Tuesday, 27 January 2009

OSS Roolz

"We want Open Source Solutions (OSS)" say the kids.

Well, actually the schools are saying this - now backed by BECTa. A recent BBC report outlines the recent change in tack BECTa has regarding the promotion of OSS systems. You may recall that the BECTa approved supplier list seemed to favour the likes of the massive corporates (eg. Apple) and completely fail to acknowledge the meteoric rise in the adoption of OSS tools like Moodle, mediawiki, and Wordpress, to name but a few.

Yes, there are some costs and support issues to deal with as opposed to buying a usual "off the shelf" solution, but there are also more and more 3rd party companies offering to host and support the deployment of OSS tools. Covering everything from (relatively) simple software (Audacity) to fully blown Portals & CRM/CMS solutions. A local College has even taken the step of offering students the opportunity to use the FREE Open Office suite as an alternative to the bloated MS Office. Now that's forward thinking and shows that the College is aware of student voice. You can even run quite a few of these OSS applications on a memory stick. Even (sticky) Moodle!

OSSwatch the JISC service have recently run workshops on "levelling the playing field", and hopes to encourage IT directors to take OSS solutions seriously in their ITT and upgrade plans.


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