Friday, August 31, 2007

Analyst Anticipates Eight-fold Increase in K-12 Open Source by 2011

I followed up on this eSchool News report on the America's Digital Schools Report. There are some interesting tidbits in the key findings from last year's 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.

This one is buried, not surprising considering the sponsors of the survey. The eSchool News story which uses the survey to riff on on ways of cutting technology costs doesn't peep about free software either, presumably for the same reason.

Those gripes aside, this is a plausible projection from an established source, and open source advocates should quote it liberally.

66% of curriculum directors indicate that a bullet-proof infrastructure is the most important factor in adopting a primarily digital curriculum. This finding may indicate a level of skepticism about the current state of infrastructures.

Apparently curriculum directors do think it is about the technology, or the unreliability thereof.

Almost the same number, 64%, of curriculum directors rank more flexible licensing and pricing terms and conditions as extremely important factors in adopting a primarily digital curriculum.

Perhaps this 64% percent would be interested in knowing more about the spcific flexibility offered by free software licensing.

Interestingly, only 27% of curriculum directors indicate that third party, web-delivered content via an ASP is an important factor in digital learning. It appears that those surveyed want a digital curriculum but that they prefer it to reside on their own server.

Interesting indeed.

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