Government Sponsored Open Source Software for School Education

  • Andrew E. Fluck
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 145)


The history of computing can be seen in terms of cultural change engendered by philosophical opposition. In education some key philosophical dichotomies are those of commercial-copyright versus free open source software, and office-centric pedagogies versus rich software libraries to support the whole school curriculum. The ‘Blue File’ software library was generated by four centres supporting students with special learning needs in Britain in the early 1980s, and embodied important features relevant to these tensions. More recently a longitudinal study in Tasmania has provided data to take the story further, highlighting the dangers of an office-centric approach to ICT in school education. The paper concludes with an argument for the exploration of online learning objects as a possible teacher-friendly solution to providing teachers with a rich repertoire of curriculum-focused learning activities.

Key words

Free source software Open source software School education On-line learning objects Office productivity software 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew E. Fluck
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TasmaniaAustralia

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