Should we FLOSS in education?


FLOSS, FOSS, OSS or Open Source. Whatever you call it, in most cases in Education it is misunderstood. I recently gave a presentation at my school about FLOSSing in education. FLOSS acronym can be translated into other languages, with for example the “F” representing free (English) or frei (German), and the “L” representing libre (Spanish or French), livre (Portuguese), or libero (Italian), and so on hence FLOSS.

It is simply a software created by an individual or groups of individuals with the soul purpose of distribution under the GNU license (see previous post) for free with the source code of the software open for others to improve, change or simply understand how it works. Propriety software companies close that part of the software so others cannot improve, change or study how it’s made. Propriety software companies produce software for the purpose of profit. FLOSS software is primarily produced for the love of sharing, solving problems, belonging to a community, working in a team and learning from others.

As an educator I would like to see my students produce work for the love of sharing, solving problems, working as a team and learning from others. Introducing the philosophy of Open Source in your school can be a huge cultural shift in the right direction. We can start by introducing the school community to the FLOSS applications available. I believe in leading by example so during the past few weeks I have jumped in the deep end and removed all Microsoft and Apple productivity applications from my MacBook pro and replaced them with Libre Office. I have also started to use Linux Operating System side-by-side. I will be sharing my thoughts and experiences in the coming weeks. Watch this space. Until then please have a look at my presentation and a list of alternatives to the popular propriety software:

Start FLOSSing.

Office

Microsoft Office: Properity

Libre Office: FLOSS Offline alternative

Google Drive: Free Online alternative

 

Desk-Top Publishing/ Photo Editing

Adobe Creative Cloud: Properity

Gimp: FLOSS Offline alternative

Ribbet: Free Online alternative

 

Control

Flowol: Properity

Scratch: FLOSS Offline alternative

FlowGrid: FLOWW Offline alternative

 

Sound Editing

Ejay: Properity

Audacity: FLOSS Offline alternative

Audio Expert: Free Online alternative

 

Music Creation

GarageBand: Properity

LMMS: FLOSS Offline alternative

Soundation: Free Online alternative

 

Media Players

VLC :

 

Mind Mapping

Nova Mind: Properity

Free Mind: FLOSS Offline alternative

Bubbl: Free Online alternative

MindMup: Free Online alternative

 

Web Browsers

Firefox: FLOSS

Chrome: FLOSS

Opera: FLOSS

 

Mobile Device

Android: FLOSS

Firefox OS: FLOSS

Ubunu OS: FLOSS

 

Operating Systems:

Windows & Apple: Properity

Linux Ubunu: FLOSS

Linux Elementary: FLOSS

Open Suse: FLOSS

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