Apostolos Kritikos, enrolled learner of the FTA in the “Legal Aspects of the Information Society”, provides us with a testimonial report of his experience in the course.
Participating to Free Technology Academy's module “Legal Aspects of the Information Society” was a unique experience. Although I was not a total beginner in the fields of Open Source Software and Closed / Open Source Licensing, eventually the module offered me much more than I expected.
As far as the module itself is concerned, the fact that the accompanying textbook was offered under a GNU General Public License complies totally with the nature and philosophy of The Free Technology Academy. Moreover, the availability of the textbook for free makes it affordable to more people by lowering significantly the cost.
The tutor of the module Malcolm Bain appeared to be an expert on the field of Legal Aspects of the Information Society since the beginning of the module. During the course he had a frequent and effective presence, despite the asynchronous nature of the course. His examples and assignments were to the point and designed in a way of providing the attendants with practical, everyday issues. Things that a professional has to face in everyday work life. I personally find the latter to be probably the greatest accomplishment of Mr. Bain. Provided the tense existing between the Free Software and Open Source communities, it is quite easy for a subject like that, that is Software and Licensing, to be disoriented and eventually, to become pointless. Mr. Bain not only managed to keep the team focused but he also succeeded on making us understand that, as far as the Law is concerned, both Free Software and Open Source Schools, are the same.
Free Technology Academy's online campus is a full featured environment for asynchronous communication. I think that the calendar alerts and the way the forum works are quite convenient and once the participant gets used to it, it can easily be part of ones digital routine. Moreover, the notifications over e-mail are a very effective tool. They also totally comply with the nature of the student / professional that has a full time job in parallel.
The nature of the assignments were practical and market oriented. This was good, to the specific module at least. I am already a professional to the Software Industry so what I needed from this module was tools that could be used in my work. Eventually, after having delivered the assignments, I have gained two things:
The fact that I studied the related theory in depth.
I have quite a number of case studies, real world scenarios, to which I can refer to the future if in doupt.
Overall, I would describe my experience to the Free Technology Academy interesting and definitely a fruitful one. My intention is to stay in touch, as I am sure that more interesting and intriguing things are being scheduled.
Once again, thank you for giving me the opportunity of participating in your online course and wishes for an even more successful future.
Informatics Dept., Aristotle University of Thessaloniki