Open Source Software in Educational Institutions

The open source software (OSS) adoption has gained momentum in the educational institutions in Erode and neighboring districts of Namakkal and Salem.

A number of colleges and schools have started rising free and open source tools both in the teaching and learning process and in day – to – day administration.

Workshops, seminars, conferences and a number of awareness programs are being conducted at frequent intervals to encourage students to use open source applications.

Flexibility

“It is not that we are looking to save money. The open source applications offer a lot of flexibility and reputed institutions in the world are moving towards open source,” S. Balamurugan, Dean, School of Communication and Computer Science in Kongu Engineering College (KEC), says.

“The learning experience is indeed better while using open source software. Students see the code, they play with it and it enriches their knowledge. We encourage our students right from the day one to work in Linux. When they start learning C, we advice them to use the GCC.

“The compiler is powerful and it helps students improve their programming skills tremendously,” professors in the Department Computer Science and Engineering at KEC say.

The Bannari Amman Institute of Technology, Sathyamangalam, had already been using the open source software for a variety of purposes ranging from running their local server to event management.

“We have used the LAMPP stack on a Ubuntu server for managing our national level project design contest, Futura, this year. The server – side scripting language PHP powered our event’s website,” says one of the event co-ordinators Senthilkumar.

Institute Chief Executive Officer A.M. Natarajan is very particular in migrating a significant portion of their Information Technology infrastructure to open source platforms.

Sona College of Technology (SCT), Salem, was one of the very few colleges having a research and development centre for free and open source software.

“We encourage students to familiarise themselves with Linux. A majority of our systems are run on Linux,” David Samuel Azaria, lecturer in SCT, says.

The Vellalar College of Engineering and Technology in Erode had also begun its migration towards open source software. “Ubuntu has made computing in Linux much easier and students have started to like it a lot.

After we conducted a workshop, most of the students, who earlier had proprietary operative system in their laptops, migrated to Ubuntu,” Palanivelu, head of Information Technology department at Vellalar College of Engineering and Technology here says.

“More and more institutions would embrace open source software as it has a promising future,” academicians point out.

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