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How A Canadian School District Is Building Its Own Open-Source Software

BY Sam Roudman | Wednesday, March 6 2013

Archaic education technology. Photo: roger4336 / Flickr

Exclusively for Personal Democracy Plus subscribers: With around 8,000 full time students, the Saanich School District, north of Victoria, B.C., is not what anyone would call large. This hasn’t stopped its IT team from pursuing the ambitious goal of developing an open-source system for student records, openStudent. District officials believe openStudent could expand to cover all 600,000 students in British Columbia, and many more in the United States, at one-tenth the price of a commercial system. Read More


For Afghan Women, Bright Screens and Uncertain Futures in Mobile Learning Effort

BY Naheed Mustafa | Wednesday, December 12 2012

Literacy program for Afghan women (credit: Aga Khan Foundation/ Sandra Calligaro)

Mobile phones are in the hands of about 15 million Afghans and some 85 percent of the population lives in a part of the country with network coverage. Given high mobile penetration and low literacy levels for women, the Paiwastoon Networking Services recently developed the Ustad Mobil literacy program using $80, 000 in U.S. aid money. But while the project's initiators are no doubt well intentioned, they have not taken into account obstacles resulting from local culture and custom. Read More

Missouri Lawmakers Take a Step Back on 'Facebook Law'

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, September 13 2011

The Missouri Senate has given initial approval to a revision of that state's so-called "Facebook Law" that rolls back a measure prohibiting teachers from having private online communications with students, the Associated ... Read More

Judge Blocks Missouri 'Facebook Law' From Taking Effect, AP Reports

BY Nick Judd | Friday, August 26 2011

A new Missouri law banning private conversations between teachers and students has been blocked from taking effect, the Associated Press reports: The law limiting teacher-student conversations through social networking ... Read More

'Facebook Law' Violates Rights, Missouri Teachers Argue In Lawsuit

BY Nick Judd | Monday, August 22 2011

The Missouri State Teachers Association filed a lawsuit Friday that argues a new Missouri law, banning private communication between teachers and students on social media, violates free speech and other rights, Reuters ... Read More

Teachers Say Missouri 'Facebook Law' Stops Them From Doing Their Jobs

BY Nick Judd | Friday, August 5 2011

Missouri teachers are up in arms about a new state law that prohibits them from connecting with students on social networks: The new law forbids teachers from having "exclusive access" online with current students or ... Read More

Lawmakers Say State-Sponsored Sex Ed Website Talks Dirty

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, April 28 2011

Some Massachusetts lawmakers apparently think the state has crossed the line in using the Internet for sexual education by supporting a website about sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and HIV that is targeted to teens. ... Read More

Obama Puts Dollars Behind Open-Sourcing Education

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, January 21 2011

Lansing Community College; photo credit: Kevin Yezbick. Read More

Big Yellow Hot Spots

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, February 12 2010

Credit: GreenWhiteOrange Read More