The first week of the free online training course on
the FLOSS culture and open source tools organized by the Association
Centro Studi Città di Foligno (CSF) as part of the European project
Open-AE, funded by the European Erasmus programme, has just ended
successfully. The project aims to promote access and learning through
the use of open educational resources (OER). The aim is to promote Open
Source technologies in the non-formal education sector to strengthen the
training and professional skills of adult educators and learners.
Among the activities foreseen by Open-AE, the implementation of a
training course addressed to adult educators aimed at improving their
skills and knowledge of technological tools and digital learning
platforms is one of the key results.
CSF, Italian partner of the project, in order to face the
difficulties related to the Covid-19 health emergency, has designed a
course entirely online (Moodle Course and Webinars) to introduce and
deepen innovative practices and the latest available technologies useful
for adult education. The online course, lasting a total of two months,
is addressed to adult professionals interested in deepening their
knowledge and tools necessary to promote free and open education and
training. The distance learning course organized by CSF has registered a
strong interest throughout the Italian territory. To date, 192 people
have enrolled in the course, coming from several national adult
education centres (CPIA), Umbrian DigiPass and representatives of
municipalities and around 100 are regularly attending live the webinars.
The students have also the opportunity to watch the recorded video
lessons thus allowing great flexibility.
The training programme focuses on 7 modules that
will accompany participants in exploring open source culture and free
and open education and training. After an introduction to the Open-AE
Project and the Floss culture, participants will have the opportunity to
test Scratch, an open-source programming language. On May 6th the
Module focused on digital storytelling as a tool for strengthening adult
skills will start.It will then move on to the management of online
activities, through social media and WordPress, open source software
designed for everyone, which emphasizes accessibility, performance,
security, ease of use. May 26th, instead, will be the starting date of
the Data Privacy Culture Module, which will offer subscribers an
overview of the framework of the reference legislation on privacy. In
June we will then move on to explore the open educational resources
aimed at promoting the develop of a spirit of entrepreneurship. The
latest online meetings will focus on the use of new Augmented Reality
and Virtual Reality technologies for adult education.
In these difficult days, the open and common education promoted by Open-AE seems to be the best response for the future innovation of the educational sector.
celebrate ALL DIGITAL week the Open-Ae consortium held a webinar introducing a
participatory activity that people can do to be engaged in a open-source
Open Street maps was founded by Steve Coast in the UK in 2004. The basis for inspiration of Open Streets was the Wikipedia and concern about how prominent proprietary map data was growing around the world. Now more than two million people are registered on open street maps. Some of the benefits of the map are how user driven they are. If something is missing on open street maps you can easily add it yourself, and the change is there instantly. OpenStreetMap emphasizes local knowledge. Open Street Maps works faster than google maps for example as the data added to open street maps does not need to be verified by a third party.
hikers enjoy using open street maps as the community sourced maps means public
bike lanes, and hiking trails are more easily found. Areas of functional public
interest like rest areas or free camp grounds which may not be commercial can
be easily added to the map.
particular importance to the Open AE course is the use of Open data. Open data
means you are free to use it for any purpose as long credit is made.
The webinar aimed
to provide a quick introduction to open street maps. It showed how you can make
edits in open streets maps, how you can actively map neighbourhoods or city
ares using the aerial photography mode. Of particular importance are the user
diaries. In the user diaries users can ask questions and see if items on the
map are correct. Or they can also leave a note to another user letting them know
that a new road may develop, or trail and when that is ready another user can
add it. It is also possible to do this for public transportation routes.
Due to the
covid-19 crisis some diary notes were left to try and use Open-Street Maps to
provide support for local communities. There were notes encouraging people to
update the contact information and location of essential services like schools
so parents can maintain better contact with schools during the crisis.
To celebrate ALL DIGITAL week, the Open-AE consortium will host a online webinar on Open street maps. The webinar will give participants a chance to learn about free and open source software culture and practical ways which everyone can participate in free and open source software culture particularly by using open street maps.
OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. It was created in 2004 inspired by wikipedia which crowdsources data which is made available under the Open Database License. There are around 2 million registered users of open street maps who collect data using manual survey, GPS devices and aerial photography.
