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Education :: Benefits of Open Source in Education
Benefits of Open Source in Education
The benefits of open source software to teachers, students and places of education are many. With open source software your school can take control of its computer resources and manage its IT future.

Some of the biggest benefits are as follows:

Lower total cost of ownership (TCO).
Not all open source software is available for free, neither is even the free software without cost in management. With any choice of operating system and software packages someone will have to be responsible for maintaining the system and applying security and product updates. Someone will have to be responsible for fixing things when they go wrong, regardless of the reason. MORE...

Learn concepts, instead of train for products
Exposing students to Linux will have a long term impact on it's growth in other areas. The primary reason many companies have spent millions of dollars on Microsoft software is that people know it. In 5 years today's 9th grade students will be in the workforce. If they're already comfortable with open source software, it will make it that much easier for open source software to move father into other sectors. MORE...

Lower costs for students' home systems
Unfortunately, not every student in Victoria has access to a high end computer running the lastest in all software at home. As more and more schools include computer skills in their education and request parents to provide computers in the home environment more and more students from lower income families are being disadvantaged. High school students who only have access to computers during school time are less advantaged than their peers who are able to spend their evenings writing up essays and CATs. MORE...

Software is usually sold on an as-is basis. If it doesn't quite do everything you need it it to, then either you bought the wrong software or you have to change what you need. Software is not often sold on the understanding that if you find an error or you need it to do something else or to do something in a different way that you can change it, or pay someone else to change it for you. Typically if you're unhappy with your software for whatever reason there's nothing you can do to make it better. MORE...

Use older hardware
We've already mentioned that many open source packages can run quite ably on older machines. Schools rarely have the money to buy the latest hardware but frequently software upgrades require hardware upgrades in order to perform reasonably. Many businesses regularly replace older machines with new in order to keep up with their software's hardware requirements. These machines are usually in good working order but in the Microsoft world they're essentially useless. MORE...

Further Reading
Further articles and sites of interest: MORE...

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