Finally, at the last day of E-learning Africa (a conference held in Uganda in May 2014 on ICT and education) during the last session of the conference, the conversation turns towards free and open source software (FOSS). Foss is free open source software and does not include high licenses fees and anyone is freely licensed to use, copy, study, and change the software in any way. The source code is openly shared so that people are encouraged to voluntarily improve the design of the software.
A positive attitude towards FOSS in education is seriously recommendable. The average age in Africa is 19 years old and only 6% enrolls in higher education. The main barrier to access education is money and given the fact that the population is going to double in the next ten years, efforts to close the gap between education and enrollment are urgently necessary.
The session, led by Sarah Kiden, points out why we should all use open source software in education, because FOSS:
- decreases software costs
- increases network security and stability
- is accessible for everyone
- is often free of costs
- protects privacy
- gives users more control over their own hardware
If you got inspired during the presentation, here are some open source alternatives to the more mainstream platforms, tools and software, shared by Sarah Kidden during E-learning for Africa 2014:
Linux (Ubuntu, Solaris, CentOS)
Koha, EzProxy, Dspace
Network Access Control
Oh, and if you feel like you want to find many more open source alternative, please visit
this Wikipedia page