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Open Source – Demographics

From CUNY Academic Commons

Contents

Introduction

This page reviews some interesting studies on Open Source demographics which provide insight into the make up of the community, as well as motivational factors which hold it together.

Demographics and Motivation in Open Source Communities

One question which von Krogh & von Hippel (2003) try to answer is why so many excellent developers contribute so freely to open source development. Their introductory article to Research Policy’s special edition on Open Source compiles a succinct review of four articles which concern the motivations of open source contributors (p. 6). Other more recent studies seem to bear out the findings von Krogh & von Hippel summarize.

Maas’ case study (2009) focuses on determining the factors that motivate members of OSS communities to collaborate. He chose the Apache Cocoon open source development community because it was an established group of around 60 active developers who do a variety of work, including development, bug patches, and documentation. He used an online survey with 42 questions designed to reveal both demographical and motivational information about the community’s members (p. 66). The average age was found to be 31.2 years. Mass divided the workers into two distinct clusters – those 37 years or older with many years of technology experience, and those from 19-31 years old, with less experience. He found the first group less anxious to learn new technologies, but more actively involved in the project’s day to day work. The younger members he found more interested in watching what is being done, and learning how to do it. This group was comparatively more interested in new technologies and “self-realization” (p. 68).”

The questionnaire revealed that on average, each developer works 3.1 hours a week on the project, and a surprisingly high percentage (74%) are paid by their regular jobs to participate. A common characteristic of both groups was resistance to bureaucracy, which members find a “distraction” from software development (p. 67). Maas concludes that a mature OSS project is able to attract highly trained experts in the field. Though members of Apache Cocoon project tend to work alone or with only a couple other developers, they have a great deal of trust in the skills of their peers, whom they expect to be highly skilled and altruistic (p. 69).

In their survey analysis, Lakhani & Wolf (2003) find that developers simply enjoy working on OSS projects, and while the experience may help further their careers, it is primarily the creative and intellectual stimulation which drives them to participate (p. 3). The authors provide a fine literature review on intrinsic and extrinsic motivations (p 4-8). One interesting piece of data from the survey reveals that 87% of the respondents did not get paid directly for their work, and yet 55% reporting working on the project during their regular jobs. Of these, more than half indicated supervisor awareness, and “tacit or explicit consent” (p. 9).

References

Related Pages


Open Source Movement


From CUNY Academic Commons

Contents

Background

Three acronyms,
OSS
(Open Source Software),
FSM
(Free Software Movement) and
FOSS
(Free Open Source Software), and the term “
software libre
,” have been used to describe the open source software movement, which is widely believed to have started in 1983 when Richard Stallman

Richard Stallman

founded the GNU Project and formulated and implemented his “GNU Public License” that defined the rights of users to review source code, make changes to it, and redistribute it, either in the original or modified versions, at no cost (von Krogh & von Hippel, 2003, p. 3). In 1985, Stallman created the
Free Software Foundation
, and he is still the acting president of this “copy-left” movement set up to protect the rights of software users. (Stallman, 1983, para. 1-4).

Roots of the Open Source Movement

But as von Krogh & von Hippel (2003) note, the OSS movement had earlier roots. The “communal hacker culture” of the 1960s and 1970s, especially prevalent around MIT and in ARPANET, was based on the free exchange of software. Stallman was a part of this culture, and when he saw proprietary software packages starting to be developed, he found it “morally” wrong (p. 4). The term he used was “software hoarding.” (Williams, 2002).

Open Access Initiative

Logo courtesy of OAI

In contrast to FSF, the
Open Source Initiative
(OSI) was founded in 1998, and differs from FSF in that it is less political and confrontational, and focuses instead on the superiority of open source software. (
History of the OSI
, para. 16-18). While the two groups have similar goals and work together on many projects, OSI focuses on the “practical benefits” of the various licensing agreements that have subsequently evolved (von Krogh & von Hippel, 2003, p. 4).
O’Reilly
(1999) notes how this has lead to many different offshoots, including some that might be “anathema” to members of FSF, such as the “gated open-source community” model, which licenses out software rights only to its large (paying) user base, and reaps benefits from it users’ modifications, documentation and defect resolution. Another model is to freely distribute source code, and allow modifications and redistribution for noncommercial use, but when used commercially, a different license is required. This is the model which Sun’s Java project follows (p. 36).

