Mar 08

Can FOSSELs Fuel Sustainability?

With the economy in its current state, money -or the lack thereof- is a constant concern. The world of Higher Education is not immune to this problem, sadly. How do we create a model that’s sustainable and still provides the tools and education for the next generation of students to become part of the global community? What about technology as a lifeline?

FOSSELs (Free and Open Source Software Equipped Libraries) could point the way toward a potential source for shrinking expenses in a vital area: technology. By adopting a model that embraces Free and Open Source as its inspiration, Higher Ed institutions could explore lower operating expenses without sacrificing access to technology for students and faculty. Without the large expense of “brand-name” software, a significant amount of funding could be applied to the mission of education.

I have worked in a FOSSEL in my previous life in public libraries. The model, when properly implemented and maintained, has the potential to be a great asset with implications in all areas of education. Is there a real possibility that this could become a defining (or redefining) movement in education? If so, where does that movement start? What are the roadblocks to such an effort?

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