Macro-scale benefits of e-learning on free software

There are many advantages of e-learning. Some of them are obvious to people who barely entered the education with technology world:

  • Increased availability of learning content in time
  • Increased availability of learning content in space
  • Increased capacity to maintain and improve learning content
  • Lower logistical costs than physical, in-class teaching
  • Increased reach (due to not binding it to a physical place)

Providing or using e-learning with free software provides the following additional benefits:

  • Ability to modify the application to your needs
  • Ability to scale (up and out) without increasing licensing costs
  • Ability to develop the local business by directing critical financial resources (otherwise spent in foreign licensing) to local manpower, developing both skills and wealth locally, even in rural areas
  • Ability to avoid technology lock-up as data is and remains in your posession
  • Ability to replicate the improvements or other modifications you have made and make other institutions benefit
  • Ability to translate to any language (having a learning tool localized is very important for minorities)

All this is good, but when talking about macro-scale (a region, a country or the world), e-learning on free software provides you with incredible advantages which could really improve the way every person lives

  • Ability to share knowledge and learning efforts cross-borders, which will increase understanding and thus reduce conflicts (free software will enable you to customize this knowledge sharing to what local communities really need)
  • Ability to share resources, making it possible for experts to be virtual hosts in other organizations, spreading their knowledge
  • Ability to evaluate massive amounts of learners, fast (and improve the educational system as a whole, instantly) and without fear of other parties controlling those results to whatever ends they might plan
  • Ability to reduce centralization and develop all sub-parts of a specific geographical territory (even with only partial internet connectivity), through light optimizations taken in charge by the same people who face these challenges
  • Ability to improve the role of teachers, making them re-take their role of leaders, showing the way instead of running after the clock to finish correcting their students’ assignments

There are many reasons why everyone should suggest the use of e-learning using free software, and these are the reasons why this is my expertise. I really believe in making the world a better place by using it. With Chamilo, we are already helping more than one million people around the world to get a better education at a lower cost and with control over their resources. Help us do the same, tell your institution (company, school, government) about Chamilo and try it!

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