Navigate 1 – Commercial vs. Open Source Virtual Classrooms

Reflect: Consider for a moment the role of synchronous learning in the virtual classroom and the exploration of various synchronous applications. Using the lesson as a point of reference, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the open source versus commercial software in relation to synchronous learning in your blog

strength of open source ins synchronous learning – everyone has access, does not cost money, weakness – no help for troubleshooting for problems,                                                   Strength of commercial software – constant updates, if something goes wrong there is help, weakness – money, not every student may have access to it if you have to pay extra

Answer: When would an open source application take precedence over a commercial product? What are the issues when choosing between Open Source vs. Commercial Software?


An open source application would take precedence over a commercial product in several instances. 1. Could be DLC’s  – if a Digital Learning community requires a paid commercial product less people would be willing to join. 2. Asynchronous learning  – I think often of MOOC’s which are offered on an LMS that is free to take.  This can also be true to PD that is varied in geography (as a district typically has commercial licences for products.  3. When there is no money to purchase commercial product – either by students or by instructors.

The issues when choosing between open source and a  commercial software can really boil down to money. How much money does one have to spend. Another issue one must look at are the available features. Often times, commercial software like Black Board have a free open source CourseSites – these opensource offere limited capabilities and features. The last issue that can come up is Support – Commercial software will come with Customer support once a license is purchased. However, with open source applications Customer service could take a very long time.



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