The short one hour webinar will give a short introduction to open street maps and will teach users about:
How to see issues on Open street maps?
How to resolve issues on open street maps?
How to add your organisation or digital competence centre to Open Street Maps?
The webinar will take place on the 24th of March at 6pm. Sign up for the webinar on this link.
The Free and Open Source Developers meeting in Brussels at the ULB Solbosch campus. It is a non-commercial, volunteer-organized European event centered on free and open-source software development. It is aimed at developers and anyone interested in the free and open-source software movement. It aims to enable developers to meet and to promote the awareness and use of free and open-source software. FOSDEM is held annually, usually during the first weekend of February, at the Université Libre de Bruxelles Solbosch campus. It is a very large event which brings together over 8000 people in presence and tens of thousands more online. Open-AE was there was even managed to present their intiative at a Lightning talk. Prior to the FOSDEM event there is also a pre-FOSDEM event.
However outside of the Open-ae project presentation there were many great events and talk organised.
A lightning talk prior to the Open-AE presentation was on Linux desktops in Finnish schools. All students in Finland who complete their matriculation exams which are now delivered online must use Debian software and buy linux compatible hardware to take their final examination. While the martriculation exam software is still proprietary is does require free and open-source software to run.
Another interesting talk was on how GNU General Public License(GPL) a free, copyleft license is good for business. The talk by Frank Karlitschek gave an overview of the four freedoms, and how businesses can earn money while respecting these freedoms. The methods involved selling certificates and trademark use, selling services (like wordpress), selling merchandise, being funded through a foundation, voluntary donation, crowdsourcing, advertisements and delayed open source (where paying customers get the latest version). Karlitschek argued the best format for GPL as a business model was under support subscriptions which are provided by companies like red hat and nextcloud.
The day before the biggest developers meeting in Europe, Open Forum Europe organises a pre-FOSDEM event.
The event gave an overview of how open source is being positioned in Europe. Welcoming remakrs from Pearse O’Donohue from DG CNECT gave a lot of an overview of policy. The new commission has two central priorities, the green new deal and the digital transformation, open source sotware and hardware overlap into both of these priorities and should be supported. He invited partners to the Next Generation Internet . The NGI initiative respects the values of privacy, participation and human diversity.
presentation went on evaluating the growth of open-source In absolute numbers
and as a market share. How Open source UK is developing a free and open source
platform for health services.
Some interesting points from the various research presentations on open source. What was clear to one researcher was that open source is a very good way of developing skills and collaboration. In terms of training and education there is a lot that can be gained from participants in open source projects.
Interesting elements of discussion came up with regards to transparency legislation on open source had an overwhelming consensus from participants when it came to safety legislation. Panel speakers mentioned recently how there should have been more transparency and openness in the aerospace and automotive sector. With one noting, while he is not a fan of copyleft, but when it comes to automotive and aerospace safety it is a necessity. This necessity will get more interesting when AI gets in the mix. Currently the premise of safety regulation in automotive and aerospace is that code is deterministic, when errors in safety happen you can determine how it happens by tracing the code.
project was presented at a lightning talk at the Free and open source
developers meeting (FOSDEM) in Brussels. FOSDEM is an annual event that takes place
at Université Libre Bruxelles (ULB). Regularly over 8000 attend the event which
is entirely free with no registration.
Open-AE presented a lightning talk on Sunday 02022020. Florian Ruyment the pedagogical coordinator at Maks vzw and Pia Groenewolt, programme officer at ALL DIGITAL. Did the presentation going over the basic of the Open-AE of how it came about, what it is planning to achieve, its role at FOSDEM and its challenges. To be clear the Open-AE project started based on analysis the needs of ALL DIGITAL members. These members are training organisation working with users who are at the lower end of the basic skills. Trainers working in this field need more modular training resources to address specific needs to users, and in particular, modular training resources in free and open technologies and culture to better address the training needs of their end-users under-skilled adults.
