The use of open source tools is gradually being widely used as a result of the openness in the education sector. The role of education is changing as it has become easier–with advancement in technology to reproduce and distribute teaching resources, making it is easier to reach a broader and more diverse audience.
This was not possible in the past as it was costly to produce a course and subsequent reproduction and distribution to students added to the expenditure (Caswell, Henson, Jensen, & Wiley, 2008).
In educational institutions, both instructors and students utilize technology in learning, creating new artefacts and researching on further developmental possibilities that technology may have in the future.
The use of open source tools has made education to be more economical because some of these tools are free without payment
Better access to software is proven by open access and provision of comparable replacements to almost every package available. students can also choose their own tools-rather than being restricted by what the teacher provides-and still be able to access the required content because OSS services are usually more compatible with each other than proprietary ones.
The access to these tools also helps the students to have a successful course and the connections created in case of grouping will be long-lasting.
It provides more comprehensive learning opportunity because it gives the perspective of real software development process. Where students can participate in a professional level project, the resulting benefits will most likely be reflected in their working life after their studies.
Instead of paying annual licensing costs, schools can invest their financial resources to support local development of tools and materials. In this way, every member of a study group can become a participant in developing new ideas instead of just financially supporting the companies. It is also possible to give a chance for the students to assist in support and co-development of school technologies while at the same time learning valuable skills in technology.
Likewise, with open source software, there are globally networked teachers and these tools help these teachers develop their teaching styles and curriculums and also renew their old styles of teaching. Likewise, there are now courses like networking that can now be included in the curriculum which is not an option for traditional teaching styles.
Software has been used to expand and improve infrastructure and to ensure broad access to educational opportunities
By fully embracing open source principles and providing an educational material with unrestrictive will ensure the universal provision of education and lead to improved quality in content and delivery methods.
An improvement could be consideration of contextual factors like location, knowledge of the people concerned, further discussion on cultural and organizational issues and so forth. one must carefully consider the long-term implications of using OSS such as availability of support when needed and technical expertise in case customization to meet institution-specific needs is required. Furthermore, educational institutions need to contemplate how well adoption of OSS will help to meet their training strategies. The learning environment in the 21st century has become more interactive with technology firmly embedded in the learning experience and students requiring more from instructors.
Article by: Busayo Tomoh