Ending ISTE 2011 listening to Steve Hargadon speak on open source brought me home. Steve said 20 years ago at ISTE teachers used to swap disks and programs because that’s the way it was. I remember those days well. That was the day of Al Rogers, FredWriter, Apple II & IIe. There was an altruism among teachers and tech coordinators. That’s been supplanted in many cases by vendors hawking their wares. There are still some like Apple, Microsoft, & Google who provide free services but for most vendors schools are markets to be monetized.
That is why I find open source so refreshing. I’m an entrepreneur and enjoy the fruits of success but I try to put people first. I do a lot of pro bono work and open source figures into that model well. I regularly use open source and recommend it. Why not use Open Office? I wrote all my papers in a recently completed masters degree with OpenOffice.org. I blog on WordPress, teach students using Moodle, build other websites with Drupal. I use Ubuntu and recommend it to my students. It has so many free tools and as Steve Hargaddon said in his talk ISTE a student can get a job right out of high school with a working knowledge of PHP, MySQL & Apache. I saw a billboard advertisement yesterday from Hostgator.com looking for people with Linux experience. Just sayin.