Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

Open Source Education: Free Life-Learning Tools

Open Source Education: Free Life-Learning Tools

By Lizzy Chan

Children will likely pursue several careers in their lifetime, live in different cities, and need new and evolving skills in order to flourish. This is called life learning and can be enhanced with the use of open source education software. These programs that allow students to learn about particular topics that may not be covered in your curriculum, think: art history or computer science. You can also use these programs to enhance the lessons you’re already teaching.

What’s more, open source educational software is often free so the burden of funding is no longer on your shoulders. Use these tips to incorporate this technology in your classroom.

Find Free Open Source Education Software

There are a variety of sources for open source education software, but finding ones that are legitimate and backed by other education professionals is key. Some websites to try include:

For a small fee you can also try, which has a diverse range of short tutorials ranging from how to play guitar and why we yawn to how to kick a soccer ball.

If you’re unsure about using these tools in your classroom, check out the testimonials from Kahn Academy. You’ll quickly see that students have found Salman Khan’s (founder and tutor on the Academy) video-lessons so effective and fun that students are even excited about learning calculus.

How to Integrate Open Source Education

This software presents a variety of benefits to teachers. Here are a few ways you can use them to enhance a lesson or encourage life learning.

  • Use it to provide extra-credit opportunities. For example, students can choose a topic and then write a summary of what they learned in the video or game.
  • Use it for homework. If your students have computers at home, use open source educational videos and games for fun homework assignments.
  • Use it to reinforce a lesson you plan to give. Show a video or allow the students to play a game that exemplifies the most important aspects of your lesson.

How have you used open source education in your classroom?  Share your experiences with us!

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