Most NZ schools have a "BYOD" programme for student-provided devices. The gov't has got this "free" Microsoft Office365 licensing as a perk of paying many $millions/year for an all-of-gov't agreement: https://education.govt.nz/school/running-a-school/technology-in-schools/software/microsoft/ Schools are starting to require MSO365 for students... but it doesn't run on all devices (Linux comps or Chromebooks). This creates a major problem with BYOD policies: the schools don't know what they're doing & students are being disadvantaged by their legit tech choices.
What's more, the Min of Ed, with this MSO365 "free" license programme is creating a huge imposition upon all students. Their digital works/creativity is being locked into a set of formats that can only be reliably read by MS-blessed software, which is because MS controls the formats & changes them at their whim (often to set back would-be competitors who're trying to offer compatibility). Our gov't is effectively (probably out of ignorance) mandating the of one foreign megacorp's software.
What's worse, all of these students' digital creative content is, by virtue of adopting this proprietary Microsoft solution, being stored in "the Cloud" outside NZ. What're the privacy implications of that? "Don't worry about it" our Privacy Commissioner says, despite the fact the data is outside our jurisdiction. Remember how Facebook laughed at his requests to honour NZ privacy legislation for NZers? Microsoft is bigger than Facebook... Our gov't is making a major blunder with our kids.
This is especially true when our students could all be using open source software that does the same things as MSO365, without committing their data to MS-controlled file formats, and it could all be stored here in NZ, in our jurisdiction. Plus it would cost a lot less for schools & anyone interacting with them, because then they wouldn't need to run MSO365 to be compatible (but they could stick with it if they wanted). What's the value of our kids' data not being held hostage by US interests?
#LibreOffice is a privacy-friendly free open alternative to Microsoft Office. It's a suite of apps including a word processor, spreadsheet editor, presentation app, database editor, drawing app and maths formula editor.
It's compatible with all major document formats including Microsoft.
You can download it for Windows, Mac and Linux from the official website:
Here's a bit of an expose on the OERu's technology infrastructure... https://tech.oeru.org/2018-update-oeru-technology-stack It's all #FOSS and exists to make #OER more accessible around the world.
I think this is worth watching for folks doing Lida courses. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upu0gwGi4FE (there're some challenging concepts and perhaps language depending on your sensibilities, but it's worth it).
If you're not one of the 0.001% of the population who truly get Git (I'm not), you should watch this if you want your mind gently bent in (not always) pleasant ways: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ffBJ4sVUb4 If nothing else, this offers an amazing metaphor for how the universe can achieve such amazing complexity, beauty, and depravity from a few simple, remarkably elegant rules (and nothing else) :)
From the "intellectual property is neither" department:
@aral - read your Reclaiming RSS post with interest! At the OERu, we're making active use of RSS (& Atom), and have just built a tool to help people find useful feeds on their own (or others') blogs... https://course.oeru.org/blog-feed-finder/ - the code: https://github.com/oeru/blog-feed-finder (will be moving to our own gitlab in the coming weeks) @mackiwg
@email@example.com I note that you often interview lawyers on air, and often they give their opinions. Lawyers, in addition to being people, are great actors on behalf of their paying clients... and in many cases will assert things they don't personally agree with believe in support of their client's position. I've never heard an RNZ interviewer ask a lawyer to disclose whether a stated position is their own or on behalf of a client. We need to get better at highlighting conflicts of interest.
Open Source Technologist with the OER Foundation - I blog about OERs and free and open source tech for delivering them on https://tech.oeru.org.
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