October 12, 2005

"Penguin in the Pew" Becomes eLearning Course

DC Parris writes ""Penguin in the Pew" 2.0 is being offered as a Web-Based Training tutorial by GlobalLiteracy (www.globalliteracy.org) for use in its site and at GospelLearning (www.gospellearning.org). "Penguin in the Pew", a book by Christian Libre Software Advocate, Don Parris, helps Christian ministries discover the advantages of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FOSS). The web-based course enables church staffers and others to understand the license terms, technical challenges and financial hurdles churches may face as they consider their next software upgrade. The course will be delivered using the libre software Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle.

Parris' inspiring essay, "IT as Ministry" are already available through GospelLearning.org, and "Penguin in the Pew" should be available by the beginning of November. GospelLearning is also offering a basic parenting course demonstration. GlobalLiteracy aims to improve educational and job opportunities for students around the world. GlobalLiteracy seeks to get skilled trade subjects into primary and secondary educational agendas while introducing and using emerging technologies. An LMS, such as Moodle, which supports at least 55 languages, offers the opportunity to support missionaries in the field and students in a number of settings. Combined with low-cost PC's running a GNU/Linux distribution, such a system offers an affordable solution for many school systems.

Indeed, Phoenix Christian United Schools will be using Moodle for its LMS. Joe Frost, Director of Technology for the schools says he will use Moodle to offer various curricula for primary and secondary school students, as well as home schoolers and those with special needs. Moodle is also deployed by Johnson C. Smith University, a historically black college in Charlotte, North Carolina. Indiana high schools will soon be putting at least 1600 Novell Linux Desktops on students' desks, with a view toward adding further computers running GNU/Linux. In China, over 141,000 students will be getting GNU/Linux desktops.

GlobalLiteracy's Chief Technology Officer, Richard Brincefield, has been involved in eLearning initiatives for many years. He views Parris' book as vital to helping churches discover alternatives to costly proprietary software. "Penguin in the Pew" points to free software as an alternative to a potentially widespread problem of churches using illegitimate copies of proprietary software in their offices. GlobalLiteracy is the first organization to use "Penguin in the Pew" as a web-based training course.

Don Parris, a leading advocate with The Freely Project is the author of articles for Linux Journal and NewsForge, and has been featured at
SearchEnterpriseLinux.com. "Penguin in the Pew", now in its second edition, is continuing its popularity climb as people purchase the printed and download editions from Lulu.com, as well as through major retail websites. A Philosophy journalist in Poland has recognized "Penguin in the Pew" for the connection it makes between Christian theology and free software philosophy."

Link: gospellearning.org

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