edna Collaborative Tools Workshop

This morning I went to the edna Collaborative Tools Workshop, the venue was a room at QUT Library Gardens Point Campus. I went to the workshop last year that was run by Kerrie Smith and it was nice to see with her again. To be honest the main reason I went was to see her again. Just like last time there was around 16 people, apart from myself and one other guy the rest were female. Kerrie ran through a presentation on edna groups, they’re upgrading moodle this Sunday and we got to see the new design and hear about some of the upcoming features like the podcasting and blogging module. One of the interesting stats was there are currently over 500 edna groups with 6500+ users and 800 owners.
I also learned that there isnt actually an upload limit and some groups have around 600mb of data stored, there is a limit on upload file size and after Sunday thats going to be raised to 10Mb, thats wonderful news to me because when I was playing with the embeded video players I used the Internet Archive because my screencasts are generally between 5-10Mb so now I will be able to use edna for all that and hopefully teach others how to do it as well without having to run through how to use the Internet Archive.

If I remember correctly edna is funded 80% by state government and the other 20% comes from education.au limited, a ministerially owned company. As my friends know I have a background working in public education and I believe free and open source software and content can have a significant impact on improving public education, when I used to try and introduce foss based solutions I had a lot of difficulty, among other lame comments they would say that free stuff is crap, when edna started using moodle for edna groups that made a huge difference and these days most teachers have heard of moodle, some even receive awards for using it with their students. I want to write something about whats available for teachers in Qld but it would probably just look like sour grapes so people make sure to tell teachers about edna groups, its free and easy to use and they can store their files there. The common scam is to sell the teachers some web based service that claims to make publishing online easy and tell them that they could earn some money from royalties then turn around and steal their work either using fine print in some dodgy agreement or using copyright so help them avoid that by telling them about edna groups.

EdNA Online and GNU/Linux in Australian education news

From EdNA Online News Feed(ICT in Curriculum Recent Items)

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a complete Linux-based operating system, freely available with both community and professional support. “Ubuntu” is an ancient African word, meaning “humanity to others”. The Edubuntu community is built on the ideas enshrined in the Edubuntu Manifesto: that software should be available free of charge, that software tools should be usable by people in their local language and despite any disabilities, and that people should have the freedom to customise and alter their software in whatever way they see fit. These freedoms make Edubuntu fundamentally different from traditional proprietary software: not only are the tools available free of charge, but users have the right to modify software until it works for them the way they want it to work.

From EdNA Online News Feed(Higher Ed Recent Items)

Linux.com

Linux.com is an independent Web site that provides Linux information, news, tips, and reference material. Linux.com represents a community of Linux users that share and contribute knowledge of the Linux and make such information freely available.

From LinuxWorld.com.au

RedHat sticks Canberra feather in its cap

The Red Hat empire is spreading with Canberra TAFE signing up as the latest academic institution to partner with the Linux vendor to offer training to its students and prepare them for the Red Hat Certified Technician exam (RHCT).

Lots of good news. The thing thats special about this for me is that EdNA Online is a joint initiative of the State and Territory governments, and the Australian Government, through their education departments. Back in early 2005 a very nice teacher librarian gave me the opportunity to share my work with professional educators using a free service called EdNA Groups that uses a libre software called moodle.

EdNA Groups is a free service for communication and collaboration between members of the Australian education and training community. Why not register to join an existing group or start your own online group!

My group is called Libre Software and Libre Knowledge in Education. Teaching people about libre software and libre knowledge is very diificult and challenging. Recently I’ve disbanded from all other groups and unsubscribed from their mailing lists so I’m just going work on superuser projects and contribute to the EdNA group when I can. Thanks for your help.