Free Software Case Studies/Activities

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Generic learning activities which use free software case studies.

Group Activity: Free Software Best Practices

  • Each participant to peruse the lists of case studies
  • Select one each
  • Convene a group discussion
  • Each participant to present their selected case study and key insights
  • Which insights apply to all case studies (or have wide applicability)?
  • Which are case-study-specific?
  • Write a one page "Best Practices" "Dos and Don'ts" for free software adoption/migration based on the discussion
    • Use a wiki and link to it from WikiEducator under Resources.
  • For every case study and example of "free software" ask yourself whether it is a better example of "open source" or "free/libre" software. The answer depends on whether its existence or adoption is philosophically/ethically motivated (free/libre software) or purely pragmatic (open source). The answer might be both.

Write a Case Study

A project activity for individual students or small groups.

Hint: browse the Resources for ideas on how to go about it.

Add a link to your case study under Case Studies.

Case Study Update Consideration

Contexts change after case studies have been written. These changes raise interesting questions. The following is an example of a learning activity when this happens.

Sun MicroSystems Update

This case study <check link> was written before Oracle acquired Sun MicroSystems. In what ways might Sun's involvement with free software have contributed to this acquisition? What are the implications for the free software and open standards projects managed by Sun MicroSystems? Write down any questions which spring to mind and seek answers via peers, lecturers, the Internet, etc.

Synthesise your discussions (e.g. on a wiki page) indicating key questions raised and tentative answers. Consider whether it is time to update the case study.

Group Activity: Free Software Across Continents and the Digital Divide

Each participant presents a case study from a different region of the world. Choose contrasting situations.

Discuss the commonalities and differences in terms of the issues and challenges raised in the case studies.

Synthesise the discussion and post a summary on WikiEducator or your institution's wiki, etc. (cross-reference).

See Resources and the Case Studies list to find case studies to use.

Educational Innovation

  • Discuss: The New Zealand schools case studies include a common section on education in New Zealand highlighting progressiveness and innovation in the country. Given the explanation offered for this, what do you expect in terms of innovation in developing countries?[1]

Practical Exercises/ Projects

See Also

  1. See case studies on Warrington School, Albany Senior High School and SchoolNet Namibia.