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Wednesday, April 25 • 17:20 - 17:45
Using Open Source Software to Create an OER Platform for Dynamic Textbooks

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Dynamics textbooks can be created by integrating links to ancillary resources directly into conventional electronic versions of open textbooks. When selected these filesystem links can execute open source software that is run locally on the reading device, thereby mitigating many of the limitations of web-based OER. Effective deployment of such dynamic textbooks requires the development of an open source software platform into which they are integrated. Two approaches are evaluated. Live Linux distributions can be deployed on conventional desktop/notebook computer hardware, either booted directly off USB flash drives or run within a virtual machine. Considerations for such deployment are evaluated. Alternatively, the rise of inexpensive yet powerful system on a chip (SoC) computers presents a further mechanism for deploying an open source software platform to support textbooks, namely the circulation of inexpensive (under USD$40) computers to students with a preconfigured open source software distribution. The current capabilities and usage of such a device are evaluated. Finally, conventional open source software package management systems can be used to deploy dynamic textbooks on such platforms as well as the open source software tools required to customize the textbooks. Ultimately the development of an open source software platform into which open educations resources are integrated ensures that control resides where it belongs, with educational institutions, instructors, and students.

avatar for Robert Petry

Robert Petry

Dr., Campion College at the Unviersity of Regina

Wednesday April 25, 2018 17:20 - 17:45 CEST