Tag Archives: open source


Are You on Mastodon Yet? Social Network of Our Own

Mastodon homepage

Have you heard of Mastodon.social? Several of the edtech/digped people started appearing there over Thanksgiving weekend, thanks in part to this article, touting Mastodon as the open source alternative to Twitter. According to their “About” page:

“Mastodon is a free, open-source social network server. A decentralized alternative to commercial platforms, it avoids the risks of a single company monopolizing your communication. Anyone can run Mastodon and participate in the social network seamle…


Open Source Assignments for Non-Programming Classes


I’ve been flirting with the idea of asking students in my Educational Game Design module to make their projects “open source”.

I am  wary of the way non-computer scientists use the term “open source”. I often hear people mistakenly refer to free software as “open source”, when its code is not at all open source. I have also heard people in open education talk about how we can learn from open source, but I always felt cautious about this because the contexts are usually different.

The idea of op…


What I Like About Hypothes.is

Annotations in a book

Some of us have written on web annotation here on ProfHacker (see Lee’s post last May and the comment thread).

Whenever people have encouraged me to use Hypothes.is for web annotation, my first question had always been, “so how is it different from Diigo?” and Google didn’t seem to have an answer to that (some of us should probably do the world a favor and update the outdated wikipedia page comparing web annotation tools). I recently found a very good use for it, and started testing it, and dis…


Micropatronage through the Open Company Gittip

No no. Thank you!

The internet is full of people creating amazing things and getting very little monetary compensation in return. Though they will probably always trail behind in number, there are also many of us out there who would love to give a little back. A guest posting here by Courtney Danforth has introduced some of the many ways to give, and both Jason and George have talked about crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter that bring support for proposed new projects to a new scale.

If crowdfunding is larg…


Build Your Own Academic Community with Commons in a Box

Playground slide and laddersBefore I finished grad school, I took a month-long seminar on teaching with technology. Among other things, we talked about how to build an “interactive syllabus” using that Tool of Tools: Dreamweaver. I seem to recall the instructional design team spending  two hours talking about how to format tables correctly in order to assure we got proper alignment. Fast-forward a few years, and I almost never build a web page from scratch. Instead, I use blogs in almost all of my classes: it’s a much simp…


Git a Fork in My Syllabus, It’s Done

Beautiful Fork

Last month at the annual Computers and Writing Conference, I participated on a roundtable about the role of computational literacy in the field—and in the humanities more generally. One of the points I made during the wide-ranging discussion (and on the backchannel as well) is that world of software development can provide humanists with “actionable metaphors.” I had in mind the collaborative nature of open source code, as well as the necessary emphasis in programming on revision, both exem…


Goodbye to Google Wave


In August 2010, Google announced it would be shutting down Google Wave, the real-time collaborative environment that was supposed to solve the problems that plague email as a platform for getting things done.

Google Wave never gained traction, however. Whether its interface didn’t hit the sweet spot of innovation and usability, or people are simply too wedded to existing forms of electronic communication, it’s difficult to say. Happily, some of Wave’s best features have been integrated in…


Easy Access to Zotero PDFs with Qnotero

qnoteroIf it seems like we’ve been on a Zotero kick here on ProfHacker lately, it’s because, well, we have. Now that Zotero has an open API that developers can tap into, the Zotero ecosystem is growing in exciting ways. Today I want to introduce a small app that doesn’t require API access yet can really speed up how you use this Zotero: the free and open-source Qnotero.

Developed by Sebastiaan Mathôt, Qnotero runs in your Mac, Windows, or Linux system tray and provides lightning fast access to your Zot…


Google Summer of Code 2011

Starting today, students may apply for Google Summer of Code (GSoC) 2011: applications must be submitted by no later than April 8.

As Jason wrote last year, GSoC is a great opportunity for students to gain experience–and get paid–”working with real-world software development teams and organizations” on open-source projects. According to Google, since 2005 “the program has brought together over 4,500 students and more than more than 4,000 mentors & co-mentors from over 85 countries worldwide.”



Weekend Reading: Happy Birthday to Wikis Edition

Robots like cake

March 25 is the anniversary of the first public wiki site. (Unless maybe it’s not.) Developed by design patterns in programming,

Cunningham makes no claim about the originality of the wiki platform, arguing modestly instead that it “is valuable simply because it was born widely deployed.” Having said that, by bringing together the key components of dead-simple editing (1) that’s available to all (2), plus a body of authors…