Charlie Reisinger

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Does Open Source Boost Mental Health?

Open source is as much a philosophy of living as it is a method of creating software. Part of this philosophy is that everything designed by the human mind is improvable. This is a hopeful philosophy and in some cases an intoxicatingly hopeful philosophy. Open source practitioners spend no time worrying about what cannot be done. All of their mental energies attune to what can be done. If you love open source, you live in a constant state of wondering. You delight in the fact that you need not worry about the barriers between what you hope can be built and what can actually be built. Read More »

Open Education: There Isn't an App for That

Open source software has saved my district-Penn Manor School District in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania-more than a million dollars on its technology budget. But more importantly, making a deliberate and concerted effort to infuse open principles and practices into our learning environments has cultivated a vibrant and inclusive learning community that cuts across the school. And as a result, student success has exceeded our expectations. But how do schools put open ideas into practice to foster future innovators and leaders? It's not as simple as installing Linux on 4,000 student laptops, holding hands, and singing the alma mater in the high school cafeteria.

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Open Is the Solution to Improving 21st Century Education

Much of the Internet runs Linux and open source software, yet in most of our schools—whether PK-12 or higher education—Linux and open source software are given short shrift. Linux has made serious inroads on hand-held devices, the desktop, and the Internet of things (IoT) that use platforms such as Raspberry Pi, Galileo, and Arduino. Despite this astounding growth, a relatively small number of secondary and post-secondary schools offer technology training that prepares students for increasingly in-demand technical skills. The growth of the maker movement and the concurrent interest in STEM skills, which include coding and ethical hacking, may provide a much-needed impetus to change this trend. The problem for most schools is finding the mentors and exemplars of this paradigm...

Why Public Libraries Need to Support Open Source

People turn to public libraries for answers, and a lot of times libraries are superb at providing them. But when it comes to providing answers about open source, libraries have an uneven track record. What can we do to make this better so that more people can turn to their public library to learn about open source software, hardware, and principles? Right now, if you walked into my public library and pelted me with questions about open source—like, "What is it?" "How does it work?" "How can I use open source?"—I'd rattle off answers so fast you'd be walking out with a new tool or technology under your belt. Open source is a big world, so of course there are some things I don't know, but guess what?...