OSI’s Ten Criteria for Open Source

In its website, the OSI lists ten criteria which software must comply in order to be considered open source. These are:

  1. “Free Redistribution” – no restrictions on the sale or sharing can be stipulated in the license;
  2. “Source Code” – the source code must be included so that everyone can read and modify it;
  3. “Derived Works” – any modifications to the source code can be distributed under the same terms of the license;
  4. “Integrity of The Author’s Source Code” – a license may be constructed to restrict modifications only if it “allows the distribution of ‘patch files’ with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code.” Also, a license may require that the modified versions be named differently from the original;
  5. “No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups” – license cannot discriminate;
  6. “No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor” – license cannot restrict the use of the software to a certain field;
  7. “Distribution of License” – additional licenses are not necessary when the program is redistributed;
  8. “License Must Not Be Specific to a Product” – if the program is part of a larger distribution, the license should guarantee the right to extract and use as desired;
  9. “License Must Not Restrict Other Software” – license cannot “insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be open-source software”; and
  10. “License Must Be Technology-Neutral” – license cannot require that the software be used with a specific technology (The Open Source Definition, n.d., para. 1-10).

Open Source Development Model

Logo courtesy of LibrePlanet

As
O’Reilly
(1999) notes, giving programmers access to source code and the right to create derivations allows them “to help themselves, and encourages natural product evolution as well as preplanned product design.” He sees this methodology as clearly superior when creating customized software (p. 34). Coders are encouraged to look under the hood, find bugs and fix them. They are invited to add on to the code, create extensions or plug-ins, or take the code base and re-tool it into something new.

The Open Source Community

OSS is thoroughly dependent upon a development community. The “key determinants of a project’s success” is not the product itself, but rather the support of the user community. The project must attract a “passionate core of users” who are anxious to expand and extend it, and who are willing to devote their time and energy, often with little or no financial compensation. The “glue” that holds a development community together is cooperation rather than money (O’Reilly, 1999, p.36-37). 

References

Related Pages

  • Freedom in the Cloud – cited by Matt Gold in Why I Left Facebook, from his The Lapland Chronicles Blog.


The Commons Wiki and its Uses

From CUNY Academic Commons

Contents

Introduction

The Academic Commons Wiki is a collaborative space where members create and share resources.  This page provides some background information on wikis, and highlights potential uses.

Photo courtesy of cogdogblog (Creative Commons).

Wiki Background

According to Wikipedia, the term “wiki” comes from the “Wiki-Wiki” shuttle buses that connect the terminals at Honolulu International airport.They are quick and simple, open and transparent.

Wikis are easy to use.  You only need some very basic editing skills to quickly add to a page or create a new one. Editing takes place in the browser, and your content is published to the Web immediately upon saving. For more information on how to create or edit pages on our wiki see the Commons FAQ.

A wiki is composed of articles or pages which can be categorized, or “tagged” so that they are part of a group. The Commons wiki has a “Category Cloud” which enables quick access. Not tagging pages makes them harder to find, and discourages collaboration.

Wikis have lots of hyperlinks.  See: Got Cool Links? Share them on our wiki

An Information Repository

A wiki stores information which is collectively created and edited.  Collaboration is encouraged.  The Commons has some very active group wikis.  A nice example is the e-Portfolios Committee.

Open source communities quickly latched onto wikis as effective tools to document their software.  Wikipedia’s success brought further attention to wikis and their ability to function as collective repositories of information. On the Commons wiki we have a category called CUNY ITunes U which contains background information about our campuses’ presence on iTunes U, as well as guidelines and best practices.  For more information, see CUNY iTunes U on our Wiki.

