FTA Educational Materials available!

We are pleased to announce that the first set of FTA educational materials is available online! Please note that these are preliminary versions of the materials. We expect to publish the final versions, with only minor changes, in a couple of days. Please read below for more information on the materials, as well as about the FTA materials in our courses and learning methodology and about the FTA in general. Enjoy!

1. Educational materials available

The Free Technology Academy is proud to announce the online publication of the first set of course books that correspond to the first two modules of the FTA programme: "The concepts of Free Software and Open Standards" and "The GNU/Linux Operating System".

The first book, "Introduction to Free Software", introduces the reader to the main concepts behind Free Software: the history of the movement, its philosophical background, the most important projects and experiences, the motivations of community and developers. It was written by Jesús M. González-Barahona, Joaquín Seoane Pascual and Gregorio Robles and coordinated by Jordi Mas Hernández and David Megías Jiménez.

This book is a translation and updated version of the Spanish "Introducción al Software Libre" and it was created using the SELF Platform. This book is the main learning material for the FTA Module 1: "The concepts of Free Software and Open Standards". You can collect a copy from: http://ftacademy.org/materials/fsm/1#1

We have also published "GNU/Linux Advanced Administration", covering the main knowledge and skills needed by GNU/Linux systems administrators. This document, with more than 500 pages, was written by Josep Jorba Esteve and Remo Suppi Boldrito with the former as coordinator. The list of topics includes Unix history, migration and coexistence with non-free systems, administrator tools, shell scripting, kernel configuration and compilation, network administration, network services, data administration and much more.

This book is the main learning material for the FTA Module 2: "The GNU/Linux Operating System". You can collect a copy from: http://ftacademy.org/materials/fsm/2#1

Both books are published under a free, copyleft license. You are encouraged to use, translate, adapt and redistribute these materials.

2. FTA materials in our courses and learning methodology

The FTA learning materials are available to anyone without restrictions and free of charge. We publish them so anyone can use them for any purpose: self learning, translation, research, use in other educational institutions or even publishing with commercial purposes.

However, FTA courses are much more than these educational materials. Enrolling in the online courses has several benefits, derived from a full learning experience that involves a tutor and a study group formed by other students. These are some of the advantages of FTA courses:

  • you are guided by the tutor through the most relevant sources and materials in a 12 week course programme,
  • there are group discussions to reflect on the topics of the course with other learners and the tutor,
  • there are individual and group exercises to consolidate your knowledge,
  • the continuous assessment methodology enables ongoing assistance and feedback,
  • from time to time, experts are invited to give a guest lecture through video and discuss with FTA learners,
  • after passing the course you are entitled to an FTA Certificate, recognised by the participating universities,
  • the FTA works to make professional opportunities available for its alumni through a network of partners.

To know more about the FTA learning methodology, please see http://ftacademy.org/methodology and about the FTA certificates, see http://ftacademy.org/courses/recognition This is the last week for registration (open until Monday 18th of January 2010), join this unique learning experience! http://ftacademy.org/courses/programme

3. About the Free Technology Academy

A Consortium formed by the Open University of Catalonia (Spain), the Open University of the Netherlands and University of Agder (Norway) and led by the Free Knowledge Institute (FKI), the FTA has received the support from the EC's Lifelong Learning Programme to set up an international educational programme on Free Software. The courses will be taught completely online in a virtual campus based on the Campus Project interoperability framework.

Following the Open Educational Resources movement, all learning materials will be freely available through the Internet. The use of Free Software (also referred to as Open Source software or Libre Software) is rapidly expanding in governmental and private organisations. However, still only a limited number of ICT professionals, teachers and decision makers have sufficient knowledge and expertise in these new fields. The Free Technology Academy aims to address this gap by providing high level courses that fit into larger Master Programmes at the participating universities.