Free Technology For Teachers: Benefits of Open Source Software

This week I have had a number discussions with various colleagues and administrators about technology budgets. It was apparent in those conversations that Open-Source software is being overlooked. Open Source software has a lot of benefits for schools, the biggest benefit being that Open Source programs are free. By using free software and web-applications schools can have more money to spend on technology issues teachers really care about. The most common complaint about or excuse for not using technology I hear from teachers is, about inadequate or and or outdated computer hardware. Use the money saved on software to invest in improving computer hardware and networks.

The other benefit of Open Source software that I share with colleagues is the benefit of teaching students to use software applications in a variety of situations. For example, I taught my Social Studies students how to create a wiki with an open source program now those students are creating a wiki as part of project in a science course. The knowledge of how to use software crosses content area lines. The skills my students learn using open source software in Social Studies is a skill that they can take with them after graduation. That said, I’m not completely against proprietary software, but I do think that those making budget decisions should investigate free alternatives before purchasing software.

To read more about Open Source software click here.

This humorous video shares another benefit of open source software.

Open Source and Proprietary Software Spoof Ad 2 from rkalajian on Vimeo.


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