Category Archives: open source

Cursos Online Gratuitos da Universidade de Stanford – Primeiro Semestre de 2012


Varias universidades no mundo todo têm disponibilizado seus cursos gratuitamente na Internet em diversos formatos ao longo dos anos. Um formato muito popular é o de podcasts no iTunesU ou palestras em vídeo no Youtube. Veja, por exemplo, esta vasta lista de “conteudo livre” ofertado por grandes universidades. Yale, por exemplo, disponibilizou várias palestras passadas em seu site “Open Yale“. A Open Uninversity (Universidade Aberta) permite que estudantes “experimentem” materiais de certos cursos gratuitamente em sua página de recursos OpenLearn.

Frequentemente, esses cursos não são nada mais que vídeos pré-gravados e elementos de áudio (não cursos completos e interativos) tornados públicos pelas universidades como uma forma de extensão comunitária (o que já é otimo, não me interpretem mal).

No entanto, a Stanford University está abrindo novos horizontes com seus cursos abertos online. Qualquer um (desde que compreenda os pré-requisitos recomendados) pode se inscrever em alguns de seus cursos online (gratuitamente) que ocorrerão durante o primeiro semestre de 2012. Os cursos consistem de palestras ao vivo (que também poderão ser acessadas posteriormente em um arquivo), questionários, e fóruns online nos quais os alunos poderão fazer perguntas.

A lista atual do primeiro semestre de 2012  inclue cursos sobre uma variedade eclética de assuntos que vão desde a Ciência da Computação, à Teoria dos Jogos, de Anatomia à Lingüística:

 

[Cursos em inglês - tradução livre de títulos]

Ciência da Computação 101
por Nick Parlante

http://cs101-class.org

Engenharia de Software para “Software as a Service” (SAAS)
por Armando Fox e David Patterson

http://saas-class.org/

Teoria de Jogos
por Mathew O. Jackson e Shoham Yoav

http://game-theory-class.org

Processamento de Linguagem Natural
por Dan Jurafsky e Christopher Manning

http://nlp-class.org

Modelos Gráficos Probabilísticos
por Daphne Koller

http://pgm-class.org/

Interfaces Humano-Computador
por Scott Klemmer

http://hci-class.org/

Aprendizado de Máquina
por Andrew Ng

http://jan2012.ml-class.org/

Empreendedorismo Tecnológico
por Chuck Eesley

http://entrepreneur-class.org/

O Lançamento Rápido (Empreendedorismo Rápido)
por Steve Blank

http://launchpad-class.org/

Criptografia
pelo professor Dan Boneh

http://crypto-class.org/

Teoria da Informação
por Tsachy (Itschak) Weissman

http://infotheory-class.org/

Anatomia
pelo Dr. Sakti Sirivastava

http://anatomy-class.org/

Projeto e Análise de Algoritmos I
por Tim Roughgarden

http://algo-class.org/

Construindo Edifícios Ecologicamente Amigáveis
pelo professor Martin Fischer

http://greenbuilding-class.org/

””

 

=======

Lista adaptada do blog Aurora Rohan.

5 Free Online Visual Dictionary and Thesaurus Applications


Sometimes, when I need some inspiration and ideas for words to use in a project, I take the visual route and consult a “visual thesaurus”.

These handy Web applications can help you quickly find new words for a concept you’re working with, visualize its relationship with other words, and, of course, amplify your vocabulary and aid you in avoiding repetition, replication, redundancy, and echolalia, et &…

Here are a few online visual thesaurus applications that are free to use:

SnappyWords -Soon to have its open source code available for the public, SnappyWords can came in handy when you want to share a word’s connections with others: each entry has a unique search entry URL that takes users straight to its visual “network map”. This service also provides a built-in hover-over dictionary (when you hover over each word’s node, of course).

VisuWords -Very similar to SnappyWords, this application doesn’t seem to allow direct linking to specific words. Built-in dictionary.

WordVis - This simple visual thesaurus lets you filter words by different parts of speech and categories. Once again, no direct hyperlinking to specific words is provided. Built-in dictionary.

 

GraphWords – This visual thesaurus has handy (am I using the word “handy” too often in this post?), I meant “commodious” social media sharing buttons for quickly sharing your word maps with friends on Facebook and Twitter. Unlike the previous services on this list, GraphWords has a drawback: no built-in dictionary is provided.

