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ERIC Number: EJ847809
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-1552-3233
Getting Open Source Software into Schools: Strategies and Challenges
Hepburn, Gary; Buley, Jan
Innovate: Journal of Online Education, v3 n1 Oct-Nov 2006
In this article Gary Hepburn and Jan Buley outline different approaches to implementing open source software (OSS) in schools; they also address the challenges that open source advocates should anticipate as they try to convince educational leaders to adopt OSS. With regard to OSS implementation, they note that schools have a flexible range of options: Schools may adopt selected OSS applications while retaining proprietary operating systems such as Windows or MacOS, they may install Linux as an optional open source alternative to Windows or MacOS, or they may adopt an "all open source" approach that relies entirely on Linux and OSS applications. In arguing on behalf of a given technological approach to OSS implementation, however, advocates will need to anticipate the socio-political barriers that will face them. These barriers include lack of awareness about OSS among educational leaders, systemic factors that prevent stakeholders from fully understanding the financial benefits of OSS, anxieties about the impact of change, unfamiliarity with the ethical dimensions of OSS, and an insufficient degree of OSS experience on behalf of technical support staff. By anticipating and addressing these issues, Hepburn and Buley argue, advocates as well as researchers will be able to promote OSS in a more focused and strategic fashion in the years to come.
Fischler School of Education and Human Services. Nova Southeastern University, 1750 NE 167th Street, North Miami Beach, FL 33162. Tel: 800-986-3223; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A