Using open source software offers schools a unique opportunity to advance the information society that is fair and free, says Cenatic, Spain’s resource centre on open source and open standards.
Cenatic on Friday published a brochure ‘Ten reasons for using open source in education’, meant to show the country’s autonomous regions the benefits of open source software, and to ensure they consider the use of this type of software when schools modernise their programs.
The brochure will be sent to all of Spain’s secondary schools.
In favour of free and open source software are objective arguments, technical, social and cultural, explains Miguel Jaque, Cenatic’s director in a statement. “Open source is a model in itself, free, democratic, sustainable and technologically competitive. It helps to educate people to be free, independent and critical and shows them that they are able make their own technological choices.”
In the brochure, Cenatic documents how easy it is to adopt open source tools to different languages, showing how this was done in the autonomous regions of Galicia, Valencia and Catalonia.
The document also gives examples of the sharing of educational material among different regions and countries. Spain’s ministry of Education and the Janet, the UK’s education and research network, earlier this year started collaboration on the development of ‘Proyecto Agrega’, software that allows teachers, pupils and parents to use and share educational applications and information.
Spain’s schools are forerunners in the use of open source. In the Andalusia autonomous region, for example, some 300,000 school desktop PCs are running the Guadalinux Linux distribution and this year another 180,000 netbook computers will be added that also use this operating system.
The use of free and open source software in its schools has helped the region save more than 180 million euro, says Cenatic. “Apart from cost savings on implementation, maintenance and management, the advantages include faster product development, allowing innovation and supporting local businesses.”
Article was originally published at the Open Source Observatory & Repository Europe.