FOSDEM was a great opportunity for the project to create a dialogue with developers and others working in the field of promoting digital inclusion using methods of Free and Open source software.
consortium met together for the third time in Geneva. The purpose of this
meeting was to finalise the Open-AE curriculum and toolkit. The meeting took
place in Geneva hosted by Ynternet.org and coincided with the annual TEDx
Geneva event of which Ynternet is an associate partner.
project meeting pursued to deliver the aims of the project but also invite
partners to take part in free and open-source culture. Partners came to Geneva
a day early to attend at the TEDx Geneva event. The TEDx event is based on TED
model (talks on Technology, Education, Design). TEDx events are talks done in
the style of TED but are independent. Similar to TED the speakers must license
their talks under creative commons 4.0. The theme of the TEDx Geneva was on rethinking
power. In addition to the TED talk,
partners had the chance to visit the ecovillage in Grandvaux for dinner. The
ecovillage a project which Ynternet cooperates in.
The Open-AE project developed a curriculum to train efacilitators in free and open-source culture and programmes. The piloting of Open-AE will take place in Spring 2020 and efacilitators from organisations working to reskills and upskills unemployed and underemployed adults. At least 10 efacilitators from each piloting country (Belgium, Italy, Spain and Switzerland) will take part in a 60 hour course on using the open-ae toolkit and slide wiki platform.
The meeting in Geneva was hosted and organised by Ynternet.org. Founded in 1998, Ynternet.org is a Swiss foundation located in Geneva. Since the beginning we have been working to promote eCulture, namely good citizenship practices and digital literacy in the digital age. We are a team of experts, researchers and teachers, who are involved in training centers, international research and innovation programs, events (conferences, workshops, hackathons) and publications. With a strong Free license / software culture and online collaborative attitude, Ynternet.org have at its core values the knowledge sharing, digital native cultures, folksonomy, wikinomy and online collaboration. We are a research and education center promotingan efficient and ethical use of the technology, while having a responsible behaviour in the digital environment.
During the ALL DIGITAL Summit 2019, a few workshops were offered to participants, and one of them was “How to move digital skills training from proprietary technology to open technology”, facilitated by the Open-AE project partners Ynternet and COLECTIC.
The workshop aimed to introduce the culture of free and open source software and understand the cultural discussion to facilitate it:
• FLOSS trends in Europe and the OPEN-AE curriculum • FLOSS culture: Commons, Copyleft and free licenses • Bridging the digital skills gap with FLOSS, challenges and way forward: collaboration, communication and FLOSS tools.
When working with free and open source technologies with new users,
it is important to understand the experience and expectations of the
user. Free and open source technologies often come with impressions from
users, which may not match reality. Many users expect open source to be
complex, that they may need IT skills equivalent of that of a
programmer to use. It is important to understand these expectations and
mitigate them. Free and open source technologies are more than just
technology, platforms, software and hardware, there is a culture behind
it which drives it, and there are more ways to take part in it than just
The workshop used etherpad for collective notetaking.
Etherpad manages how users can take notes, tracking who edited what,
who wrote what, which makes tracking what is and needs to be written
The first part of the discussion involved prompting participants to consider how free and open source technologies can be biased.
Without any prompt to guide the discussion participants were invited to
view a series of pictures and consider the statement that they
provided. The purpose of this discussion was to consider the biases that
exists in open software and free culture and invited the participants
to consider the biases.
The second part of the discussion was a discussion on open education resources and how to apply them to benefit
their community. The main message was that there are many ways to
engage with open culture. It is important not to accept it with all the
biases, but also consider how to change it and engage with the tools and
open resources to benefit your community.
The workshop took place as part of the final event for the Digital Competences Development System (DCDS)project.
The DCDS project developed framework that will provide the low-skilled
adult European population with the basic digital and transversal
competences needed for employment, personal development, social
inclusion and active citizenship. The Open-AE project is mapped to
DigCompEdu and can complete the DCDS project.
