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November 09, 2012

Australian University Uses Stanford's Class2Go for Online Courses

By Miguel Leiva-Gomez, TMCnet Contributor

Open source software and technologies, like Linux and several other thousands of programs, help make the world a more colorful place as people strive to develop the best versions of these technologies. With open source software, developers can create programs that cater to the needs of those who use them and users have a choice to use something that fits their liking.

Class2Go is a perfect example of this - a piece of software developed by a team at Stanford to create an online classroom platform. David Glance, the director of the Centre for Software Practice at the University of Western Australia (UWA), caught a whiff of this software and became interested in the idea. He spoke to Stanford's Class2Go developers last week and shared some ideas on how UWA can collaborate with Stanford.

Jane Manning, Stanford Online's production and platform manager, said, "This is one of the benefits of our being open source. Others can build things we haven't gotten around to yet."

To Glance, Class2Go's open source aspect was "the big thing." This way, UWA can make the software meet the needs of its own students and shape it in any way necessary to achieve its goal. The majority of students are using Class2Go on laptops, but Glance wants to take this a step further and fit the entire platform within the screen of a smartphone. If students can access the platform on mobile devices, they will be more likely to make full use of it.

"The whole idea of a course on a phone is very appealing," said Glance. "We're really living in a post-PC world; there are more mobile phones than computers. Our students aren't bringing laptops to campus anymore anyway. So it would be really nice to be able to take a course on the phone, picking up where you left off in a seamless synchronization across devices."

Glance also speculates that Class2Go could be used in collaboration between different schools, allowing them to share their courses and technologies. The schools could gather their educational resources to ultimately construct courses that would engage students more efficiently. The future of Class2Go is definitely looking bright, and it seems like online learning will be popularized by this new open-source concept.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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