The Open Source movement is not monolithic. It would actually be a great irony if it were. Positions in favor of Open vary widely, from a pragmatic strategy to a Richard Stallman-like ideology that permeates every aspect of the activist’s life. Everyone is welcome, even if they take unduly advantage of all the free wonders the movement can offer.
But after all is said and done, Open can always mean one thing: Possibility. So when students are taking advantage of Open Source software, it might be a good idea to let them know as much. After all, proprietary software companies routinely target the young.
And just as there are many positions in favor of Open Source technologies, the messages in favor of Open targeting the young (or first-time users) can take many forms. One of the most interesting comes courtesy of Pál Csányi, Serbian Moodler. He helped build the documentation to set up Moodle in the Open Hardware computer Raspberri Pi, which should reinforce the possibilities of free tools and systems in a more hands-on example.
The process is not a walk in the park. One of the distinguishing traits of Open is the learning curve, given the many choices the user will be in the position to make. However, to compensate, Open Source technologies also have distinct community cohesiveness. Moodle is a perfect example: Forums, articles, tutorials and guides abound, and for those of us with nothing but eagerness and time can find a way to sort any issue that comes in the way.
Such was the case for Csányi. After hours, if not days of trial and error, and a couple of guardian angels, he shares his experiences and code that would help anyone set up Moodle on a Raspberri Pi. Which also happens to be one of the most curious, smallest, affordable computers around.
Following the guide would end up in a full Moodle site that you can carry in your pocket. But hopefully something more: An appreciation of the alternatives that Open source represent in a world where digital rights become more relevant, and more threatened at once.
The guide was last updated for Moodle 3.3 but the process should remain the same for the latest Moodle version.
This Moodle Practice related post is made possible by: eThink Education, a Certified Moodle Partner that provides a fully-managed Moodle experience including implementation, integration, cloud-hosting, and management services. To learn more about eThink, click here.