Maks is composed of
three services: Maks Digital
encourages children, youth, adults and the elderly; to improve their digital
skills. Maks Work coaches job
seekers in their search for a job through individual counseling, group
sessions, digital- and language courses. Maks
Graphic provides training for long term unemployed in graphic design and
generates qualitative graphic design services to clients from the (non)profit
We are also training low educated job seekers on the work
floor. This way, we are empowering them globally to promote a “wellbeing”,
which will also enhance their chances on the labor market. Maks annually
reaches about 2500 users, the vast majority from disadvantaged groups,
including some 500 job seekers in counseling. Annually, about fifty people take
their first steps with the computer. Maks also organizes fun and educational
digital activities in schools to encourage children and youth to become
producers of ICT rather than only consumers. We train youngsters on steam
Maks recognizes the power of stories. Job seekers and other
vulnerable target groups learn to make their own videos about their life story.
We call this “digital storytelling”, an impact full process in which people
learn to process and express a part of their story or a point of view on a
significant experience. In the same way, we make video CVs with jobseekers, in
which we teach job seekers how to convert their CV into a small movie. Through
these various projects, young and old are confirmed in their self-esteem and
learning capacities, which helps them to find their way in modern society and
in the labor market.
What is the background of Maks vzw in open and free technologies?
Maks work culture and action strategies have always been in
line with the values of the FLOSS culture: we favor the exchange of knowledge,
collaboration and mutual support; based on the resources and motivations of its
active members. MAKS already uses FLOSS tools (for example: Arduino, Scratch,
WordPress,…) but this is not yet a conscious and assumed choice by the whole
organization. We are taking advantage of the OPEN AE project to create
internally a shared, motivated and justified position for the promotion of
FLOSS tools in our digital inclusion activities.
We have two Digital Public Spaces. DPS is a
non-profit public space that offers a public access too initiation and support
for information and communication technologies. This space is equipped with
computers connected to the Internet. Such a space offers its users a variety of
supervised, collective or individual activities in the form of reception,
assistance, training or information. The methods are inclusive, and attempt to
meet the demands and needs of the user.
MAKS has two DPS (1080PC in Molenbeek and OPEN ATELIER 110
in Kuregem) in two vulnerable districts near the Brussels Canal. In concrete
terms, the digital public space is an open door to the needs of the
neighborhood. Above all, it is an inclusive place of welcome, it must be pleasant,
open, available and visible. Anyone can come (children, teenagers, adults,
seniors, job seekers, people from the neighborhood, migrants, the poor, the
In each of our two Open Spaces, there are about fifteen
computers in working order with a good internet connection and courses and
activities; including the necessary human support. Our facilitators help
technically and humanely. The objective is never to do it in the person’s
place, the objective is to give the person the opportunity to learn to
“get by” with digital, with our help if necessary. We aim to develop
The Brussels DPSs are doing a fundamental job in the face of
the rapid development of digital technology (dematerialization of paper media
and online access without human mediation). DPSs want to reduce implicit
exclusion from 15% to 20% of the most vulnerable citizens, who no longer have
access to their fundamental rights (health, housing, administration, education,
employment, social assistance, culture…).
OPEN AE aims to “promote open
technologies in non-formal adult education; to support digital inclusion and
the improvement of digital skills of multimedia animators and their learners”.
For Maks Digital it is an opportunity to train our staff on FLOSS culture and
technologies. We are taking advantage of the dynamics of the OPEN AE project to
move forward on the creation of professional training for multimedia animators
involved in digital inclusion.
The objective is no longer to learn a specific “digital
skill”, but overall to develop a new “meta-skill” allowing the
person to achieve a certain “intuitive digital fluency” (an ability
to manage), allowing the person to benefit from a service that meets their
needs. It is a global empowerment process for active citizenship.
In this perspective we believe that FLOSS technologies
represent an educational opportunity:
-to facilitate free access to useful tools
-to protect our uses from advertising exploitation
-to invest public money in tools with a public code
-to encourage active and responsible citizenship
-to empower the user globally as an actor and not only a
Thanks to the dynamics of the project we hope to internally:
-train our facilitators and better professionalize their
-try to migrate our two digital public spaces to FLOSS.
-allow a conscious choice of collaborative peer-to-peer
In the longer term, the objective is to federate the OPEN AE
training offer with the network of other Digital Public Spaces in Brussels.
