Dec 16, 2008

The smart cut - go open source (or even open content)

You probably have a lot of expensive licensed software you use for learning. An LMS for administration and e-learning delivery, authoring tools, collaboration tools, social software, ...

Open source software is not something just for the home or geeks. It can have its place in the corporation as well. Sure, only the license is free and you will need to work out the sustainability, support and other issues via a community. But for the most popular open source softwares there are companies who provide services like installation, customization, maintenance, hosting or support for you.

The most popular open source LMS (learning management system) no doubt is Moodle. It comes with a lot of modules the community has made, in multiple languages and has a thriving community and business around it. It started mainly of in schools, but has corporate attention now too, albeit currently a lot for test servers or departemental learning servers. There are others: Dokeos in Belgium, ILIAS in Germany (scorm certified even!), Atutor in Canada, ... But maybe the one with the biggest corporate endorsement behind it is Sakai, a Java based open source LMS.

You'll find a lot of open source software for learning on the web or even on this blog. Just have a fair look at what open source software can mean for your smart cut.
Some more I recently discovered:
- Pachyderm is for web-based authoring of multimedia presentations.
- : Salasaga is an open source authoring tool for making application simulations e-learning.

Oh, and there is even open content too! MIT started to put its content openly on the web. (See MITOpencourseware) Why can't industries not do that? Do all car manufacturers need their own modules on basic engine stuff? Do all banks need their own version of how to calculate the value of options? But maybe I'm dreaming now...

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