Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

"While IT@School and its successor, Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education (KITE), are scarcely known outside of India," writes Michael Kwet, "their success over the past two decades presents an important model for resistance to Big Tech." They emerged because "activists and teacher's unions pushed the Kerala government to make Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) mandatory in public schools." This article describes the 22-year history of the two projects, pointing to such things as KITE Open Online Learning (KOOL) platform for MOOCs, he Samagra eResource Portal learner management system and the E3 English Language Lab. In 2001, though, "the KITE project... deployed proprietary and Big Tech services that do not comport with user and community freedom," such as Google's G-Suite for Education platform, writes Kwet. " KITE also temporarily used Amazon Web Services. Today there's more push and pull between commercial and open source products, and public and private schooling. Kwet writes, " FOSS activist groups like the Free Software Community of India (FSCI) and Free Software Foundation of India (FSFI) have demanded an excellent set of alternatives." However, this is a scant response to the wider influence of Western 'solutions', he writes, including weakened privacy, union, public option, and anti-trust laws.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Feb 23, 2024 09:22 a.m.

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