Merriam-Webster’s Visual Dictionary – This is a typical illustrated dictionary. Illustrations are available in different categories. The search mechanism (custom Google search) isn’t very effective, but the illustration work is quite comprehensive.

 

 

Free Language Learning Resources – KDE


For those looking for free language learning software, there’s always the online Rosetta Stone alternatives with a twist of collaborative learning such as: LiveMocha, Babbel, MangoLanguages, Bussu, and others (which I will discuss in another post).

For those who don’t care so much about the “practicing with a community’” part of it and just want to practice some vocabulary on their own, at the comfort of their desktop, you should try playing with the KDE.edu language learning tools. These tools are free to use and open source (as in freedom). They also count on a large community of users and entities (such as Vox Humanitatis) who create modules for them which are also free to download. The amount of languages covered by the materials is vast.

Parley (a vocabulary trainer) seems to be the most comprehensive of the tools on KDE.edu’s language learning page. It uses spaced repetition as it main guiding principle, a technique which is quite effective for learning concepts and storing them in the long term memory.

===========================================================================================

 

Para aqueles à procura de software grátis e livre para o aprendizado de línguas, há várias alternativas para o Rosetta Stone online  com um “quê”de  aprendizado colaborativo como: LiveMocha, Babbel, MangoLanguages, Bussu, e outros (os quais discutirei em outros posts).

Para aqueles que não se importam tanto com os aspecto de “prática com a comunidade’”  e simplesmente querem praticar vocabulário sozinho, no comforto do seu PC, experimente as ferramentas de prática de vocabulário do projeto KDE.edu language. Essas ferramentas são grátis e de código aberto. Além do mais, o projeto conta com uma grande comunidade de usuários e entidades  (como a Vox Humanitatis) que criam módulos para as ferramentas (que também são grátis para se baixar). A quantidade de línguas abordadas pelos materiais é vasta.

Parley (uma ferramenta de treinamento de vocabulário) me parece ser a ferramenta mais compreensiva do KDE.edu. O Parley usa o conceito de repetição espaçada como seu princípio fundamental, uma técnica bem eficaz em aprendizado de conceitos que preza o armazenamento de informação na memória de longo.

Google Launches Its Own Open Source Learning Platform – CloudCourse


In an arena dominated by Moodle, Google launches its own open source learning platform: CloudCourse.

According to the blog “Open Source at Google”, the application was released with the intention of driving developers to develop Web applications with Google’s App Engine. The team encourages developers to look into the source code to find out how specific Web application development challenges were overcome. The team of developers at Google hopes CloudCourse to become a sort of poster child for App Engine.

But what can CloudCourse do? According to the developers:

Built entirely on App Engine, CloudCourse allows anyone to create and track learning activities. CloudCourse also offers calendaring, waitlist management and approval features.

CloudCourse is fully integrated with Google Calendar and can be further customized for your organization with the following service provider interfaces (replaceable components):

  • Sync service – to sync CloudCourse data with your internal systems
  • Room info service – to schedule classes in your locations
  • User info service – to look up user profile (employee title, picture, etc)

The technologies used to develop CloudCourse are: App Engine, Django, Python and the Closure Javascript library. According to the team that developed it: should be a breeze to install…

Let me know (in the comments here) what your experience is like if you do try to use ClourCourse.

Finding Alternatives to Software and Websites You Need


People often ask me how I know so many different tools and website off the top of my head. Normally, when someone says they have a problem I feel compelled to ask them if they know “such and such tool” right away. For one thing, I love gadgets, tools, websites. The useful kind, that is. Secondly, I love to stay in touch with the latest in technology. In order to do that, I often try new sites, sign up for betas, and visit sites that aggregate news and lists of tools and useful websites.

Here is a short list with some websites I visit regularly just by curiosity or when a need arises (e.g. “I need a free alternative to software [such]“).

Alternativeto.net – This website lists software (and web applications) that are similar to other resources you may know. For instance. if you are interested in an alternative to Photoshop, you can search for Photoshop on the website’s main page and be redirected to a list of similar tools, all tagged with relevant keywords. Each tool you decide to find out more about has its own page with:

  • links to the developer’s website for downloads and documentation
  • feature set
  • platform (Windows, Linux, Mac, Web),
  • community ratings,
  • comments by other users that have the software,
  • whether it is open source, commercial, or free of charge.

