Open for Social

TitleOpen for Social
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsLaffey, J, Schmidt, M, Amelung, C
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary TitleInternational Journal of Open Source Software and Processes
Pagination49 - 64
ISSN Number1942-3934

Online learning in K-12 and higher education has been growing rapidly, and open source software has the potential to improve the quality of e-learning. This paper describes how FOSS enables turning e-learning from a potentially restrictive framing of the education experience to an emergent and social experience. The authors identify several key elements of the FOSS model that position open source initiatives to contribute to the emergent and social nature of experience in e-learning. The authors also describe several challenges to developing FOSS in a community of educators for e-learning. These elements and challenges are illustrated in a brief case report about the development of an open source software system called Context-aware Activity Notification System (CANS). CANS ( is a notification system that integrates with collaborative work and learning systems and is designed around the importance of awareness of user activity, a user's social context and personal notification preferences.

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