Various file types may be downloaded to our wiki, including pdf, txt, doc, and ppt.  Hyperlinks to these as well as video-embeds to services such as youtube.com and blip.tv make a wiki repository very convenient and immediate.  RSS feeds will soon be available as we continue to work to improve our wiki.

Collaborative Writing

The Commons wiki is great for working on pages that need constant updating, and whose content evolves over time. Changes can be made quickly, and publication is immediate. Groups can collaborate on projects, gather together information, and compile answers to frequently asked questions.  Some examples of ways the Commons wiki is being used include:

  • group projects
  • grant proposals
  • guidelines
  • standard practices
  • sharing lesson plans
  • meeting notes
  • announcements

Teaching with wikis

Wikis have been widely used in education. As an alternative to course management tools such as Blackboard, they allow classes to collaborate and publish writing projects.  50 Ways to use wikis is a good resource which shows the various ways to use wikis in the classroom.

Though the Commons wiki cannot currently support undergraduate course management, graduate level course integration is encouraged.

Underlying Technology

There are many wiki software packages available, mostly open source (see Wikipedia’s List of wikis).  The Creative Commons uses MediaWiki which, like WordPress, is based on PHP and MySql.  MediaWiki has a vibrant user community which tracks defects and develops new releases and extensions which can be added to the program’s core for additional functionality. Thousands of websites are powered partially or totally by wiki technology.  The use of skins often makes wikis difficult to detect.

Other wikis

  • Of course the most well known wiki is Wikipedia. Love it or hate it, it is a cultural phenomenon.
  • ICT For Education Wiki is a worth checking out.  This is a great repository of tutorials, documentation, articles, and projects.  It employs the MediaWiki book tool which allows a user to create a personalized book from the pages of the wiki and then download to a pdf or send to a vendor for physical publication.

Related Pages


Omeka

From CUNY Academic Commons

Free Omeka Stickers, Courtesy of Omeka

Omeka is an open-source software platform developed by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. As a “web-based publishing platform for scholars, librarians, archivists, museum professionals, educators, and cultural enthusiasts” (Omeka About Page, 2009, para. 1), Omeka resembles WordPress, with its plugins and themes, but is a very different platform. 

Omeka is OAI-PMH compliant, and is based on Dublin Core. It can ingest metadata in both CSV format and in XML. Point it at a open access repository and it can suck in collections whose XML is exposed for harvesting. Examples I’ve tried include a couple from the American Memories Collection (Library of Congress). These are digital collections, and Omeka ingests all the metadata, and the Dublin Core “identifier” field is generally a link to the image itself. Pretty cool…

For a good example of Omeka in action, check out Lincoln at 200

Serious Web Publishing

Museums, scholars and schools are actively experimenting with Omeka. Omeka allows for many collections, and has a plug-in that creates exhibits. It is easily to extend through PHP, CSS, Javascript and HTML. And a plug-in allows a collection’s metadata to be exposed for harvesting by indexers and others, including other Omeka powered websites.

Getting Started

To run Omeka on your own server, you can use Omeka.org. A hosted version of Omeka is available at Omeka.net. For a comparison of the two, see the About page.

Amanda French has posted an excellent “Introduction to Omeka” workshop lesson plan that can also serve as a tutorial.

Related Pages


New Moodle – Project Stretch

From CUNY Academic Commons

EduMoodle demo site (with sample themes)

Roadmap for Moodle 2.0 in development – planned changes etc.

Dynamic chart of Moodle 2.0 development progress

Niles VikingNet – administrator/designer Patrick Malley

Moodle’s Human readable course links

A disguised moodle – Leeds City College, UK

Another disguised moodle – The site of an intermediate school class

Moodle at CUNY

Any implementations of Moodle at CUNY?

Back to Other Web 2.0 Teaching Tools and Resources

Web 2.0 eTeaching and eLearning

From CUNY Academic Commons

Contents

What is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 eTeaching Concepts, Theory, Uses, and Research

The linked sites explain eTeaching 2.0–a social and collaborative approach that facilitates active learning through the use of online communities and networks in which students co-create, collaborate and share knowledge, thereby participating fully in their learning.