See this sample search for Photoshop.

Similarsites.com – The name says it all: Similarsites lets you find alternatives to websites you already know. The search results and information provided here are by far less comprehensive than what’s seen on Alternativeto. However, it does provide a quite accurate list with links to sites that are similar to the one you searched for in their database.

osalt.com – osalt lets you search for open source alternatives to commercial software you may know, and vice-versa.

Go2Web20.net – This website is a great aggregator for Web applications. The search is very comprehensive with very well-delimited tags. Even though the name is a bit dated with the “2.0″ designation there, their are constantly adding new websites to their database.

Listio.com – Very similar to Go2Web20, Listio keeps an excellent list of Websites and Web applications. The difference here is that Listio is more community-run. À la Digg, people post, vote, and comment about websites they find useful. When you find a Website you like, Listio shows you a list of similar ones.

KillerStartups – Another community-submitted, community-voted list of useful Websites and Web applications.

 

Tip: you can also just do a Google search with the name of a tool or website you know + “alternative.” For instance: photoshop alternative.

 

 

Open Books and TextBooks Online, Free


Taking after the movement of open source (free – as in freedom) software development, knowledge and information has also been “open sourced” (and crowdsourced) as new Web technologies allow for flexibility and ease of online collaboration in generating content.

Textbooks are now on the same route and here are a few interesting resources for those who are tired of paying absurd prices for academia content out there. Let’s t get all of our mind and expertise together and share knowledge more wisely than the good ol’ authoritative knowledge consumption models allow us to…

Question: Why don’t more experts and professors join the trend of open books?


WikiBooks – From the same company that maintains WikiPedia, this is an incredible collection of open books in any subject imaginable. Worthwhile.

Flat World Knowledge - This website’s goal is to share quality, peer-reviewed books in many areas of expertise. The idea is that faculty will publish the books under the Creative Commons license and allow students to access tailored, good quality content without having to pay the (sometimes) outrageous prices for textbooks. They already have some interesting content up. From their site, we have their definition of an open book: “It is a great book by a great author, peer-reviewed, professionally edited & developed, and published under a Creative Commons license. Faculty may tailor the book to their needs. Students may access the book free online or buy an affordable print, audio, or handheld format. Students get choice; faculty get control; authors earn rapid market share, greater royalties over time, and do some good!”

Open Book Project - They still don’t have much in their collection of books. But here is what they aim to accomplish and I hope they succeed: “The Open Book Project is aimed at the educational community and seeks to encourage and coordinate collaboration among students and teachers for the development of high quality, freely distributable textbooks and educational materials on a wide range of topics.”

TextBook Revolution – This site’s mission on their frontpage says it all: “Our approach is to bring all of the free textbooks we can find together in one place, review them, and let the best rise to the top and find their way into the hands of students in classrooms around the world.”

DimDim Webconferencing


DimDim just released their 4.0 version that has more features and is more compatible with Mac computers (including desktop sharing). The free version includes hosting and scheduling meetings for up to 20 participants and 3 participants plus the host can have active mics at the same time.

They also have an open source version for developers… so, if you’d like to run your own DimDim locally, there you go…

Microsoft Doesn’t Believe in Open Source Virtual Worlds


As seen in this article from PC Magazine reported by ITExaminer, Microsoft (via Craig Mundie) doesn’t seem to believe in Open Source virtual worlds such as Second Life.

While I agree that (open) virtual worlds are still very limited, I believe in the potential of such environments on a long term basis and I don’t think that users should be discouraged to go in and experiment with them. If the first attempts at playing with DOS had been discouraged, Microsoft wouldn’t be making billions with Windows and their other products  ;)

When we discuss Education it gets even more serious since, in general, the education sector can’t afford expensive closed technologies and have to experiment with open source and free (of charge) ones. Open virtual worlds also offer the opportunity of easy creation of custom worlds and enforce the sense of community and collaboration which most avant-guarde educators believe in now.

So, Microsoft, let’s not discard Virtual Worlds just yet, no one said they were perfect. ;)

Open Source Alternatives to Web 2.0 Services On Your Local Server


Read this document on Scribd: Open Source ReadWrite Web Alternatives

Please visit the link above and give me your feedback in the “comments” below. Thank you. :)

%d bloggers like this: