Building a Shared Free Technology Master Curriculum

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As you may know the Free Knowledge Institute seeks to advance the sharing of knowledge and take away technical, social and legal impediments. One of our core activities lies in education and over the last years we have established a network of universities and specialised groups working together in offering master level courses online through the Free Technology Academy. Together we want to go further and develop a shared master curriculum on Free Technologies (FT). We understand FT to include Free Software (OSS / Libre Software), Open Standards, Free Hardware. And we think it is important to include also specialised tracks on Free Culture and Peer Production, which ultimately base upon the same foundations.

Our aim is to help the adoption of these technologies and production methodologies through helping universities and higher educational institutes to participate and incorporate (parts of) the shared curriculum in their study programmes.

One of the things we are looking for is people and organisations willing to contribute to the curriculum. A large part is already there, butin some topic areas we could use more people who are in the frontline of developments. Maybe some of you know of existing courses and educational materials that may be of interest, or case studies about interesting projects. If you’re interested, read on!

This work builds further on what several universities and specialist groups have started years ago and that we are now continuing together under the umbrella of the Free Technology Academy (FTA).

Let me summarise then a few main aspects that hopefully help to clarify our pursuit:

  • we are building a common framework for a shared master curriculum with shared norms, rules and procedures as well as copyleft educational materials
  • this facilitates the autonomy of each university interested in adopting parts of it, while assuring compatibility between programmes and courses
  • we like distance learning through the Internet, while also having face2face options at concrete locations
  • the developed educational methodology is based in full course books, that are openly published under free licenses
  • we are opening up the development process and feedback through web-based tools, open standards and team work
  • the books are generally worked through in (online) class rooms and continuous assessment activities are done by the participants, guided by a mentor from one of the universities
  • did I say that we practice what we preach? Indeed, the technologies used are free as in freedom.
  • we strive for recognition of the course certificates by universities
  • we strive for double degrees and ultimately for a joint degree
  • we build the curriculum with all interested parties willing to use and contribute to it. Only as a wider community or ecosystem can we develop this in a sustainable way.

A draft for the shared curriculum we are developing is here.

A substantial part of the courses are already active, here you can find the course books and courses are conducted for example at the FTA and the course certificates are recognised by the partner universities.

If you would like to contribute, even by just adding some useful pointers, please do so in the course pages in the Master-Curriculum wiki-page.

We know there are more people interested in working on this with us. And even more willing to take the courses. I look forward to hearing from you through email or directly in the wiki. Your inputs are more than welcome and very much needed.