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Tue Jul 13 10:16:35 UTC 2010


Permanent link: http://ftacademy.eu/announce/8

FTA Announcement #8: scholarships, FTA community, new books and tools
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1. New FTA materials
2. FTA Scholarships for September
3. Annotation-tools and feedback
4. FTA Community Portal
5. Obtaining an official Master's degree
6. Print on Demand service for FTA course books
7. FTA Certificates

=3D=3D 1. New FTA materials =3D=3D

The FTA is proud to announce the availability of two new coursebooks,
both under a free Copyleft license: "Open Networks" and "Legal aspects
of the Information Society".

"Open Networks" is part of the module "Network Technologies" and was
written by Enric Peig Oliv=E9. This coursebook explores the different
aspects of open technologies that are at the foundations of modern
computer networks. The Internet is built on top of open protocols and
open standards.

In this context, "open" means the opposite of "private". Private
networks are those which belong to companies or institutions who impose
restrictions on users who join them. Open networks do not belong to
anybody because the devices they use are made available by the members
of the community.

You can get a copy of the coursebook here:
http://ftacademy.org/materials/fsm/3#1


"Legal Aspects of the Information Society" is the title of the second
coursebook we have recently published. Its authors are Malcolm Bain,
Manuel Gallego, Manuel Mart=EDnez Ribas and Judit Rius. The book
contains fundamental information for those who want to understand Free
Software and how to contribute and benefit from it in a safe and legal
way. Concepts like existing legal systems of software protection -
copyright, patents, trademark and key concepts like Copyleft and free
licenses - will provide a general background upon which practical
skills for different contexts can be built.

You can get a copy of the coursebook here:
http://ftacademy.org/materials/fsm/6#1

=3D=3D 2. FTA Scholarships for September =3D=3D

The first phase of the FTA is financially supported by the Life Long
Learning programme (LLP) of the European Commission. While the FTA has
already exceeded the target for the European Commission in terms of
courses and learners, we have extra space available for learners who
wish to enhance their knowledge but are not in a position to raise the
required tuition fee. For this reason we have set up a scholarship
programme for the third and last course round during this phase, that
will run from September 6 2010 to December 6 2010.

Of course the FTA continues in 2011. For the tentative programme,
please see http://ftacademy.org/programme/2011. No scholarships for
2011 are being scheduled at this time.

To find out if you are eligible to apply for a scholarship for a module
starting in September 2010, please take a look at
http://ftacademy.org/scholarships.

=3D=3D 3. Annotation-tools and feedback =3D=3D

Many of you who have downloaded FTA materials have offered us valuable
comments and feedback, although until now we didn't have the
appropriate tools to collect and revise all that input. In the coming
weeks we'll be testing a PDF annotation tool that allows any user to
submit comments on a PDF document using a web interface. It will soon
be integrated with the FTA Campus, but for now you can try it here:

http://beta.ftacademy.org/annotation-tool

The PDF annotation software was developed by Jakko van der Pol and
INFI. Jakko has kindly agreed to release it under the Affero GPL v3
license, and is collaborating with the FTA development team in the
integration of this tool with Moodle and the FTA Campus.

=3D=3D 4. FTA Community Portal =3D=3D

The FTA Community Portal is a space meant for sharing knowledge and
participating in concrete activities related to FTA courses or Free
Technologies in general. Any help will be welcome to continue building
the FTA based on free (as in freedom) knowledge and Open Standards. The
FTA partnership wants to open up its infrastructure and resources so
all interested participants can benefit from them. In that sense the
FTA Community Portal can be seen as a way to both facilitate learning
as well as to make participation in FTA projects and activities
accessible to more people.

The FTA Community Portal is based on Mahara, "a fully featured
electronic portfolio, weblog, resume builder and social networking
system, connecting users and creating online communities". For more
information about Mahara, see http://mahara.org/. The FTA Campus team
has integrated Mahara with the Moodle and University Campus framework.

At the FTA Community Portal you can generate your own profile, explain
in what projects you are involved, discuss different aspects of the FTA
or other related topics. You name it, as long as it is about Free
Technology and Free Culture, use the space as you like! Set up your
profile at
http://campus.ftacademy.org/community/ - register first freely at
http://campus.ftacademy.org/ and get to the FTA Community Portal from
there!

=3D=3D 5. Obtaining an official Master's degree =3D=3D

The studies started at the FTA can be continued at the FTA Consortium
Partner universities to obtain an official Master's degree. These
partner universities offer full master programmes related to free
software:

* Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (Spain) offers a Master's degree in
free software that is given in Catalan, Spanish and English. More
information can be found at this website [1]. A UOC advisor can be
contacted directly to request more information or start the enrolment
process by following this link [2].

