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INFORMATICS IN EDUCATION, 2003, Vol. 2, No. 1, 15-20
© Institute of Mathematics and Informatics,

ISSN 1648-5831

Open Source Software in Education: a Report of Experience

Hagen HÖPFNER

Otto-von-Guericke-University of Magdeburg P.O. Box 4120, 39016 Magdeburg, Germany E-mail: hoepfner@iti.cs.uni-magdeburg.de

Abstract

Most students use computers without thinking about how the software and the hardware works internally. So, their occupational outlook depends strictly on the equipment used by a potential employer. Obviously, in case of shoals of applications students which know about the handling of miscellaneous systems are preferred. The concept behind UNIX, BSD or Linux is to provide a set of small but efficient and specialised chiefly tools. More complex problems can be resolved by combining these tools. So, learning how to work with a UNIX-like operating system is learning how to break down a problem into manageable subproblems. But, schools are typically under-funded. That means, that they are unable to bye commercial UNIX-systems. A solution for this dilemma is the usage of Open Source Software like Linux. This paper presents a report of experience which is based on three lectures and practical courses on UNIX/Linux. We will show how to introduce the concepts of Linux as well as how to advance the motivation of students by facilitate individual successes.

Keywords:

open source software, Linux, UNIX


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