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Posted by on May 15, 2008

Open-source toolkit for non-profits

There is a good discussion about how non-profits can minimize expense and maximize efficiency by adopting an open-source toolkit for their application needs. This is proving easier and easier each successive year and I imagine we will reach some sort of tipping point in that regard in the very near future; it will become standard operating procedure in the very near future.

The discussion is highlighted in this article. Now, nearer and dearer to my heart is the adoption of an open-source toolkit (perhaps even an entire open-source solution) for school systems. If a few pilot programs are launched at districts with financial constraints (all school systems) then we might start to see some legitimate feedback that will push this trend along as well.

Obviously, Moodle is an excellent resource for creating online courses and variations of this can be applied for supplementary materials which augment existing classroom syllabi. In that respect, we can think of Moodle as a creator of supplementary material, homework, course assignments, reading lists, etc..

The pros of all this open-source content are numerous:

Low cost
Low threshold for adoption
Commercial equivalent
Completely scalable and flexible

Cons:
No technical support (or at least limited)
Some open-source solutions have proven false starters

This is a thread of the conversation that will take place in Ghana at the eLearning Conference next week. Africa seems particularly poised to benefit from these solutions if willing to adopt them.

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