Sunday, November 15, 2009

Open source software needs marketing

PUNE: There is a need for greater promotion of the use of open source software for information and communication technology (ICT)-based teaching and learning.

Professor Kannan M Moudgalya of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), highlighted this on Monday. Moudgalya, who heads the Centre for Distance Engineering Education Programme (CDEEP) at the IIT, was delivering the keynote address at the launch of kPoint, a software solution for interactive learning and training.

kPoint, developed by city-based Great Software Laboratory (GSL), was launched by noted computer expert Vijay Bhatkar, creator of India's Param series of supercomputers. Heads and professionals from leading IT companies as well as principals of engineering institutions were present at the occasion. Open source software refers to computer software provided under a license that is in the public domain.

"Open source software has a distinct cost advantage over the expensive commercial software packages. However, a considerable marketing effort is required to secure a greater and wider audience of students for courses transmitted live using ICT tools based on open source software," Moudgalya said.

"Open source software is often sufficient in most distance education programmes, except for some niche academic segments. However, academic institutions don't train students in using good open source software," he further stated.

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