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Section Title Primary information Description and Notes Suggested resources
Lesson Length The expected lesson length will be approximately one hour

Some variation possible.

Assessment Level 1

Students The lesson is suitable for KS3 and KS4 students Since this is a new specification, the lesson is suitable for Year 7 to 9 students and differentiated by outcome  
Overall Focus The lesson focus will be to introduce how liberal licenses work in computing, and also to look at how these affect what we can do with devices and our own work produced on computers The lesson will look in more detail at some liberal licensing and how this impacts computer use

Lesson Links: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39

Key words copyright, license, proprietary, liberal, open source These words need to be reinforced throughout the series of lessons  
Assessment Identify licenses that are liberal Evidence here will be the students giving examples of the liberal nature of some licenses and the scope of open source.  Is there an open source software for everything they do in school? Take a look with the class at a range of different open source licenses.  Discuss these in relation to more closed licenses.  Students should understand the main differences, though not in great detail.
Key Questions Some questions to get learners thinking about the topics Some questions and examples will get the students thinking about what they understand by open source principles.  The word itself might be initially confusing, but they will soon understand how it relates to what they do and how licenses are controlled. Most people see open source as "free".  This is not entirely true and some open source software companies, for example RedHat, are very wealthy.  So what does it mean to be open.  Take a look at the Lego based explanation.
Learning Objectives
  • To understand and appreciate the use of the term open source
  • To describe and explain, with examples, how open source works and apply to computer software and hardware
  • To understand how open source projects are managed

Students will need to understand open source licensing in basic terms that they can apply more rigorously in later lessons or be able to analyse to some degree

Students need to start thinking about how important open source licenses are to all of their activities on computers.  If they create some programs, what license should they apply to their work.

If you are using the Learning Machine learning system, students can add their comments and material to this site as evidence of their growing understanding.  The site, if used consistently, will show progression via charts of activity and outcomes.
Teaching and Learning Elements
  • investigation into open source licensing
  • detailed look at the principles behind open source
  • Students can break into groups and work on their own ideas about the terms and ideas
  • Class discussion and evaluation of the wider uses of open source in their work
  • Summarize the key points and reinforce the importance of open source

In this lesson we need to make sure students have a good understanding of open source and how they can understand it in terms of what they do every day.  This knowledge can then be transferred to how it is used in computing.

Discuss again issues about sharing material and the aspects of copyright, focusing on their legal obligations.

Use some of the student's own work examples to share with the group and discuss the quality of the examples chosen.  Check for understanding.

Lesson Structure Possible structure
  1. investigate examples and overviews of various open source projects
  2. show students some more examples of open source projects and discuss the legal aspects
  3. group work to work on some of their own views and examples
  4. discuss what they have learned and what they can apply
  5. volunteers to share their work and explain how they came to their opinions
  6. highlight next week's focus and issue homework

Open Hardware logo

Students need to explore a number of open source applications and projects and think about the difference between closed and open source in terms of innovation.  How do the products compare?

Some good examples of open source projects, and their licensing, can be found here.

UK Government logo

The government now advocate Open Source and is moving away from Microsoft Office.  Click above logo to read more.

They also have their own licence called the Open Government Licence.

Homework Get students to write a report about one open source application and compare it to a closed source one. Students can vary their homework depending on their level of understanding. Get students to document their experience on their portfolio system for assessment


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