Introducing the OERu Tech Blog

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The Open Education Resource universitas (OERu) is an open organisation from top to bottom. Our entire technological infrastructure (with a couple exceptions) is built with and on Free and Open Source Software to which I normally refer as "FOSS". This introductory post outlines our technological motivations and some of our key choices. Future blog posts will go into more depth on some of these choices, and provide more insight in to specific implementations.

2018 update on the OERu Technology Stack

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As I prepare for the 2018 OERu Partners' Meeting, I'm working how to convey the depth and breadth of the OERu open source technology stack - our infrastructure and applications - to our partners and other attendees.

Over the past year, we've had our first live OERu courses allowing learners to work towards a formal exit qualification (our "1st year of study"), and our infrastructure has worked as intended throughout, so I'm chalking that up as a win.

Creating Simple, Semantic HTML Markup from a Google Doc

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Google Docs are great for allowing people to collaboratively build a document, with the ability for people to suggest (and discuss) changes and view revisions and a variety of other useful behaviours. At present, I'm sad to admit, CollaboraOffice isn't quite in the same level (although it's catching up quickly!).

Insight: what does the Open Source Technologist at the OER Foundation do?

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A few weeks ago, I got an unexpected (but very flattering!) request from a friend and colleague's son, Felix. He wanted to interview me about my work (at 11, he thinks he might want to become a software developer, too, when he's older) as material he could present at an up-coming PechaKucha session at his school... Wow, we didn't do PechaKucha when I was a kid :)

Installing NextCloud and Collabora Office Online with Docker on Ubuntu 16.04

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Dropbox is the best known of the end-user "cloud storage" services for documents, backups, and synchronising data among multiple devices, although now Google's Drive and Microsoft's OneDrive are functionally similar and are being heavily promoted and tied into all sorts of services.

Installing LimeSurvey with Docker on Ubuntu 16.04 with Nginx and Mariadb

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LimeSurvey is an open source survery tool, functionally similar to far more heavily marketed proprietary tools like SurveyMonkey and Google Forms. It's a very mature, fully-featured system. You can either use the reasonably priced hosted service available on the LimeSurvey site, or you can host your own, holding your own data and collecting your own analytics if you prefer. The only cost of hosting your own is your time to set it up and any costs associated with your hosting environment (which, today, can be negligible).

WikiEducator Notes: OERu's course feed aggregation and messaging system

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Here at the OERu, we provide a service, attached to all of our online courses (and available to all of our partners - or anyone else for that matter) which allows anyone involved in those courses to communicate with one another from any one of a dazzling array of online "places" with WikiEducator Notes (aka WEnotes). The entire system is free and open source software (FOSS). 

OERu MediaWiki to WordPress Snapshot Toolchain

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One of the OERu's most compelling technological capabilities is the set of internally developed open source tools that allow us to automatically transform and inject a collection of MediaWiki content on WikiEducator (usually in form of micro-courses) making up a course into a mobile-friendly, easy-to-navigate WordPress site, usually situated on OERu's Course WordPress Multisite implementation.