* At the Open University Netherlands, FTA certificates are accepted in
their Master of Computer Science, which is provided by the School of
Computer Science [3]. Details about recognition of FTA certificates can
be found here (in Dutch) [4].

* The University of Agder recognises (at least) the following courses
as electives in their graduate programme of Information Systems:
**The concepts of Free Software and Open Standards
**Economic aspects of Free Software
**Legal aspects of the Information Society
(For students in the UiA bachelor programme in IT and Information
Systems, at most six FTA modules will be recognized within the IS/ICT
part of the elective area)

* The FTA partners are designing an International Master Programme that
will extend the current FTA programme and builds on previous
experiences from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Open Universiteit
Netherlands, Universitat Rey Juan Carlos and University of Agder. A
taskforce has been set up with representatives from these universities
and the Free Knowledge Institute. The implementation of this programme
does take some time and therefore we recommend FTA learners interested
in obtaining a Masters degree to check with the above mentioned
partners to consider completing their studies there.

Any comments about the curriculum, recognition of FTA courses and
possibilities for obtaining a Masters degree can be discussed in the
FTA Community Portal [5].

[1]
http://www.uoc.edu/studies/mof/free_software/oficiales/master_oficial_so
ftware_libre/master_oficial_software_libre_plan.htm
[2] http://www.uoc.edu/masters/eng/master/web/_enviarDatos/index.html
[3] http://www.ou.nl/eCache/DEF/12/274.html
[4] http://www.ou.nl/eCache/DEF/2/16/502.html
[5] http://campus.ftacademy.org/community/group/view.php?id=3D1

=3D=3D 6. Print on Demand service for FTA course books =3D=3D

A Print on Demand service is launched by the partners of the FTA. For
many people a printed book is still desired to facilitate the learning
process. The service is based on cost prices for the printing, handling
and distribution and is first made available for people who register
for courses in the FTA.

The first priority is to ship the books to learners who register for
courses in the coming trimester (starting at September 6th). All
registrations completed by August 15th can ask for this service when
registering. If you registered before this service was available, and
would like to make use of it, please contact us so we can process your
request manually. The FTA partnership hopes this service strengthens
the FTA educational experience! For those of you self-learners, who
don't subscribe to the FTA courses but are still interested in printed
copies of coursebooks: you can either print the books yourself or wait
until we have our processes in place to handle individual book orders.
You could of course also try to use commercial PoD services.

For more information, see:
http://ftacademy.org/materials/print-on-demand

=3D=3D 7. FTA Certificates =3D=3D

Learners at the FTA can obtain a certificate for each of the modules
they pass successfully. The FTA certificate is issued - on behalf of
the FTA partners - by Prof. Dr. Lex Bijlsma, Dean of the Computer
Science Department of the Open University Netherlands, who chairs the
Quality and Recognition team in the FTA.

The certificates are recognised by the participating universities and
enable learners to extend their study options in the area of Free
Technologies as a complement to the existing curricula of the
universities. The certificates are issued in digital form (PDF) and a
validator tool will be made available in the near future. Here you can
see one of the first FTA learners, Marius Popma, who published his
profile and FTA certificate:
http://campus.ftacademy.org/community/user/view.php?id=3D36 His PDF
certificate:
http://campus.ftacademy.org/community/artefact/file/download.php?file=3D36
2&view=3D71

=3D=3D About the Free Technology Academy =3D=3D

A Consortium formed by the Open University of Catalonia (Spain), the
Open University of the Netherlands and the University of Agder (Norway)
and led by the Free Knowledge Institute (FKI), the FTA has received the
support from the EC's Lifelong Learning Programme to set up an
international educational programme on Free Software. The courses are
taught completely online in a virtual campus based on the Campus
Project interoperability framework.

Following the Open Educational Resources movement, all learning
materials are freely available through the Internet. The use of Free
Software (also referred to as Open Source software or Libre Software)
is rapidly expanding in governmental and private organisations.
However, still only a limited number of ICT professionals, teachers and
decision makers have sufficient knowledge and expertise in these new
fields. The Free Technology Academy aims to address this gap by
providing high level courses that fit into larger Master Programmes at
the participating universities.

* More information: http://www.ftacademy.org
* Contact information: contact at ftacademy.org
* Digital version: http://ftacademy.eu/announce/8

Free Technology Academy Newsletter
http://www.ftacademy.eu/

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For more info about the Free Knowledge Institute: http://freeknowledge.eu
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