Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Should USEP adopt FOSS

My students in USEP are getting smarter .. here's one post of my student (JADE MIJARES) about Integrating Open Source Source Software in schools ...

Should USEP adopt Open Source Software (OSS)? This is a question that begs to be answered and if the answer is yes, then the question, WHY, should be answered next before the, HOW could be discussed. These are questions that need to be answered.

Before we go on discussing the three questions I would just like to add that Free Software is different with Open Source Software. This is a concept that I encountered as I was researching about the topic. I intended to write something about their differences but as I got deeper I got lost in the semantics of both terms. Furthermore someone already posted the difference between the two on his blog. http://www.xaprb.com/blog/2008/05/14/mysql-free-software-but-not-open-source/
I believe this guy knows what he is talking about better than I could express what I’ve read.

Going back to the first question: Should USEP adopt/ apply or use OSS? My answer to this question is a resounding YES.

WHY:
“A leading university in the county that fosters innovation” and “A dynamic and balanced leader in Information and Communications Technology innovations” are two lines that every IC student of USEP should have engraved in their hearts, the former comes from the University’s Vision statement while the latter from the Institute of Computing’s. Innovation, that is exactly what OSS offers.

OSS has a lesser Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) or the total expenditure in using and maintaining the software. OSS doesn’t necessarily mean ‘no fee’. Most OSS are. They could be downloaded via the internet. The cost of installing an OSS on schools is much cheaper compared to installing propriety software the later usually having one computer one license policies. But on the over all scheme using OSS would put a lesser strain or no strain at all on the school’s budget and would allow excess funds to be diverted to other concerns.

The third reason for using OSS in USEP is an ethical concern. By using OSS the university would be promoting a more democratic form of technological practice as Gary Hepburn and Jan Buley put it. www.innovateonline.info The problem concerning the training of students to use a particular company’s software would be addressed. No longer will the students be locked in using a particular software but they would be given the chance to explore new and in some instances better software.

HOW:
The most difficult part of all is doing what we know we should have done. It is not enough just to know what is the right way, we should also DO the right way. So, how could we apply OSS in our University? It can be done, that is for sure. We could see that on the many examples of universities and high schools that applied OSS in their campuses. www.schoolforge.net compiles stories about these schools. Gary Hepburn and Jan Buley also wrote an article entitled “Getting Open Source Software into Schools: Strategies and Challenges”, this could be found at www.innovateonline.info. Before you could access the article you are first required to sign up at their site.

In the article three approaches are outlined on how to implement OSS on schools. All three of them could be applied in USEP but not at the same time. First, the university should run OSS applications in conjunction with propriety operating systems. When the students and staff become comfortable with the set up, the second approach could then be applied, that is running both OSS and propriety Operating Systems in one computer. After that a change to full use of OSS could be made.

References:
1. www.innovateonline.info
2. http://edge-o.org/grouch/schools.html
3. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4642461.stm
4. http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39198432,00.htm
5. www.networkworld.com/weblogs/smb/2006/012953.html
6. http://www.cjlt.ca/content/vol131.1/hepburn.html
7. http://www.netc.org/openoptions/home/quickstart.html
8. www.schoolforge.net

2 comments:

Nice read!

I totally agree with the writer, USEP should indeed adopt FOSS, but not just restrict the school to FOSS alone. The IT industry right now is in a hybrid stage. To succeed, a company must adopt both FOSS and proprietary softwares (for both has its strengths and weaknesses). This is also true in schools.

I'm totally against in the idea of limiting the students to just use one aspect of the IT industry may it be FOSS or proprietary. The student MUST learn both...

aw! in fact., one rizon why i tend to appreciate OSS is when we have the elective1 which deals with FOSS and Open standards..

so i guess., 1 way for a successful implementation here in our school is to introduce it to the students, with enough knowledge for them to consider and appreciate it..

hmmh., best practice is also necessary.. i guess. before it would be implemented in the university., it is better if we IC people utilizes the OSS first..

i appreciate some professors are open for using the OSS., just like in our DB and SE where MySQL and PostgreSql is used in database..

we tend to create some applications also for the benefits of the university., even though it doesnt purely utilizes the OSS development tools., yet i gez it wud be a good start..

ajejeje... just a sharing sir

best regardz!