What is Ubuntu – a FREE Operating System

* for followers of this blog please also refer to my new website eLearn Hub

ubuntu logo

If you’re looking at this you must be interested in Ubuntu/Linux/some kind of open source software.

Ubuntu is a free open source operating system. It is FREE, you can get it off the Internet, and there are no licensing fees – YES – NO licensing fees. Free to use and free to share with your friends/colleagues. It’s also free/open to go into the back end and have a play around.

Why doesn’t everyone use it? They don’t market and a lot of people are convinced by marketing, they are free so don’t spend money on anything unnecessary.

Is it as good as Mac and Microsoft? Yes, it is. Take this from someone who has used both Mac and Microsoft for years and is now happily converted to Ubuntu. Ubuntu is super easy to use and has a large group of computer tech nerds who constantly work on improvements.

Just to reinforce the reliability of free open source software: free open source software runs 75% of the worlds stock-exchanges including New York and London. It runs our air traffic control systems and nuclear submarines through to the special effects in Avatar. Open Source Software runs the majority of the Internet. Google, Amazon, Facebook, ebay and Twitter all run on the Open source platform Linux. 95% of the worlds supercomputers are Linux. Android is Open Source.

Many people support free and open source software in the business and education setting. There is help if you need it.

But for some reason many people still believe buying proprietary software and paying hefty licensing fees is a good idea. Go figure.

ubuntu advert

For further information about open source in education check out this article on Fedena, a fully customisable open source operating system in India, it’s just been introduced and already seven million students are using Fedena hosted on a cloud.

* This post originally appeared on eLearn Hub.  Click here for original post.


Related articles

What is course authoring software and is it for me?

Authoring software is a tool used to help develop your course presentation. It doesn’t help plan your course or develop your learning goals with plenty of fun and intellectual creativity, what an authoring tool does is give you the ability to be creative with the delivery of your course.

Authoring software (or development tool or platform) allows you, or a group of people working together, to integrate different media with a professional presentation. Depending on which software is used you can integrate and develop all sorts of different media (videos, games, animations etc) to make interactive learning opportunities. There are almost no limitations.

You can customise your content for your business or training organisations needs. Want those logos everywhere? Need to have layout, colours, fonts consistent with other areas of the organisation?

Different software will give you different formats to publish the materials. These options are usually to insert into a webpage, save to disk and to export in various different formats. Some software will also assist with being published to a SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) package.
The great thing about using some kind of authoring software or tool is that you don’t have to be a programmer to get your course content looking primed, smooth and ready to go.
So, what kind of software do you need?

It depends entirely on the needs of your course. If you’re following the very popular and successful MOOC style of course you might just need to use video and forums and might not need any additional software. Check out Coursera to see how their courses are hosted.

Powerpoint could be considered authoring software. Powerpoint can have video and sound as well as many different word and still image features and can also be easily converted into video.
Over the next few weeks I will explore features on different tools. In the meantime the best thing to do is plan your course and explore the media and interactive features that are best going to help achieve your aims.

Remember – it doesn’t just have to look good, it has to be effective!

Here’s links to some popular Authoring Software:







Check out the original article on eLearn Hub

What is online learning and how is it different from other types of learning?

This may seem like a silly question, most of us know that having a course online means more people are able to access your course at any time and in any place (as long as they have Internet access).  We’re talking 24 hours a day anywhere in the world.


There are great benefits to have a course or training online and there is more to it than posting a series of videos on your website and directing your traffic there.


A beautiful thing about online learning is that it encourages interaction from all the different people taking the course. Putting your course online means that you can facilitate discussions about topics. When people ask questions and share their knowledge by answering other people’s questions and supporting others, they gain a much deeper level of learning. It’s not just watching and doing, it’s a much fuller participation.


Discussions are a very simple way of engaging people. You can easily encourage participation by asking open ended questions stemming from your learning materials. This is also easy to set up but you may need to learn a few facilitation skills (remember negative answers might just be a frustrated learner).


There is an emerging trend for gamifying online learning. This can work with player interactions, making achievable aims and basically having fun. Check out Jane McGonigal on TED.


Being online allows you to use a lot of resources, the most common software are those that amalgamate slide shows, quizzes and other support systems (images, maps etc) into one easy to use course. These are often used for organisational and in-house training.


It is important you ask yourself what you want to achieve through your course and to encourage participant interactions.


