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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 we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
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
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
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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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