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Bit Project

The Value of an Open Source Technical Education Community

kfan19 profile image kfan19 Updated on ・4 min read

What is open source technical education?

Open-source software is “software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance." It allows anyone with a computer to view code that makes up websites, programs, games, and more. Yet, open source is more than just publicly available code. It creates community-based project collaboration and allows students to learn information through hands-on experiences. At Bit Project, our mission is to give students the resources they need to learn about technology. Our educational philosophy aspires to create materials that are open source and easily accessible to anyone in pursuit of a technical education.

Who does it help?

Open source technical education benefits anyone who wants to learn more about software. Four years of university is just a step into the future, and, as many know, our education never stops. Open source education can help students too young to be in college, those that do not plan to go to university, people with no technical background, or people out of college that are committed to active learning. Chris Werry, from “The Work of Education in the Age of E-College,” writes that “the Internet is allowing entrepreneurial companies" (like Bit Project!) "to unbundle learning services" from expensive campus institutions and, instead, bring them to a variety of different people.

Open source creates a global platform for those interested in technology and is a beneficial and successful modern tool. The availability of free educational resources gives everyone the chance to tap into new interests or deepen their skills.

Open source education and Bit Project

At Bit Project, we put all of our curated resources and educational materials on our website and Github for free. Our organization aims to introduce students to open source and give them the tools to contribute to other open source projects. Open source education enhances our mission to create materials that are "decentralized, free from restrictions, and transparent." Our goal is to promote active learning and foster educational creativity.

Bit Project’s technical developer advocates help build classroom curricula. We make available any source code from blog tutorials, educational videos, and more. As opposed to Codecademy or Khan Academy, our organization is notable because it updates quicker than other conventional platforms. Online education has streamlined the knowledge-to-student pathway. Without administrative work hindering the educational experience, teachers and students can be more involved in the learning process. At Bit Project, we regularly measure feedback on the organization, and always desire to improve our work. As students engage with Bit Project, our aim is that they will learn from the content, and then come back with skills to improve the content.

Bit Project and the democratization of knowledge

Bit Project is a named non-profit that strives to further the social cause of technical education and provide a public benefit. In doing this, it creates an engaging and transparent education community. When open source education is free, it widens the reach of its impact and allows anyone, no matter their circumstances, to utilize our academic materials. We work to support underrepresented communities in technology, so that they can use our resources to get ahead in STEM-related areas of study.

With educational knowledge, Bit Project believes that open source is always worth considering. Everyone should have an equal chance to succeed: "Those of us in the technology industry have an obligation to create better educational materials to help level the playing field," said Kyle Begovich, the Director of Developer Relations at Bit Project. Likewise, open source education is a social experience that encourages community building and commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Opportunities and helpful resources

Open source technical education is valuable because it is available to anyone, and allows our educational materials to be thoughtfully adjusted by the community. Not only can it help start the educational process, but it gives students the skills to take advantage of remarkable online information. For example, GitHub recently published the code for the moon lander, Apollo 11, on its website. It’s lauded as a unique time capsule and a historical testament of human ingenuity. The ability to view, and accurately read, this code is achievable to anyone interested.

Bit Project is passionate about distributing living textbooks, courses, and tools that are accessible to all people. Technology education is a contemporary area of study that restructures education to create free, student-centered learning. Our organization educates students about software and gives them the freedom to utilize our open source materials, benefitting both their learning and the strength of our resources.

Sources

  1. "What is Open Source?" https://opensource.com/resources/what-open-source
  2. Werry, Chris. “The Work of Education in the Age of E-College” https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S875546150200110X
  3. Bit Project Open Source Educational Philosophy. https://www.bitproject.org/curriculum
  4. Lakhan, Shaheen. “Open Source Software in Education". https://er.educause.edu/articles/2008/5/open-source-software-in-education
  5. Collins, Keith. "The code that took America to the moon was just published to GitHub, and it’s like a 1960s time capsule." https://qz.com/726338/the-code-that-took-america-to-the-moon-was-just-published-to-github-and-its-like-a-1960s-time-capsule/

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