In a recent blog post, “Single Point of Failure” David Gerard hopes Wikipedia has NOT succeeded in becoming an encyclopedia monopoly. In spite of many teachers’ objections that Wikipedia isn’t to be trusted because it isn’t perfect, students and their parents use it as a first stop. Often a Wikipedia article is at or near the top of the first page of a Google search.

- openclipart.org – nicubunu”]
[public domain

I encourage you to read the post. It says a lot about being open as a path to success.

The most relevant statement for a FLOSS-oriented blog is:

But encouraging the propagation of proper free content licences — which is somewhat more restrictive than what our most excellent friends at Creative Commons do, though they’re an ideal organisation to work with on it — directly helps our mission, for example. The big win would be to make proper free content licenses — preferably public domain, CC-by or CC-by-sa, as they’re the most common — the normal way to distribute educational and academic materials. Because that would fulfill the Foundation mission statement:

“Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment.”— without us having to do every bit of it. And really, that mission statement cannot be attained unless we make free content normal and expected, and everyone else joins in.

We need to encourage everyone else to take on the goal of our mission with their own educational, scientific and academic materials. We can’t change the world all on our own.

Moving to Open Source Software in Schools is glad to endorse the recommendation that free and open educational content is the “normal and expected” method of information creation and distribution.

Are you organizing your creative teaching materials, preparing to give them to the world?

Let us know about it.

I just finished reading an article from the European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS). Many thanks to Glyn Moody’s Open Blog for giving me the link to a document that details a history of Microsoft’s actions to compete with its rivals.

http://www.ecis.eu/documents/Finalversion_Consumerchoicepaper.pdf

I have been using computers since 1974, so I am no novice, nor am I unaware of the impact of Microsoft in the field. Nonetheless, I am still attempting to deal with my reactions to the concise set of examples of how Microsoft has traditionally competed with the likes of Netscape, Novell, IBM, Apple…and recently Linux.

One man’s monopoly is another man’s bankruptcy, I guess. I am pulling for the success of FOSS in schools and out.

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