Alliance for Community Capacity Building in Northeast India (a charity registered in England): 1. Training and seminars on information access and open access movement particularly suitable for scholars and acedemicians in all subject areas. 2. Conduct regular workshops on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) applications e.g., introduction to, graphics, multimedia, games and educational applications aimed at general users. 3. Conduct regular workshops on GNU/Linux covering introduction to GNU/Linux, configuration, program installation, update and using the tools, cross-installation of several GNU/Linux distribution like Ubuntu, Fedora and SuSE, comparison of Linux and Windows, localization, and career opportunity. We provide Self-learning material and support to IT trainees who wish to study towards Linux Professional Institute (LPI) certification. We provide LPI approved learning material from internationally acrediated agencies for self-learning using facilities we provide. 4. Build and host websites for non-profit organisations including teaching institutions at not for profit basis. We host or provide consultancy on ‘Open Access’ journal and archive sites for higher education instituitions using free software at a nominal cost. 5. Distribute both Window and Linux based popular Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) such as, a complete office suite alternative to MS Office, GIMP, a graphic programme alternative to Adobe, and other educational software. In addition, latest versions of popular Linux distribution are also be available. 6. We build low cost PC (with optimal hardware configuration) with preinstalled Linux OS and quality free and open source software to suit home and office computing need and your budget. Students, teachers and enterpreneures on tight budget can avail this service if want to bypass the middlemen. You pay only the hardware component cost plus a small service fee. We can conduct workshops and seminars at your institution which can be tailor made to suit novice to relatively experienced users. We make provisions for necessary audio visual equipemnets and laptops, so you need only to enrole the participants, arrange suitable venue and fix dates in consulation with us. Contact us at for further details and how to benefit from our programmes. WWW.PRAGFOUNDATION.NET | WWW.ACCB.ORG.UK | WWW.MYOPENSOURCE.IN | WWW.NGO.NET.IN | WWW.PUBLICKNOWLEDGE.IN (to be launched) In collaboration with

ALLIANCE FOR COMMUNITY CAPACITY BUILDING IN NORTHEAST INDIA Charity registered No. 1106666, Charity Commission for England and Wales WWW.ACCB.ORG.UK | WWW.NGO.NET.IN

Open-Source Northesat (Vol 1 | Issue 3 & 4)  

Open-Source Northeast is a publication of Prag Foundation focussing on Information Literacy and Free and Open Source Software.

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