Open Source Education – The New Way of Learning

There is a new form of education these days. Open Source Education is surely going to change people’s outlook about education and help in spreading of knowledge and provide access to education to children across the globe.Lisa Petrides,President and Founder of the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education,elucidates the worth of open source education – “Open educational resources provide a learner-centered platform that authentically marries technology with education, provides access and equity to education resources for all, and last but not least, is in some cases enabling the re-professionalism of teaching.”Earlier, learning was quite a herculean task for the students in absence of classrooms or teachers. Now, with access and distribution of Internet facilities across the world, students have gained access to education for free through websites personalized to this type of education! Promoting open source learning will help in reducing the cost for printing & publishing books, which in turn, will help the students to bring down their own incurring costs. It will also help in curbing the financial barrier to educational resources as students who will be buying books, will be capable of sharing the PDF versions of the books online with the other children for no charge at all.The curriculum provides online educational resources free of charge, which can be used, distributed and tailored as well. This practice encourages participation from educationalists, developers, parents and students and also invites their feedback and ideas. Wikiversity, Curriki, and MIT Open Courseware are some of the open source curriculum repositories which provide a curriculum framework for a particular course. Curriki is a non-profit social private enterprise devoted to improving the quality of education with global access to free and open edification resources.With numerous learning platforms available now, both corporate and academic organizations are progressively acquiring its whole host of benefits. For example, instead of having the trainers to travel numerous company sites, the employees can easily access the online company training resources. Moreover, recently the potential of the open source learning management system is being explored by the industry connoisseurs in the sphere of business environments. There are many tools of open source learning available including Xerte, Udutu, and Claroline for helping professionals in creating online courseware and provide knowledge at little or no cost! Moodle is one of the well-known and dynamic online learning tools that offer wide range of tools to enhance the virtual learning experience. It also provides its users the facility to create customized learning environments.In addition to this, Open source education also helps for higher education initiatives. In accordance with the Online Education Database, in 2003 The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Open Courseware Program started providing its users open access to syllabus, notes, courseware, problem questions and solutions, exam samples as well as some selected video lectures. “Using open source allows the university flexibility to modify software and make it more applicable to the Oxford style”, feels Stuart Lee, Director of Computing Systems & Services at Oxford University.

Co Education System in India

Co – education is the recent system of education where girls sit and study along with boys in same classes and in a common college. This system was not popular in ancient schools and colleges. At that time, it was not considered appropriate to allow boys and girls study together in same institutions. Rather, boys and girls were sent to separate schools and colleges. Social mixing of boys and girls was not allowed. This was considered essential to maintain the purity of character in them.Actually the elders of each family consider many disadvantages in co – education and that’s why they are against sending their children or grand – children to such schools and colleges. They think that co – education makes their children absent – minded. The children become indisciplined and the whole atmosphere of the schools and colleges gets polluted.The boys try all sorts of motions, gestures and songs to attract the attention of the girls. Even the girls tempt the boys for all sorts of indiscipline. Boys do not come for the teachers in the class. They keep combing their hair off and on and waster their time. The boys and girls all try to show themselves as heroes and heroines respectively and are mostly running to cinemas to see latest movies. The educational institutions start presenting a look of fashion parades. All sorts of unsocial and undesirable habits are developed and students forget to listen to their elders or teachers. In such an atmosphere, one cannot expect a good quality character.Co – education is considered better from social point of view in spite of its various defects as explained above. Such a system of education gives an opportunity to understand each other’s problems and, therefore, can co-operate better in achievement of respective goals. A healthy spirit of working and competing is created by co – education. The boys try to keep a polite and gentle character so as to give a good impression to their girls class – fellows. During their long period of education, they can better understand each other’s psychology and even can choose their life partners from among their class – fellows. In this way, problem of parents to select a suitable match for their children is also solved. The boy and girl educated together make the best match due to their broad attitude towards life and closer understanding of each other’s habits and manners of living, likes and dislikes.Co – education provides economical and advanced education to girl students. This is because same amount of money is invested to upgrade or provide better equipments and infrastructure in schools and colleges. Otherwise, funds would get diverted for constructing separate schools and colleges for girls. Further, in a free democratic country like India, we cannot deny education to girls along with boys, the girls must also be equally educated. However, where girls students take interest in greater numbers towards studies, there, special separate institutions can be established to impart education of each level and in various professions.Co – education seems to be good at primary level and higher level in colleges. But due care must be taken at high school and inter-classes where lot of physical and mental changes take place naturally in children. Students must be guided properly to avoid their going astray. Separation between girls and boys can be made taking them into confidence and making them understand any implications. As such, at high school level, co – education can be imparted with able guidance and care. At university level, boys and girls get matured to understand good or bad of each other. So co – education can be very useful from social and economic point of view if given under proper care and guidance.