"El software libre permite una educación más centrada en los objetivos de aprendizaje." | Asociación Educación Abierta
alespierno's bookmarks 2018-08-07
"Free software allows for a more focused education on learning objectives."
I believe that, of course, free software allows for a more focused education on learning objectives. Software is just a kind of knowledge. A very special one, which works when we put it on a computer. But it is still knowledge. If, in general, all knowledge transfer and discovery in learning processes is not subject to licensing or other restrictions, why should software be? Using free software is an opportunity to see it as just another element of learning support, behaving like many others used in it, and following the same principles.
But there are some more specific reasons. For example, in the case of free software it is not necessary to decide on the tools exclusively for economic reasons, as the cost of acquisition is not typically a factor to be considered. Instead of taking into account the available budget and choosing "what you can", you can go backwards, starting by looking for all the tools that could be useful, and choosing all the ones you consider appropriate, with no other limitations than those imposed by the learning process itself. For example, it is perfectly possible to use a tool for a marginal and short term activity, but important (something very difficult to do if you have to justify the payment of a license).
Another opportunity to take advantage of is the possibility for the student to reproduce the entire learning environment in places other than the classroom, without any legal problems, and with minimal technical problems. Thus, learning can continue outside the classroom, allowing students to "own" the tools they use. We can make things easier for the student by investing in the production of versions specially designed to be simple to install (something to which it helps that the software can be adapted, as discussed below). The same applies to the educator, who can make the entire teaching environment, including software, available to other educators, allowing it to be reproduced in another environment, and thus encouraging collaboration between educators.