Free and open platforms in education (was Re: New MOOC about Free Software and Free Digital Society.)

Paul Boddie paul at
Mon May 4 15:35:26 UTC 2015

On Monday 4. May 2015 16.29.18 Vitaly Repin wrote:
> Hello,
> -new-mooc-is-launched/
> We launched first iteration of this course today. I will be happy to
> receive any feedback now and during the course.


> I want to empasize that Eliademy iteration is just one iteration of the
> course. The course itself is freely redistributable and I hope it will be
> used by other organizations. Including university and school teachers -
> they will be able to use these materials to educate theie students about
> Free Digital Society in general and FOSS in particular.

Just taking the discussion in perhaps another direction than you anticipated, 
it seems that Eliademy (why do modern brand names have to be so awful?) isn't 
itself a Free Software platform, which is a shame, and I think that's what 
you're acknowledging above. In the various education sectors, there's a big 
push to introduce "e-learning" platforms and other cloud-based services, and 
there's a lot of unhappiness [1] with many of them.

Indeed, some big players (Microsoft, Pearson) have a lot to lose by not 
"acquiring" customers (or retaining them in Microsoft's case) who want to 
either manage their existing courses online or to offer online courses and 
materials, and a lot of smaller players see opportunities to sell services, 
often proprietary ones, to those shopping around. Meanwhile, many of the above 
live in fear of Apple, believe it or not, anticipating some kind of iTunes or 
App Store product to attract influential brand fanatics and to subvert the 
usual procurement processes.

To give an example of the risks to free and open platforms, Microsoft are in 
the process of sewing up the Norwegian higher education sector with their 
Office 365 and related offerings, with all the inherent competition, privacy 
and control issues that will result. The latter issues are waved away as 
paranoia, unbelievably, whereas Microsoft are probably still imposing a 
Windows tax at some level or other in the Norwegian education sector, albeit 
not now so brazenly (as in the way Microsoft and Intel colluded before their 
illegal bundling practices were curtailed, at least in the US).

Anyway, I hope that your course gets a wide distribution on sustainable e-
learning platforms, too. :-)


brukerne-sa-lenge-vi-tjener-penger/ (requires Norwegian knowledge, but can 
probably be automatically translated with some success)

More information about the Discussion mailing list