Hardware & Software

edX’s Intro to Linux Course Gains Ground with Meetup Groups

September 16, 2014

Guest Author

The new edX Intro to Linux course sparked a remarkable stir within the tech community. A course, offered by the Linux Foundation for $2,400, is now available for free. Countless people signed up for the free online course.

Despite the immediate enthusiasm, skeptics point to the low retention rates and other issues prevalent with MOOC courses available through Coursera, Udacity and edX.

How do you attempt to attack these MOOC weaknesses? Take a look at the Charm City Linux meetup group in Baltimore, MD. They provide a setting for Linux users of varying experience levels to come, study, and learn from one another as they tackle the course.

Will Typical MOOC Woes Doom Intro to Linux?

Self-study sounds attractive to people with busy lives. Sure, great, I’ll take the free Linux edX course and learn so much. But the motivation usually ends soon after such an exclamation or a little later in the process.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) present fantastic options to access to higher level education, but as the past and numbers prove, they produce minimal success without employment incentives or financial investment to hold participants accountable.

The best way, I believe, to tackle the above stated issues, comes through organized community efforts. For example, the Charm City Linux meetup group designates one day a week (no one has plans on Wednesdays) twice a month. People who arrive at the AOL office in Baltimore come with various skill levels.

Each person is open to learning from one another, helping out, and spending an evening dedicated to learning about Linux.

The open source community brings a sense of passion not often found in other fields. This type of passion comes in the form of helpfulness through such groups, free resources online, and open source communities who support the operating systems.

If you can’t find a similar Meetup or study group in your area, I would suggest creating a repetitive reminder on your calendar to at least go through the Intro Linux course once a week, twice, or whatever works for you. Of course we all lead extremely busy lives that leave little time for anything outside of work. Perhaps a small amount of time spent learning something new will force you to take up greater educational challenges in the future.

Give Linux a Chance at our next Meetup

All Linux users or interested individuals are more than welcome to attend an “Installing Linux” Meetup we’ll host on September 24th at our headquarters in Columbia, MD. Come talk everything Linux and help others give the open source OS a shot.

*Update – The Meetup went very well. If interested in installing Arch Linux for the first time, refer to these blog posts:

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