Sites with Information about Teaching with Web 2.0

These links describe (and provide examples of) dozens of new social interaction tools, social bookmarking tools.

EduTech Wiki

This is a “resource kit” for educational technology teaching and research,.

WikiUniversity

This is a repository of free learning resources, learning projects, and research for use in all levels, types, and styles of education (including professional training and informal learning).

Back to Resources for Teaching and Learning with Technology

Moodle and Moodle 2.0

From CUNY Academic Commons

EduMoodle demo site (with sample themes)

Roadmap for Moodle 2.0 in development – planned changes etc.

Dynamic chart of Moodle 2.0 development progress

Niles VikingNet – administrator/designer Patrick Malley

Moodle’s Human readable course links

A disguised moodle – Leeds City College, UK

Another disguised moodle – The site of an intermediate school class

Moodle at CUNY

Any implementations of Moodle at CUNY?

Back to Other Web 2.0 Teaching Tools and Resources

Useful Sites

From CUNY Academic Commons

EDUCAUSE – EDUCAUSE is “a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.” It provides comprehensive resources educational technology teaching and learning initiatives, applied research and online information services. Its electronic publications include books, monographs, the journals EDUCAUSE Quarterly and EDUCAUSE Review, and newsletters of special interest collaborative communities, (The current membership comprises more than 2,200 colleges, universities, and educational organizations, with more than 17,000 active members.)

“Building from Content to Community: (Re)Thinking the Transition to Online Teaching and Learning” – provides “research-based approaches to translating effective pedagogy in ways that support meaningful online learning.”

Technology as Facilitator of Quality Education

The American Association of Higher Education’s Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education (Chickering & Gamson) –  is the best known summary of what decades of educational research indicates are the kinds of teaching and learning activities most likely to improve postsecondary learning outcomes This site includes links to the original document and to documents that describe how faculty have used technology to try to implement one or more of the principles.

Explore Ideas for Technology Use in Instruction – This Web site is a sub-section of Duke University’s Center for Instructional Technology. Not only does it provide ideas but also references online resources as well.

English 104 in Second Life  This Ball State University course takes place almost entirely in Second Life.

The Academic Uses of iPods– This report summarizes all the academic iPod projects at Duke University. This is a good place to get some ideas.

Wikipedia’s URLS of Public Domain Sources – This is an excellent compilation of free image and audio (particularly for historical images).

Academic Earth– This site has a huge collection of recorded lectures from “top scholars at Yale, MIT, Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford,” all of which can be searched by university, subject, top rated professor, top rated lecture, and top rated courses.

The Visible Knowledge Project– The Visible Knowledge Project (VKP) was a five-year project aimed at improving the quality of college and university teaching through a focus on both student learning and faculty development in technology-enhanced environments. Some of the resources and “posters” (summaries of ongoing research) were contributed by CUNY faculty whom many of you will recognize.

Women in World History – This comprehensive project uses multiple kinds of digital artifacts of communicating information (documents, images, photographs, archival footage, audios of teacher commentary, videos, and links to other sites) to help students learn interactively how to examine, research, and analyze the role of women in world history.

Center for History and New Media – This site has an excellent “Guide to Gathering, Preserving, and Presenting the Past on the Web.”

Digital History – This online “book” (from the Center for History and New Media) “provides a plainspoken and thorough introduction to the web for historians who wish to produce online work or to build upon and improve the projects they have already started.” Included in it are “live links” to hundreds of sites (e.g., the Marxists’ Organizations Online Archive of scholarly materials, the Smithsonian’s 9/11 project, a multimedia exhibit on “Remembering Nagasaki,” and so forth).

American Passages – American Passages: A Literary Survey is one of Annenberg Media’s sites for professional development and classroom materials. This one is aimed at enhancing the study of American Literature in its cultural context. It includes a powerful search tool and access to more than 3000 items (including visual art, documentary videos, audio files, primary source materials and additional texts), a Slideshow Tool (which is a “point-and-click” method for creating multi-media presentations in response to reading and writing assignments), and Unit Instructor Guides that feature thematically-organized contextual materials.

