Organisation and goals
Since its foundation, described in the paragraphs below, the Free Technology Academy has had two main goals. First, to set up a virtual campus offering course modules on Free Software and Open Standards with teaching staff from the participating institutions; and second, to become a showcase of a virtual campus based on FS, OS and the use of Open Educational Resources, in order to promote its use in other institutions. To this end, the FTA builta virtual campus where open educational materials are available and users will be able to follow specific course modules on:
- the Introduction to Free Software and Open Standards;
- the GNU/Linux Operating System;
- Network Technologies;
- Web Applications development;
- Economical models;
- Legal aspects of the Information Society;
- Software development and
- Case studies.
- Other related topics, e.g. (personal) cloud computing with Free Software
Educational materials in the FTA are released under free licenses in line with the philosophy of the free knowledge and open educational resources movement. The educational materials comply with dominant open standards such as SCORM and IMS, thus enabling the seamless exchange with other educational platforms.
How FTA began
The Free Technology Academy (FTA) was conceived as a joint project between various partners with a strategic interest in the goals below. More national and local partners to expand and fortify the initial programme are welcome. The start up of the FTA was cofunded by the EC Lifelong Learning Programme.
FTA was initially funded by the European Commission, with the medium/long term goal to become self sustainable by the income generated from the courses.
The Free Technology Institute and other FTA partners
The Free Knowledge Institute coordinates the Academy while the universities bring in their teaching experience (distance learning, educational materials and teachers) and technical support for setting up the virtual campus. While the FTA benefits from the experience of these universities, the universities benefit from the FTA by jointly developing and translating materials and attracting new students for their master programmes.
Other educational institutions (including vocational education and higher education) have been invited to participate as well as industry partners specialised in the area of training in free technologies. The final goal is to include partners at different levels of education and training, and in different fields.