SAAS, or software as a service, is a solution schools are looking at. Rather than buy licenses and SAAS products are web-based applications that are either free, or purchased on a subscription.
Many of the open source software packages can be found at Schoolforge Many of these software packages are distributed under the GNU General
Public License which basically says that the software creator retains copyright to his/her
work, but that the software is free to use by others - even to the extent of reprogramming the source code. This means your schools can install an open source package on as many computers as they desire, and can even modify the code so the program better fits a particular school’s needs, etc.
For schools with limited budgets, it is a good idea to look at the open source market first before purchasing software. The advantages of saving money, and the freedom to modify the application to your needs may outweigh the disadvantage that you use this software at your own risk, there’s little or no technical support, and no guarantee that the software will be supported
or upgraded as technology moves forward. On the brighter side, for every open source package there usually is an online forum of users who actively collaborate with each other and provide support.
What are your favorites?