Educational open source software applications for everyday use

A list of open source software options from OSS Watch

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I'm always on the lookout for open source software I might not already know about. I actually keep my own list on Delicious so that when people in workshops approach me and ask me for an open source alternative to the proprietary software they're using, I can recommend something.

So, when I saw OSS Watch recently published a list of open source options for education, I had to peruse it.

In addition to educational open source software, the list includes the name of the proprietary software that the open source option is an alternative to. 

I actually found a bunch of applications I hadn't heard about before! And of particular interest was a reading list tool called LORLS (Loughborough Online Reading List System). It allows educators to share reading lists and annotations with their students—and is a tool that I see having other uses in libraries or even for people like me who often share resources with my colleagues.

Through discussions I've had on the open source mailing lists I subscribe to, I was also pointed to a similar list from SchoolForge (a group that advocates all manners of openness in education, including open source software). From this list I learned about a new-to-me course management system called Claroline.

Maybe it's just the librarian in me, but I love lists like these, so if you have your own list of open source tools that can be used in libraries or in education I'd love to hear about it. In the mean time, check out both the OSS Watch list and the SchoolForge list and learn about new open source applications that might be of use to your in your endeavors.


About the author

Nicole C. Baratta - Nicole C. Baratta (Engard) is a Content Strategist at Red Hat. She received her MLIS from Drexel University and her BA from Juniata College. Nicole volunteers as the Director of ChickTech Austin. Nicole is known for many different publications including her books “Library Mashups", "More Library Mashups", and "Practical Open Source Software for Libraries". Nicole can be reached at