Have been created since July 2019 a federation to better share resources
(subsidies, training, visibility, knowledge exchange…). MAKS is one of the
founding members (and in the Board) of CABAN-DIBAC (Collective of Brussels
Actors for Digital Accessibility). We involve several resource persons of the
CABAN-DIBAC network in the creation of the “Pilot Open-AE blended
course”” so that they can take ownership of the project in order to
better adapt it to field needs, to later offer the training modules and the
toolbox via CABAN-DIBAC to all multimedia animators of the other Digital Public
Spaces in Brussels.
Colectic (formerly known as El Teb) is a non-profit
cooperative that works for the inclusion, autonomy and empowerment of people
and communities in the social, labour and technological fields. We understand
and use technology as a tool for participation and social transformation. We
work to promote universal access to ICT, by training and accompanying groups,
social organizations and organizations from the Social and Solidarity Economy.
What is the background of colectic in open and free technologies?
that the technology is a just a tool -a very good one- to promote autonomy and
help people to be empowered; that’s why we work to promote universal access to
ICT by providing training opportunities and accompanying social groups and
organizations within the use of the technological services, tools and sources,
and to be able to develop their own potential.
We work into
the social and solidarity economy (the opposite to the private and governed by
capitalist logics one) and, as a consequence, we’re committed to encourage
citizens to be creative and not just consumers
of technology, to be capable of manage the sources they need to find
answers to their own needs and motivations. We promote FLOSS, open software and
hardware, because we believe that technology must be a common good, guaranteed
and non-exclusive in the knowledge society.
sense, Colectic offers and favours learning spaces in groups, in the community,
and in the exploration of this type of technologies (such as our digital
laboratory RavalFab -where people learn to learn how to do digital
manufacturing or our Omnia Room -a computers room that we dedicate to digital literacy). We not
only do it in our territory, the Raval neighborhood of the city of Barcelona,
but we also do an important job advising, training and providing technical
assistance to telecentre networks (digital training centres), and especially to
the profiles of the decision makers of the local and regional administrations
and to digital facilitators and trainers.
Can you highlight any projects or initiatives your organisation has done
in open culture or free software? How do you see your organisation contributing
to the open movement?
offering learning spaces and consulting, advise and assessment, we have
performed different migrations of computer’s operating system (from private
networks of computers to open software network of computers), websites,
productivity programs, etc. We have a long trajectory of accompaniment in the
migration to free program to social entities too.
also co-organize the TecnoFESC (a fair) an space where you can
find the main entities, cooperatives and companies that work in the
technological world from a point of view of solidarity economy. Through TecnoFESC you can learn to promote
open, free and neutral telecommunications, sustainable management and
revaluation of computer equipment and public procurement responsible for
electronic equipment to improve working conditions in producing countries. You
will also find providers of technological services of the social and solidarity
economy and drivers of technological pro-communication and will include the
strategic use of telecommunications for the development of social justice. If
you’re at Barcelona from 25 to 27 October 2019, you will be very welcome.
What challenges with integrating free software and open source in the
training of low-skills adults came up in your research?
focus group participants in the OPEN-AE project are people who are specially
sensitized to the use of open technologies and open resources. In the focus
group challenges emerged and were discussed on how to integrate open source and
free technologies in the trianings of low skilled adults. The trainers are
considered to be part of a group of privileged people who, through individual
and self-directed learning strategies, have accessed a set of relevant
knowledge in this environment. They promote and use this type of resources intensively.
participants are aware that, to this day, the Catalan telecentre network
(formed by more than 400 centres, more than half of them based on the exclusive
use of the free and open software) uses free software for training. However,
they are sceptical about the adherence of their colleagues and, especially, of
the people in charge (management staff of the centres and telecentre networks
project management staff) of the training centres.
opinion, companies, citizens and administration are very reluctant to adopt
this type of open software and open educational resources.
necessary to generate a good curriculum based on open technologies and
resources and generate strategies to keep it updated on a permanent basis, to
avoid that the curriculum becomes obsolete with the passage of time.
On the other
hand, they consider it is necessary the curriculum to be complete (include
resources for all areas of competences) and that it must be accompanied by a
guide of recommendations for its adoption. Especially institutions and
governments should find it easy to implement.
What do you hope from the open-ae project?
We hope we
will find an easy path to help people, collectives and governments to use and
promote FLOSS. Building an international community will help, for sure.