CUNY WriteSite – Created by CUNY faculty and students, this site offers online instructional support in grammar and style, help with each stage of the writing process, and hints for how to handle various kinds of writing, throughout the disciplines. It also provides interactive practice exercises and discussion of issues connected with writing and links to each college’s writing resources and resources on the Internet to help students develop, revise, and edit their writing assignments.

Back to Web 2.0 eTeaching and eLearning

Other Web 2.0 Teaching Tools and Resources

From CUNY Academic Commons

Image:Teachingandlearning.jpg

Lists of Tools and Their Pedagogical Applications

What is Web 2.0 A wiki page on the Commons with an introduction to Web 2.0 for teaching and learning.

Wikis in the Classroom A wiki page on the Commons with resources for faculty interested in incorporating wikis in the classroom.

Blogs in the Classroom A wiki page on the Commons with resources for faculty interested in using blogs in their teaching.

Kitchen Sink Utilities A wiki page on the Commons with a list of all the miscellaneous odds and ends and potpourri that are out there for doing cool things with classes and students. This page was adapted from a blog post on the ITCP Core 2 Spring 2011 blog.

Cool Tools for Teachers A wiki page on the Commons with a list of innovative new web 2.0 tools for teachers.

Web 2.0 Tools and their Potential Uses for Educators   This is an continuously updated list of Web 2.0 applications and their potential uses for educators.

Sites with Information about Teaching with Web 2.0 Another growing list of websites with information for faculty interested in incorporating web 2.0 tools into their teaching.

Learning Tools Directory   This site lists (and links to) more than 2000 tools, grouped into ten categories (instructional; “virtual”/live”; documentation & presentation; images, audio, & video; blogs & wikis; micro-blogging & Twitter apps; collaboration & bookmarking; social networking; personal productivity; and browsers, players, & readers.

Web 2.0 Tools: Annotated Links and Resources   Explanations (with illustrations) of social networking tools, blogs and blog guides, wikis and wiki guides, collaboration tools. social bookmarking tools, virtual arts collaborations, RSS feeds, and more.

Software Essentials for the Modern Educator  This has links to dozens of (mostly free) applications to make online course design (and life) easier.

Moodle 2.0 and EduMoodles  What is “Moodle”?  Why should we create and use one?

Microblogging and “Twittering” in College Courses What is microblogging?  What is Twitter?  And what relevance does either have for higher education??

Twitter and Classroom Engagement A blog post from Valerie Futch on the TE(a)CH with Purpose @ Bronx CC blog. 

The Brain Free Thinking Software Software which allows users to create diagrams during brain storming sessions. Users can attach files or webpages to different nodes in the diagram.

Dipity Interactive Timelines Allows users to create interactive timelines with text, pictures and video.

Omeka web publishing softwareOpen source web publishing platform which can be used to display collections, create visual exhibits,or personal pages.

Evernote Note taking and research organizing system which allows user to capture full web pages, journal articles or pictures.

Zotero Free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. It lives right where you do your work—in the web browser itself.

Educause’s “7 Things You Need to Know About . . .” Articles

EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. Below is a list of helpful PDF documents that provide advice on various web applications and their eductional uses. Please add others as you find them.

Media Converters

  • Media Conversion – This is an online media converter which allows users to convert a video directly from various portals, by url or by uploading a video, audio or office file from their local hard disks.
  • Free Flv Converter for Mac This website allows users to convert flv files to iMovie compatable formats such as .mpg.

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New Moodle

From CUNY Academic Commons

EduMoodle demo site (with sample themes)

Roadmap for Moodle 2.0 in development – planned changes etc.

Dynamic chart of Moodle 2.0 development progress

Niles VikingNet – administrator/designer Patrick Malley

Moodle’s Human readable course links

A disguised moodle – Leeds City College, UK

Another disguised moodle – The site of an intermediate school class

Moodle at CUNY

Any implementations of Moodle at CUNY?

Back to Other Web 2.0 Teaching Tools and Resources