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Open Source in Education

Posted by simstu on July 14, 2004 at 8:03 AM PDT

Java is taking the lead in education
systems development. It's easy to build and deploy fairly
sophisticated applications that can be well supported. Another reason
for choosing Java is its flexibility with respect to frameworks.
Frameworks are important in education systems and particularly
eLearning because the functional models the systems are trying to
address are unknown. How can you design a s system to support the
teaching of all things to all people? Frameworks are a start and Java
has a huge advantage in J2EE and it's support of Web Services and
Service Oriented Architectures.

We'll discuss more on frameworks in the
JELC so stay tuned.

Open Source Java tools in support
of education are coming fast and furious and it's a great thing to
see. As an architect developer of enterprise software for the
community, it has been a long time coming. The commercial vendors
have long ignored this important sector which has in fact driven it
to adopt the open source community.

There is a mix of full blown J2EE deloyments on JBOSS to JSP Web Applications in tomcat. What's nice is that communities are beginning to share code and libraries like never before .

The two biggest initiatives to hit the education world in terms of interoperability and reuse are OKI and SAKAI - and they'be both Java Frameworks.

Reload,
the Open source editor that is
quickly becoming the defacto IMS content
package checker for learning
content interoperability. It shows how a fairly simple tool can go a
long way in support of it's community.

The href="http://www.adlnet.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=scormabt">Shareable
Courseware Object
Reference Model (SCORM) tools from the adlnet website are all
written
in Java for cross platform deployment. After all these specifications
are about adoption by the widest audience.

I've just discovered the href="http://www.coppercore.org/">CopperCore
project to implement the IMS Learning Design specification in a run
time engine. Very Cool!