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50 Great Open Source Apps for Education

50 Great Open Source Educational Applications

  • June 22, 2010
  • By Cynthia Harvey
The educational community has discovered open source tools in a big way. Analysts predict that schools will spend up to $489.9 million on support and services for open source software by 2012, and that only includes charges related to operating systems and learning management systems. Teachers, professors and home schoolers are using open source applications as part of their educational curriculum for a wide variety of subjects.

In addition, educators have created numerous organizations and Web sites dedicated to open source educational software, including SchoolForge, the Open Source Education Foundation (OSEF), OpenOptions, the National Center for Open Source and Education and FlossEd.org

For this list, we've collected educational apps from a variety of categories that can replace popular commercial software. In many cases, the open source options listed here offer features that aren't matched by their closed source counterparts. And while we limited our list to 50 apps, you can find many more on the Web.

Astronomy

1. Celestia replaces Starry Night

Celestia lets you view the night skies from any point on earth at any time or virtually fly through space to see the sky from any point in the known universe. Although Starry Night comes with some additional resources (a book and some videos) that add more information about space, Celestia offers the same functionality���and it's free instead of hundreds of dollars. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

2. Stellarium replaces Perseus, SkyMap Lite

While Stellarium doesn't let you fly through the universe like Celestia (above), it does let you view the night skies from any point on earth's surface at any date and time. It's so accurate, it's used by a number of planetariums, and it's better than most of the comparable commercial applications. Operating System: Windows, Linux...

Read the rest of this Open Source educational applications story at Datamation.com

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