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Public Software Bulletin, October 2011
Public Software for the Public Sector
Public Education Software News
with support from UNESCO
|Vol.1 No.3 October 2011|
UPDATE FROM THE PUBLIC SOFTWARE CENTRE
The Public Software Centre (PSC) conducted an advanced public software workshop for NGOs in Bangalore. The objectives for this workshop were to develop an organizational policy on public software, to learn advanced Open Office features and introduce public software applications in desktop publishing (Scribus) and poster making (Inkscape).
PSC conducted a workshop for the American India Foundation on public educational software applications. The participants also participated in the Ubuntu Certification offered by IIT Mumbai, facilitated by the PSC as part of our programmatic efforts in higher education.
PSC has been working with IIT Mumbai on the 'Spoken Tutorial Project' and has prepared video based tutorials for several public software applications and educational tools. These include spoken tutorials in Geogebra, STEP, K Turtle, Libre Office (alternative to MS Office), NetBeans, Drupal and Q-CAD (Alternative to AutoCAD). Various institutions and individuals are participating in this programme supported by MHRD, to create spoken tutorials in many public software applications, to encourage their use. PSC is working with a few engineering institutions to help them use these tutorials to adopt public software in their institutions.
In addition, student workshops are also being conducted where learners are being introduced to public software through spoken tutorials. As part of these workshops, the learners are also awarded certification by IIT Mumbai.
Gurumurthy K made a Presentation to IBSA Summit at Open World Forum on 22 September 2011 on the role and rationale of public software for public institutions. This presentation was created through Record My Desktop, a public software tool which can be used to create simple videos, combining audio with the visual images of the desktop. Such a tool is useful to make remote presentations and is very easy to learn.
The House of Representatives of the Republic of Phillipines has introduced a Bill promoting the development and use of FOSS. The proposed Bill says, “Unlike proprietary software, FOSS is cheap, flexible and development-friendly, interoperable, and safe”. Read more here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/34628484/HB-1011-Free-Open-Source-Software-FOSS-Act-of-2010
Bangalore University is planning to use proprietary Jaws Screen Reading software for visually impaired students. Public software activists have written to the University suggesting that teaching visually impaired students expensive proprietary software is ethically wrong since they will be introduced to a world which they cannot afford to be a part of. On the other hand teaching public software alternative (ORCA screen reader) will help them use it after the program as well, in fact they can get a copy of ORCA during the program for their use and for sharing . Read more here.
The Free Software Movement of Karnataka has protested against the anti-piracy raids conducted by the representatives of IT companies in Mysore. According to FSMK Jayakumar, “It is yet another example of IT giants, in pursuit of enormous profit, seeking to use every opportunity even at the cost of livelihood of common man, to monopolise the produce and derive profit.” Read about some public software alternatives for small scale vendors.
Punjab Government reverses its September 2008 decision to use BOSS a free and open source software in favour of expensive proprietary option. Read more here.
ELCOT to preload BOSS operating system in free laptop scheme for school childen. Along with this the Minister for IT mentioned that “online educational content made available by the Tamil Nadu Textbook Corporation will also be preloaded in the laptops. In addition to this, Tamil Unicode fonts with keyboard interface will be preloaded...” Read more here
Sudhakar Bhandari, American India Foundation.
Post the Mysore Subject Teacher Forum workshop in the month of July'11, I am regular user of Ubuntu. I was a regular user of proprietary software from 1996, but compared to proprietary software, Ubuntu is very handy and useful to us. Read the reasons here
Geogebra is an interactive computer aided mathematical tool that connects Geometry, Algebra, Statistics and Calculus. Many animations can be made to deepen understanding of mathematical concepts. These are some of the animations/lessons created keeping in mind the Karnataka mathematics syllabus and attempting to integrate usage of these tools with the regular chalk and talk teaching method for different topics. http://rmsa.karnatakaeducation.org.in/?q=node/157. Recently, NCERT along with the International Geogebra Insititute (IGI) have established Geogebra Institute of NCERT for academic collaboration in technology intervention in Mathematics Education. This provides an opportunity for Karnataka teachers to participate in the design and creation of resources in Geogebra at national level.
Public software posters are now available in Hindi (http://www.public-software.in/hindi)
The PSC is conducting Student workshops for all colleges (engineering, polytechnic, others) on Ubuntu and SCILAB at no cost. Students will receive, on successful completion, certification by IIT Mumbai. If colleges would like their students to undergo these workshops as well as if institutions would like to migrate to public software, PSC can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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