Navigate 1 – Commercial vs. Open Source Virtual Classrooms

Reflect: Consider for a moment the role of synchronous learning in the virtual classroom and the exploration of various synchronous applications. Using the lesson as a point of reference, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the open source versus commercial software in relation to synchronous learning in your blog.

Open Source: Variety of options. Most are free. Individuals definitely need to some technology skills to be able to utilize these applications effectively

Commercial: Teachers can control what students see. Providers will have oversight and assistance may be more readily available. Security is also more of a priority which lends to a more safe learning environment. It can be expensive. Teachers are expected to utilize whatever resource has been picked for them. 

Answer: When would an open source application take precedence over a commercial product? What are the issues when choosing between Open Source vs. Commercial Software?

Open source applications could take precedence over commercial products if it is a one-time experience, such as an author interview using Google+ Hangouts.  Another factor would be expense. Expense would also factor in choosing between Open Source vs. Commercial Software. If a district/teacher cannot afford commercial software, then open source would be their go-to resource. 

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