This semester I am logging my own experiences as a contributor to an open source project in an attempt to understand what kinds of thinking processes I engage in while working on various tasks. Eventually I want to study open source software communities to identify the tasks and resources in projects that used within a problem-based learning structure can help students not only learn computing skills, but problem solving skills in general. The project I’ve chosen is called AnkiDroid. It is a flash card tool for Droid devices built upon Anki, a desktop flashcard program. I chose AnkiDroid for a number of reasons:
- I have an interest in using technology for learning.
- I wanted to create a mobile flashcard program for learning Tang Soo Do terminology last year, but the learning curve for developing for the iPhone was too steep.
- The program was active
- They wanted contributors
- Learning materials looked organized
- There were tasks I could help with
- To help with my own motivation for contributing besides my studies, it was important to be involved in a project that I had interest in and felt I’d eventually have ideas for new functionality.
I’ve only just gotten started, but the project looks interesting. I like the idea of being able to study anywhere. The software uses a spaced repetition algorithm to aid in more efficient study, allows embedding images and sound, includes statistics for tracking progress, and many other features. Below is the AnkiDroid quick overview video.