Schools and Open Source Software - Cost and Time Saving
Educational organisations have recently been pointing out the huge potential benefits to schools of Open Source software: they can save time and money.
This fact was acknowledged by a leading independent public school in the UK, King's College School, Cambridge, which is starting to make these benefits a reality.
Indeed, the prep school announced that setting up an Open Source network infrastructure both allowed them to improve their technical management and save thousands of euros.
"Without open source we would spend our time fire-fighting holes, hackers and viruses. With open source software, we spend our time focusing on education, not hardware or software,” declared Wendy Harris, network manager at King's College School, in an interview for the European eGovernment Services (IDABC).
The challenge of the school was to offer its students the very best ICT facilities without blowing the budget with software licensing. Together with Sirius, a European Open Source consulting group, King's College School has deployed a Linux-based network including e-mail and proxy filtering systems. Management tools can be used by the technical staff to check student usage of the internet, storage and e-mail.
Time saving is also an advantage of Open Source Software.
"ICT in schools is there to better our children's futures. If the management of computer equipment becomes more important than facilitating teachers, supporting operational staff, or enhancing the learning experience of children, we will have failed to justify ICT in education," she added.