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Jean-Claude Dauphin's contribution to the "OSS and OER in Education Series." In this post, he shares some insights about UNESCO activities that promote the use of FOSS Solutions in Education. He will provide a brief description of past, current, and envisaged activities aimed at promoting the use of Free and Open Source Software solutions for Education.

Author - Jean-Claude Dauphin, "UNESCO's Activities in FOSS For Education, Past, Current and Future Activities". Originally submitted June 27th, 2007 to the OSS and OER in Education Series, Terra Incognita blog (Penn State World Campus), edited by Ken Udas.

The posting has two parts: the first part describes the past and current UNESCO FOSS activities and the second part suggests a new activity aimed at building an integrated FOSS Education solution targeting universities and that UNESCO may wish to initiate.

I. brief summary of unesco’s activities in foss for education

  1. UNESCO , the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, promotes international cooperation and dissemination of knowledge in the field of education, sciences, culture and communication. Therefore the organization recognises that community approaches to software development in general, and FOSS in particular, have a very significant role to play. There are a number of activities undertaken by UNESCO in support to FOSS.
  2. Free&Open Source Software Portal - The UNESCO Free and Open Source Software Portal was developed and published in November 2001. It is maintained by the Information Society Division and provides a one-stop access point to reference documents on the FOSS movements, as well as to websites hosting the most popular and useful FOSS packages in UNESCO’s fields of competence. The portal also mirrors the Free Software Directory , a joint project of UNESCO and FSF that catalogues useful free software that runs under free operating systems — particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants.
  3. The Greenstone Digital Library (GSDL) - UNESCO has produced with the New Zealand Digital Library Project (NZDL) of the University of Waikato (New Zealand) and the Human Info NGO (Antwerp) a multi-lingual version of the Free and Open Source Greenstone Digital Library software suite. It is expected that the Greenstone software package will enable educational, scientific and cultural institutions worldwide to build and share compatible digital libraries of open access and public domain information. UNESCO makes available free of charge CD-ROMs containing Greenstone 2.70, documentation available in four “core” languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian) and documented examples of digital libraries and associated software. A feasibility study conducted by UNESCO suggested that the open source GSDL, associated with appropriate training and documentation, could constitute a unique resource in the implementation of digital libraries for Africa.
  4. UNESCO assisted in the deployment of an open-source Learning Management System (LMS) at the Arab Open University in Bahrain, which was further replicated in Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
  5. Together with UNDP , UNESCO also organised a consultative meeting of specialists to assess the needs of developing countries in terms of FOSS and on modalities to pursue an FOSS initiative for developing countries with special focus for Africa.
  6. UNESCO has partnerships with FSF, the Free and Open Source Software Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) and various FOSS-active non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and is participating to the Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Free Software Development and Use (LACFREE). In addition UNESCO is informally collaborating with FAO, UNEP, UNDP and UNCTAD in promoting FOSS.
  7. Other activities undertaken by UNESCO in support of FOSS are: development, distribution and translation of UNESCO FOSS software ( CDS/ISIS – database software , IDAMS – statistical software ).
  8. Two discussion forums organized by UNESCO IIEP have focused on the related issues of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for e-learning (June 2004) and Open Educational Resources (OER): open content for higher education (October/November 2005). The FOSS and OER groups have continued to interact on a more informal basis as international Communities of Interest.
  9. The Discussion forum on Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) for Open Educational Resources organized by IIEP/UNESCO took place from 11 September to 6 October 2006. The main outcomes were the elaboration of a list of FOSS tools for OER development, management and dissemination, and the creation of a wiki collaboration space dedicated to the UNESCO IIEP Community of Interest on Open Educational Resources.
  10. An Internet discussion forum aimed at discussing the OECD study on Open Educational Resources (OER) was held from 13 November to 1 December 2006.
  11. Documentary on “ Software for development : Documentary and Case Studies” - UNESCO contributed financially to this activity implemented by the UNDP Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme’s (UNDP-APDIP ) International Open Source Network (IOSN) initiative, which aims to promote the choice of FOSS as affordable (yet effective) solutions for developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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Source:  OpenStax, The impact of open source software on education. OpenStax CNX. Mar 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10431/1.7
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