February 16, 2019

55 Ways to Bring Open Source into Education - page 3

Management, Collaboration, Science

  • August 3, 2009
  • By Cynthia Harvey


26. OpenBiblio

OpenBiblio is an automated library system that includes a public catalog, circulation, and administration features. It works with any scanners that can display a barcode as keyboard input, and a list of scanners known to work with the system is available on the site. Operating System: OS Independent.

27. VuFind

Designed by libraries for libraries, VuFind replaces the traditional online public access catalog (OPAC) with a Web 2.0 portal for searching all of your library's resources. Unique features include the ability to browse all resources, faceted results to search queries, a "more like this" link for searches, and the ability to text yourself a call number so you don't have to write it down on a little slip of paper. Operating System: OS Independent.


28. Argumentative

This app lets you build an "argument map": a visual representation of the structure of an argument. It's helpful for students studying critical reasoning, logic, debate, philosophy, and persuasive writing, as well as lawyers and law students. Operating System: Windows.


29. gnuplot

Gnuplot creates both 2D and 3D graphs to make it easier to visualize mathematical functions or scientific data. Graphs can be saved or exported in numerous file formats or sent directly to your printer. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X, and others.

30. GeoGebra

Multiple-award-winning GeoGebra creates dynamic models useful for learning about geometry, arithmetic, algebra, and calculus. In addition to the downloadable version, you can also use the applet version while you're online. At the site, you'll also find extensive wikis, worksheets, and other help for math teachers. Operating System: OS Independent.

31. GraphCalc

Why buy a graphing calculator when you can run GraphCalc for free on your PC? It's at least as easy to use as a standalone graphing calculator and it creates graphs in both 2D and 3D. Operating System: Windows.

32. TTCalc

TTCalc is a scientific calculator that lets you use really big numbers. Features include arithmetical functions, trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions, hyperbolic and inverse hyperbolic functions, logical operators, logarithms, and more. Operating System: Windows.

33. Maxima

This computer algebra system solves equations and plots data and functions in both 2D and 3D. The Maxima Web site also includes a handy list of links to other open-source computer algebra software. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.


34. LenMus

LenMus combines a bunch of useful tools for learning music into a single download. It includes ear training activities, music theory exercises, and a score editor so you can write your own compositions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

35. GNU Solfege

Wish you had perfect pitch? GNU Solfege is an ear-training application that teaches students to identify and sing intervals, recognize rhythms patterns, sing scales and chords, and identify harmonic progressions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

36. BestPractice

If you're trying to transcribe, orchestrate, or just learn how to play a particular piece, it can be really helpful to be able to slow down a recording. But slowing down a recording usually changes the pitch. BestPractice lets musicians slow down CD tracks or MP3s without lowering the pitch of the music. Operating System: Windows.

Online education/eLearning

37. Claroline

Claroline makes it easy to set up an online class or organize student activities on the Web. With it, teachers can write a course description, publish multimedia documents for students to view, prepare online exercises, administer a wiki and a forum, assign homework, send announcements, track student usage, and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X.

38. Moodle

One of the most popular open source class management systems, Moodle boasts more than 24 million users. Key features include assignments, blogs, chats, forums, polls, surveys, quizzes, wikis, and more. The site includes a great deal of help for teachers and administrators new to online education. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

39. eFront

Like Claroline and Moodle, eFront lets you author online content, create tests, communicate with the class, assign homework, and track progress, and it also includes a survey feature and the ability to create your own certifications. In addition to the free community edition, eFront is also available in fee-based editions that are customized for educational institutions or enterprises. Operating System: Windows, Linux.


Widely used internationally, you can attend ILIAS conferences and user meetings around the world in order to learn more about this learning management system. Like the others in the category, it includes features like course management, online exercises, surveys, chat, forums, etc. It also boasts compliance with relevant standards and strong authentication protocols. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

41. CoFFEE

Short for "Collaborative Face-to-Face Educational Environment," CoFFEE aims to help groups of students work together on problem-solving activities. It includes a set of tools for collaboration, shared work, individual work, and communication that can be managed and monitored by the instructor. Operating System: OS Independent.

42. BOSS Online Submission System

Developed by the University of Warwick, the BOSS Online Submission System isn't a complete eLearning solution, but does allow students to submit assignments online securely. Teachers can then run tests on submissions and grade assignments online. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Unix, OS X.


43. eduCommons

A number of universities around the world aren't just utilizing open-source software, they're "open-sourcing" the content of their courses by making it freely available online. EduCommons is a content management system designed for these OpenCourseWare projects. (More information about the movement is available from the OCW Consortium.) Operating System: OS Independent.

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