Is the true open source revolution finally coming to college campuses this fall?
Many universities are big users of open source, and Internet resources. But when it comes time to deliver the goods -- the coursework -- they order textbooks and throw their students the bill.
Now there are vendor promises to rip up those bills. That's what I call a revolution on college campuses.
Moodle is trying to lead the break by putting its open source course management system into Amazon's cloud. Moodle is a Sourceforge Community Choice Award finalist. It's good stuff.
Placing the software, and content, into the Amazon cloud is supposed to reduce costs for creating and serving coursework. (An aside. Amazon's lead in cloud computing really deserves more press attention.)
To make the bundle more attractive it is being done along with Digital Chalk, enabling streaming of lessons via online video. This makes it a dynamite solution for off-campus education.
Moodle says it is doing all this, by the way, in part because Blackboard, the market leader in this area, has been so aggressive in defending its patents.
If you don't like Moodle, of course, you have other options. Angel Learning went open source last year. CNX, an online book creation and publishing solution, has been online for several years.
Then there's Flat World Knowledge. They're launching in January and promising absolutely free online textbooks. Free as in free beer.
Any chance this can cut the coming bills to send my own kids to college?
I didn't think so.