Around 1 month ago Jason posted an article related to Educational software that run on Linux (or even Linux distributions done with that goal), today he return on that topic with another roundup of software useful for schools.
Many educators might have been hesitant in the past regarding embracing open source software. But not any more as the number that has taken to open source software (OSS) has increased significantly over the years. As more teachers as well as institutions are now engaging with organizations such as Open Source Schools,SchoolForge among others. Consequently, these educators have begun to realize the potential inherent in OSS that can help transform education in many ways.
Now here is a list of open-source applications that is available to assist educators in teaching as well as in inspiring their students:
openSIS otherwise known as “Open Source Student Information System” is a school administration application. And, it claims to reduce ownership cost for a school district by as much as 75% when compared with commercial systems of the same capability.
This application includes
attendance: By period, by day, with comments and all accomplished with a only a few clicks. Customize attendance codes to meet your specific needs. Easily check attendance by using the built-in reports.
contact information: Easily add contact information for parents, relatives and authorized individuals. Designate legal guardian, bus stops and associate parents with students enabling automatic access to the openSIS parent portal.
student demographics : openSIS enables the tracking of numerous student demographic attributes in a permanent record and across enrollments. Need something not included in the base installation? Use the custom categories and fields that allow you to easily create any number of custom fields to capture any specific data needs.
gradebook: The built in grade book allows teachers to enter homework assignments, class tests and any other activity using weighted scales if desired. Automatic tallying of grades, reports to find erroneously entered grades and advanced ad hoc reporting is included.
scheduling: openSIS includes a scheduler that allows you to easily input student requests and mass schedule students. You can make multiple schedule runs as you make adjustments and have multiple schedules within a school. View and print student schedules and class rosters with just a few clicks.
health records: Nurses visits, immunizations, physician contact information, allergies and more are all a part of the health records.
report cards: Easily input final grades, create student report cards and calculate GPA’s and class rankings.
The solutions is a 100% web-based application and has polished looks, a great deal of required functionality and appears to be easy to use based on the online demo website. openSIS is developed and maintained by Open Solutions for Education.
openSIS is written in the PHP programming language and uses the MySQL database system to store information. The community edition is released under the terms of the GNU General Public License, is free software and can be downloaded from the Sourceforge website.
Epoptes (Επόπτης - a Greek word for overseer) is an open source computer lab management and monitoring tool. It allows for screen broadcasting and monitoring, remote command execution, message sending, imposing restrictions like screen locking or sound muting the clients and much more!
It can be installed in Ubuntu, Debian and openSUSE based labs that may contain any combination of the following: LTSP servers, thin and fatclients, non LTSP servers, standalone workstations, NX or XDMCP clients etc. It’s a partial rewrite of an older application called sch-scripts, which has been successfully used the last year in about 250 Greek schools. Epoptes already has a lot of features, but a lot more are planned, and it’s being developed at a very fast pace. It’s maintained by IT teachers and students, so it should be around for a long time!
Fedena is a free & opensource school management software that has more features than a student information system. Use fedena to efficiently manage students, teachers, employees, courses & all the system & process related to your institution.
Fedena gives you complete control over how you want to manage your school’s databases and provides many tools to organize its activities. It is a complete SIS plus with all the advantages of a perfect school ERP. With fedena there is no need of any extra hardware or technical maintenance staff. All you need is a computer with internet connection. You can operate fedena even with a mobile phone.
The official website claims that anyone with basic knowledge in computers will be able to use Fedena on first login without any instructions, but if you want support there is also a commercial site at www.fedena.com that can help you in the setup of the product.
Fedena is used by the Education Department of Government of Kerala to automate the system and process of over 15,000 schools in the state and is named as Sampoorna
Fedena is developed on the powerful Ruby on Rails framework and a demo is available at this url
The benefits of making use of open source software or application can be said to be as follows: One it helps save money, which can now be used for other important things. Secondly, it gives educators several more options. Since there are so many applications that can help with teaching different subjects as well as with school administration as a whole.