Welcome to this Open Source Software for Students eBook, Best Open Source Software for Students. This is a collection of some of the best open source software for students that should make your college years much more manageable. Included in this eBook are programs for word processing, presentation graphics, spreadsheets, accounting, email, media and network communications and programming.
Best Open Source Software for Students is an insightful reader’s guide for students and new Linux enthusiasts. This resource provides the best of open source software for learning computer science. The book not only highlights the most important software packages, but also the general skills needed to gain experience with open source development environments.
- Free version: OpenSIS Community Edition offers core features including student information, advanced scheduling, teacher portal, and attendance tracking.
- Paid version: The Professional Edition helps with more complex processes school administrators might face. The price is set at $0.25/year per user.
openSIS is an open source student information and school management software. It offers a cloud-based setup for schools ranging from K12 to higher education and integrates with popular third-party video conferencing tools for advanced online classroom management.
The product is best suited for small to medium schools with a knowledgeable IT staff. Being an open source tool, users need to be familiar with PostgreSQL to take full advantage of the software. It also has native iOS and Android apps.
openSIS offers integrations with several popular video conferencing and calendar management applications to facilitate online schooling.
The product’s support options comprise self-service portal, live chat, and an after-hours crisis helpline.
MLH Fellowship is a program started by Major League Hacking that allows students to contribute to open source. The MLH fellowship has three subprograms:-
- Explorer — This program is designed for students who want to enhance their portfolio by doing some fantastic projects but are not prepared to contribute to open source.
- Open Source — This program is for students who want to contribute to open source organisations.
- Externship — This program is for developers who want to contribute to companies and startups worldwide and have real-world developer experience.
- Free version: Supports core functions such as attendance tracking, class scheduling, student information system, and faculty management.
- Paid version: Varies from $49-$1,999 for packages for additional features, integrations, and onboarding services.
OpenEduCat is an open source cloud-based educational management system for universities, colleges, and schools.
OpenEduCat offers a variety of features in its core module. These include an information system that keeps a record of students and faculty members, attendance tracking, virtual classroom, fees management, and timetable management.
Support and maintenance are not available with the free version—users have to perform it themselves, which requires coding knowledge. The alternative is to avail paid installation and maintenance from the OpenEduCat service team.
Hacktoberfest is hosted by Digital Ocean every year in October. It is not a full-fledged open-source program with organisations to contribute to. It is a beginner-focused program in which anyone can participate. All you need to do is make four or more pull requests to any repository taking part in the Hacktoberfest program.
All the students who complete the four pull requests are eligible to get a free T-shirt from Hacktoberfest.
This contest does not have any selection procedure, so it is an excellent opportunity for any newcomer to start with open source by making some minor contributions.
Youthful minds are not always organized minds. Students often struggle with managing notes and lesson materials. RedNotebook is a simple calendar-based journal that can help tame unruly piles of digital paper. The application is built around the idea of a daily diary. Individual journal entries may be tagged, searched, and identified via a visual world cloud. Students can use RedNotebook to organize notes by class or unit of study. A neat feature is the ability to export journal entries, as text or PDF, by date range or by tag. A student might use the export function to submit a collection of written work to a teacher for grading, or to forward notes to fellow students who missed class.
For a fun and challenging learning project, have students pair Brackets and Reveal.js to craft a class presentation that will make PowerPoint look decidedly old school.
- Free version: Can support a class of 50 students and up to five teachers can access the software.
- Paid version: Costs $350 per feature as a one-time setup charge. Administrators can manage up to 600 students and unlimited teachers.
feKara offers a common and easily configurable school database system for teachers, parents, and students. The product also integrates with popular third-party video conferencing tools to provide a virtual classroom experience to students. Admins or teachers can easily create online classes and manage lesson planning from within the app.
feKara offers email and live chat support.
How many browser tabs do you have open right now? Have you checked Twitter in the last 10 minutes? Let’s face it: technology was born to grab our attention. Beat down the distractions and get back to writing with FocusWriter, an application that helps students (and adults) dismiss the siren songs of social media and YouTube videos so they can craft a perfect five-paragraph essay. Launch FocusWriter and the application fills the screen with a blank white page and charming simulated-wood desktop backdrop. FocusWriter does one thing very well: it removes temptation.
Open source software is cheaper and built by communities of developers, which means you can learn as an apprentice. A community of developers will keep these projects going; you’ll never be stranded with no one to fix a bug in your code.