[okfn-discuss] FTA Announce#10: Early Bird Deadline, Highlights, Sustainable OER

Hinde ten Berge hinde at freeknowledge.eu
Tue Nov 2 11:18:41 UTC 2010

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Permanent link: http://ftacademy.org/announce/10

FTA Announcement #10: Early Bird Deadline, Highlights, Sustainable OER

1. Early Bird Registration Deadline coming up!
2. Module Highlights
3. Free Software Foundation joins the FTA Associate Partner Network
4. FTA Board meets and confirms continuation
5. Models for sustainability of Open Educational Resources
6. FTA presentations in the upcoming weeks
7. About the Free Technology Academy

== 1. Early Bird Registration Deadline coming up! ==

The deadline for the Early Bird registrations has been extended to November
15th, 2010. After this date, the standard tuition fee (for a 5 ECTS course
in 2011) of EUR 380 is applicable. If you want to make use of the 10% Early
Bird discount, please register before this date. Note that registration
is complete only if the registration form has been sent in correctly and
complete and the corresponding tuition fee has been received at the FTA
bank account. Registrations close one week before the start of a course
or when the maximum number of learners for a course has been reached.

Please also note that all FTA course materials, software and other digital
resources are free as in freedom and as in beer, i.e. they provide the
Four Freedoms and are published openly online, so you can download them and
use them for any purpose. The FTA courses have a certain cost, as we need
to have specialised tutors available to guide you through the programme,
maintain the Campus and other infrastructures and are continuously working
on the improvement and expansion of the programme. In case you can or do
not want to pay tuition fees, you can access the course materials through
the FTA website and use them for self-study.

== 2. Module Highlights ==

On January 10, 2011, the first trimester of the continued FTA will take
off. During this trimester we offer seven different modules. Here are
two highlights!

* Implementation of Free Software and Case Studies

This course examines the concepts related to Free Software business and
allows us to know and identify concepts related to its production. The FTA
learner will become familiar with agencies and projects related to the
implementation of Free Software in the public sector and private sector
through different case studies. The Case of SchoolNet Namibia is one of
those cases. In partnership with organisations from the public, private
and civil sectors, as well as international agencies and educational
institutions, SchoolNet internet-enabled schools and developed a model for
doing this sustainably in the most difficult of Namibian conditions. The
model featured Free Software and prioritised free and open educational
resources to maximise the extent to which these could be copied, adapted
for local needs and shared for community benefit.

While going through the course materials, the FTA learner will get to
know, identify and understand the consequences of the use and exploitation
of Free Software in different areas of implementation. This course also
studies how to approach and implement projects based on Free Software,
projects to migrate, production and development methodologies and business
projects related with Free Software.

* Free Software Tools and Utilities

This interesting course has not yet been offered at the FTA before. This
tools and utilities course will introduce students to some of the programs
designed for the desktop environments of end users. We can use these
programs to browse the Internet securely (Mozilla), manage our e-mail
and work in groups (Evolution) and to create office documents like text
documents, spreadsheets and presentations (OpenOffice.org). On this course,
learners will also discover how to work with these free tools in privative
environments such as Microsoft Windows, as well as in GNU/Linux of course.

== 3. Free Software Foundation joins the FTA Associate Partner Network ==

The FTA and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced last Tuesday their
partnership in the FTA's Associate Partner Network. The Free Software
Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users'
right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The
FSF promotes the development and use of free (as in freedom) software
-- particularly the GNU operating system and its GNU/Linux variants --
and free documentation for free software. The FSF also helps to spread
awareness of the ethical and political issues of freedom in the use
of software, and its Web sites, located at fsf.org and gnu.org, are an
important source of information about GNU/Linux.

The FSF will provide special video guest lectures in FTA courses and
encourage volunteers to collaborate in the maintenance of existing
materials and the production of new courses. The FTA provides the FSF
Associate Membership (http://www.fsf.org/associate/) with 30 discount
vouchers for FTA courses each trimester.

Read the full press release:
* Free Software Foundation: http://www.fsf.org/news/free-technology-academy
* Free Technology Academy: http://ftacademy.org/announce/fsf

== 4. FTA Board meets and confirms continuation ==

During the last week of October, the FTA Board came together in 
Barcelona for
a three-day long meeting. Apart from discussing the current status of the
FTA, varying from aspects of Quality Assurance to technical specifications
of the Campus, a major step was taken towards the future of the FTA. The
FTA Board came forth with an organisational and business model which fits
in the different approaches of the FTA Consortium Partners. Although it
was already clear that the FTA would continue after the period initially
funded by the European Commission, an important advancement has been
achieved in order to run the FTA smoothly and continuously from 2011

== 5. Models for sustainability of Open Educational Resources ==

The FTA Partners have collaboratively published an article about models
for sustainability of Open Educational Resources.

The decision to publish educational materials openly and under free
licenses brings up the challenge of doing it in a sustainable way. Some
lessons can be learned from the business models for production, maintenance
and distribution of Free Software. The Free Technology Academy (FTA) has
taken on these challenges and has implemented some of these models. The
authors briefly review the FTA educational programme, methodologies and
organisation, and see to which extent these models are proving successful
in the case of the FTA.

"Free Technology Academy: Towards sustainable production of free
educational materials", Conference paper presented at the FCRC, Berlin,
October 2010:


== 6. FTA presentations in the upcoming weeks ==

More and more so-called roadshows are done by the FTA Consortium Partners:
presentations, workshops, showcases, demonstrations, etcetera. Last weekend
we were present at the International Commons Conference in Belrin, Germany,
and the coming weeks are full of roadshows as well. They do not just focus
on the FTA, but put the FTA in a broader setting. For example during the
Mozilla Drumbeat Festival, where a workshop on the production of a peer2peer
course will take place. And a gathering to discuss the possibilities
of a complete International Master Programme. The paper on models for
sustainability of Open Educational Resources will be presented at the
Open ED Conference as well as at the OSS Symposium - each time with a
twist. In France, a report on 'the FTA experience' will be given.

* Open Education Conference (Open ED) [1]
   Barcelona, Spain, November 2-4, 2010
* Mozilla Drumbeat Festival [2]
   Barcelona, Spain, November 3-5, 2010
* fOSSa (Free Open Source Academia Conference) [3]
   Grenoble, France, November 8-10,2010
* OSS Symposium [4]
   Rotterdam, the Netherlands, November 11, 2010

[1] http://openedconference.org/2010/
[2] http://www.drumbeat.org/drumbeat_festival_2010
[3] http://fossa2010.inrialpes.fr/
[4] http://www.ckc-seminars.nl/osc/

== 7. About the Free Technology Academy ==

A Consortium formed by the Open University of Catalonia (Spain), the
Open University of the Netherlands and the University of Agder (Norway)
and led by the Free Knowledge Institute (FKI), the FTA has received
the support from the EC's Lifelong Learning Programme to set up an
international educational programme on Free Software. The courses are
taught completely online in a virtual campus based on the Campus Project
interoperability framework.

Following the Open Educational Resources movement, all learning materials
are freely available through the Internet. The use of Free Software (also
referred to as Open Source software or Libre Software) is rapidly expanding
in governmental and private organisations.  However, still only a limited
number of ICT professionals, teachers and decision makers have sufficient
knowledge and expertise in these new fields. The Free Technology Academy
aims to address this gap by providing high level courses that fit into
larger Master Programmes at the participating universities.

* More information: http://www.ftacademy.org
* Contact information: contact[at]ftacademy.org
* Digital version: http://ftacademy.eu/announce/10

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