The goal of this final section is to connect each of the above situations to the computer software on the students desktop and to philosophy and practice of the free and open source software movement that has brought the students' software into being.
Any use of this section should include an explicit period of discussion and reflections that connects the concepts and ideas introduced in this section to each of the areas that have been covered before.
The following activities or explorations might help the students explore and discover the key concepts in this section. Each is framed in terms of the key questions it raises.
A selection of readings from the Free/Open Source Software movement and enough background context into the alternative (i.e., proprietary) systems that predate it.
This is the only section in this curriculum that will be largely based on readings but the emphasis on definitions and background is essential.
There are a number of appropriate readings that could be used to define free software and to help seed discussion. A few of the very best include:
This should, of course, be accompanied with an opportunity to discuss and compare these ideas and readings and to connect them, explicitly or implicitly, with the projects done earlier in the curriculum.
Students might discuss a number of open questions raised by this definition of free software:
An activity that involves walking students through the process of finding the source code for any application of their system and introduces them to the possibilities of making this type of change.
Students should be demonstrated and walked through the process of a number of key Free and Open Source software issues including. This may be moved through quickly or, in more technically oriented settings, the teacher an students can spend more time on this. Explorations include:
The key concepts in this section are the idea that this machine was created by a massively collaborative community of individuals who agreed that, due to the nature of software as an information good, required a base set of freedoms:
Students should walk away from this final section with: