Open source to boom 800% in US K-12 Education market

Would open source have averted the Miss Teen South Carolina travesty? :-)

I first came across this eSchools report on Dana Blankenhorn's blog, and followed Dana's link to the findings from the 2006 report:

Open source is gaining importance for schools. The growth rate is a healthy 70% per year. Beyond Linux and the well-known Indiana open-source initiative, a number of other states and districts are considering open source. Moodle, a curriculum delivery platform, is an example of a popular open-source program. Widespread open-source usage will grow eight-fold from 2006 to 2011.

Wow. I'm hopeful that increased open source will spawn fewer Microsoft-bred atrocities like this:

Only kidding! Actually, the salient quotes from the report noted above have to do with K-12's use of open source to manage school systems, and not with how kids are taught. Miss Teen USA (South Carolina) would know just as little about US geography under open source as under her current diet of Microsoft Office and Google.

Humor aside, it's not very hard to figure out why the Education market would be a big win for open source: K-12 budgets are small and open source fits right into them. They can't afford to waste money on licenses - they need the subscription model that only requires them to pay for value, not licenses.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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