*check out the original article by Rebecca OGM on  elearnhub.org  


How to put a course online

If you’re thinking about putting together an online course there are many things you need to think about, but, THE FIRST thing you need to do is actually take an online course.

There are many free online courses, check out Coursera, P2PU or have a look for different MOOCs. Also check out my previous post on Khan Academy and Sophia. These sites (and others) host hundreds of free & pay for online courses.

The next best thing is to write down, or somehow record the following:

WHY do you want to put a course online?

WHO is your audience?

WHAT do you want people to take away from the course?

HOW do you envisage delivering the course?

These are baby stepping stones, putting a course online means you can offer heaps of full learning experiences, it’s not just about slapping a video on the internet.

Watch this space for more information, in the meantime go ahead and take that course – BE the student.


Declaration of Internet Freedom

This just came to my attention, it seems there are a few heavyweights behind this and the document is rapidly making the rounds through blogging circles, feeds etc.  The declaration is to the point and clearly written.  I wondered when something like this would happen and let’s hope that it is effective.

If you want to sign the declaration go to their website: http://www.internetdeclaration.org/


internet icon


We believe that a free and open Internet can bring about a better world. To keep the Internet free and open, we call on communities, industries and countries to recognize these principles. We believe that they will help to bring about more creativity, more innovation and more open societies.

We are joining an international movement to defend our freedoms because we believe that they are worth fighting for.
Let’s discuss these principles — agree or disagree with them, debate them, translate them, make them your own and broaden the discussion with your community — as only the Internet can make possible.
Join us in keeping the Internet free and open.
[You can interact with the following text on redditTechdirtCheezburgerGithubKeeptheWebOpenand Rhizome.]


We stand for a free and open Internet.

We support transparent and participatory processes for making Internet policy and the establishment of five basic principles:

  • Expression: Don’t censor the Internet.
  • Access: Promote universal access to fast and affordable networks.
  • Openness: Keep the Internet an open network where everyone is free to connect, communicate, write, read, watch, speak, listen, learn, create and innovate.
  • Innovation: Protect the freedom to innovate and create without permission. Don’t block new technologies, and don’t punish innovators for their users’ actions.
  • Privacy: Protect privacy and defend everyone’s ability to control how their data and devices are used.

Wanna Be A Google Power Searcher?

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

If you didn’t know already Google have a free online course showcasing their advanced search tools. It’s free and enrolment is open to everyone. Six classes, interactive activities and live chat hangouts all culminate in a post course assessment, yes – the big A – Assessment, after which you receive a certificate to print out and hang on your wall.

Who is doing it? Lots of people, I’m doing it and am looking forward to seeing how it all runs.

Although not being called a ‘MOOC’ it easily falls into being a Massive Open Online Course and has drummed up a lot of blog posts similar to this one – everyone is talking about it. A criticism of MOOC’s is the sheer number of people getting lost amongst the different conversations.  There can be a big learning curve for a participant to take before finding their focus during the course. I’m really looking forward to discovering Google’s structure in handling a large volume of learners.

I am also genuinely interested in learning how to effectively search using Google, it will open up another whole new world.

Check it out, Google Power Search, July 10 – July 23 2012


Flipped Out Over Sophia

Sophia Website Welcome Page – on the day that I took the photo.

I have just signed up for Sophia and so far it’s pretty cool. What is Sophia? It’s a social learning network described as “a mashup of Facebook, Wikipedia, and YouTube focused solely on education”.


What happens on Sophia?

You create a profile, make friends, join groups and follow subjects. There is a points system for watching and participating in activities, including great class management points for ‘good behaviour’, it’s not called that but the idea is to encourage people to act responsibly on the site. There are lists of tutorials and you can make a ‘playlist’ from them.


You can watch a tutorial and give it a rank then work your way up to the next tutorial. You can also upload tutorials – big bonus, we can all SHARE.


Tutorials are media heavy: text, graphics, music, videos, slideshows … The idea is that people both learn and teach in different ways so the more tutorials the more ways there are for people to connect with a learning style that matches them best.


Sophia has taken off in a big way and rightly so, it looks like loads of fun & there is a lot of potential for use in wider educational settings. There are privacy settings so you can share with an invite only group of people. Class projects could pick out different things in tutorials or create their own tutorial for a much deeper learning experience, or you can simply share a tutorial with your online or physical students.


I hope they look at breaking down the subject divisions and adding more of a tag system as not all learning takes place within a subject header.


To top off this great site they emphasis  Creative Commons on their licensing agreement.

They want people to share and work together🙂.


Check it out here