Kansas Schools To Test ‘Open-Source’ Materials

14037765-3d-open-source-word-sphere-on-white-backgroundLawrence public schools are getting ready to try out a Web-based tool that will allow teachers to switch to open-source learning material written by experts, vetted by their peers and posted for free downloading.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the pilot project will begin when the new semester starts in January.

Lawrence’s assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, Adam Holden, says the availability of quality open-source materials is a “game-changer.”

Holden says the district could be ready to deploy the new system across the district within two or three years if the pilot goes as planned. He said voters also would need to approve an upcoming bond issue that includes funding for technology upgrades.

Holden says the move could save parents money on textbook fees.

  • KooKooKaChew

    OK, saves time and money. Seems to me that education needs to be more about transferring useful information to students in a way that they will retain and be able to use it later. It also sounds like another way to insinuate more PC indoctrination into the educational system. It also gives the educational system another excuse to hide behind. “It was written by experts and peer reviewed so it must be excellent material” Until you get the federal government and the state and national “Education Association” unions out of education there will be nothing more than barely functional idiots turned out each year as “graduates”. When the local school boards can REALLY control the schools again, we will finally get back to what was the primary objective of our schools. Educating tomorrows citizens in a fashion whereby they can function in society AND contribute to that same society.

  • Jagger

    I use some open source software programs as an alternative to Microsoft Office. Very useful and free. Some business are going this route to save on IT costs

  • babethebeagle

    I agree. Open source is a good money saver, and much of it seems to work well.
    I don’t know what the schools have to pay for Office, but it is expensive in the business world. It sounds like a great idea to me.

    • KRS

      It is quite likely that they get it at a very reduced rate…as in…$30 per user for Microsoft Office. There is no excuse for a school district or a non-profit to pay full price for software.

  • Olderwiser

    I’m in college and use Open Source quite often to supplement textbooks and lectures. It helps me quite often and it is actually affordable. As higher eduction uses advanced IT, so should it be used by school districts to give students a heads up in preparing for college. The resources are endless.