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International Journal of Computer and Communication Technology

Abstract

Open Source Software (OSS) is defined as a computer software that is freely provided and which permits users to use, change, and improve the software, and to redistribute it in a modified or an unmodified forms. OSS is developed in a highly social online environment where developers are dispersed in space and time, but rarely interact in a face-to-face manner. Literature in this field specifies many successful OSS implementations in Academic Institutions globally. Educational Institutions have diverse opinion on the academic use of OSS. The concept of open access and the proliferation of academic blogs have broken down many barriers in the educational sector. With the reference of studies conducted in various countries such as Switzerland, USA, Australia, UK etc., it can be said that there are two distinct views on the academic acceptance of OSS. One view is in favor of the use of OSS, while the other is hesitant about OSS thinking that it could suppress the creativity of individuals. OSS represents a social dimension of Learning through a Persistent, Unified, Massively Multi-User, and Self-Organizing Virtual Environment extending beyond the traditional classroom into the universities common areas where learners build knowledge and understanding through serendipitous and collaborative exchanges both within and across subject area boundaries. The digitization of education is a relatively new phenomenon but has already transformed the education sector .Most Educational Institutions are operated on a non-profit basis and many of them are government funded. Open Source Software’s are freely available on well-known OSS Project community providers such as www.SourceForge.net and hence can be implemented in Educational Institutions at no procurement costs. This research is an attempt to examine the differences between the implementation of OSS and Proprietary software’s in Educational Institutions. Findings of this study could facilitate Universities and Educational Institutions to evaluate the options of using OSS for their Information Technology or Information Systems requirements.

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