Navigate 1- Commercial vs. Open Source Virtual Classrooms

Reflect: While going through this module, I realized there are both strengths and weaknesses to synchronous source versus commercial software in a synchronous learning environment. I had several questions about weaknesses floating through my mind about accessibility and affordibility. A student must have access to the necessary software to participate. If a certain commercial software is chosen by the instructor, instead of open source, a student could have difficulty affording the software making it not accessible to them. On the other hand, using open source materials requires IT work which takes much time due to upgrades, integrating, hosting, etc…

Answer: Open source applications would take precedence over commercial products when not all students could afford or manage to get access. Open source materials are free and students are guarateed access. Unfortuately, there are some issues when choosing between open source and commercial products. The commercial products sometimes have greater capabilities than the free open source materials. Teachers must spend time researching the different softwares before planning to use them in their online class. Bottomline, commercial and open source materials are good, but they have there pros and cons. Commercial can be expensive to the student; whereas open source is free to the student, but requires much IT work for continued success.


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