Open source computer drivers licence goes live
New computer learners can now complete their International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL) using a free, Linux-based curriculum.
Last week, the OpenICDL project launched Version 1.0 of its open source curriculum, allowing learners to complete the internationally-recognised ICDL exam without ever using proprietary software.
The accredited ICDL course is perhaps the first to be released free and open under a Creative Commons licence. This means schools and training centres can now teach computer skills to learners for \”practically nothing\”, says project leader, Sean Wheller.
Learners will be able to get the internationally-recognised qualification by taking the exam through an ICDL-approved training centre.
To keep quality assurance, the release version of the course does not allow derivative works, says Wheller. But everyone from interested individuals with \”an itch to scratch\”, to training centres, are encouraged to contribute to the development version of the course. Once ready for release, the development version will be sent to an ICDL committee for accreditation, says Wheller.
The ICDL syllabus contains seven modules that cover computer theory and practice in areas such as word processing, spreadsheets, database and presentation. The OpenICDL course teaches computing basics using Mandrake, OpenOffice.org 1.x, Mozilla 1.4 and Ximian Evolution 1.4.
Version 2.0, tentatively scheduled for early 2006, will include updated modules that incorporate OpenOffice.org 2.0.
Other plans include courseware that incorporates different Linux operating environments including Red Hat/Fedora, Kubuntu, and Genome. Wheller is also keen to see the course translated into other languages and has registered the project with Rosetta.
Wheller plans to offer the course in printed-format, packaged with a Linux distribution, to training centres and schools who do not have the facilities to print out the materials.