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Open-Source Tools in Education: 5 Best Options to Take Digital Learning to the Next Level

Large companies create commercial software and make a lot of money on it. However, the creators of open-source tools believe that software must be accessible to everyone. This fact alone makes open-source tools a great choice for students and educators.

In this guide, we will tell you more about open-source tools and reasons to use them in the learning process and share a list of the best tools available today.

What Are Open-Source Tools and Why You Should Care?

These days, students have access to a wide array of helpful platforms, tools, and software. There are tech solutions to pretty much every problem a modern student can face. Namely, there are tools for writing and editing, for solving math problems, platforms where students can write an admission essay with native authors or hire a professional tutor, and plenty of other things that make students’ lives simple and stress-free. But while many of such tools are commercial, there are also some that we call open-source. So, what exactly are those?

Open-source tools are pieces of software that are freely available to everyone. Such tools don’t have a commercial license, which means that they were not developed for profit. Thus, you can use them without any restrictions.

Why do you need this kind of software? Open-source tools can be very helpful in the learning and teaching process, and here is why:

    • Cost – Typically, open-source software is free, making it a great option for students and schools that can’t waste a lot of money on expensive software.
    • Security – Security always plays a crucial role in educational software. Although open-source tools are free of charge, they are very secure because they keep you in full control over your sensitive data.
  • Flexibility – Open-source projects can be adjusted and developed by the community behind them, which gives you the possibility to bring in new functionality and ideas that might be required to make a particular tool suit your needs better.

Open-Source Tools in Digital Learning: 5 Best Options Available Today

There is no secret that education (like other spheres of our lives) is becoming increasingly digital. These days, students and educators run a big part of the learning process digitally, and, of course, they need reliable tools to support this process and retain the effectiveness of learning.

In the list below, you will find the top five open-source tools that take digital learning to the next level.

1. OpenOlat

OpenOlat translates as open online learning and training. It is an online, open-source LMS created to make teaching and learning seamless. This tool allows users to create, share, and access educational content. Also, it enables you to create groups of users and assign them to different online classes and courses. And it even allows you to run exams.

OpenOlat is a perfect space for effective digital learning with all its functionality and flexibility.

2. Moodle

The next open-source tool meant for meaningful digital learning is Moodle. Like OpenOlat, it is an LMS that enables you to create great digital learning environments and customize them to your needs. Using Moodle, educators can create interactive online courses. Students, in their turn, can attend classes according to their personal schedule or under the tutor’s supervision.

The tool supports all the features you might want to have in a modern LMS, including certificate creation, audio or video calls, grading, etc. 

3. Chamilo

Another excellent open-source platform that can transform digital learning is Chamilo. It is secure, very intuitive, and doesn’t cost a cent to use. At the same time, Chamilo comes with a huge range of great features that can help users have excellent teaching and learning experiences.

With this platform, users can create and attend courses, manage students, monitor their progress, run time-controlled exams, create their own communication networks, create certificates, etc.

4. Onlyoffice Docs

The next open-source tool on our list is Onlyoffice Docs. As you can guess from the name, it is a free document editing tool meant for teachers and learners. With the help of this tool, users can create different academic documents with ease.

Some of the features inherent in this tool include academic formatting and navigation, translation, searching for synonyms, grammar check, and more. Also, Onlyoffice Docs has some great collaboration features. And it can be easily connected with any digital learning platform, including OpenOlat, Moodle, Chamilo, and others.

5. Open eLearning

The last one on our list, Open eLearning, is an open-source tool meant for building top-notch educational courses. Its biggest highlight is that this tool allows a lot of interactivity. With Open eLearning, courses and tutorials can feature different interactive and gamified elements that can boost the quality of digital learning.

The Bottom Line

Given their flexibility, cost-efficiency, and security, various open-source tools have a huge potential in digital learning. Such software can help teachers and students have meaningful e-learning experiences without having to overpay for expensive software.

Hopefully, reading this article has helped you grasp the idea behind open-source tools and learn why they matter in digital learning. And you also have a list of the best tools that can boost your online studying or teaching experience right now!