As with any technology, open source should be considered based on a school's unique needs and goals. This section presents some key ideas about tech planning as it relates to open source. It's intended to help educators examine open source in the context of their larger technology plans. Open source is not an "either/or" choice. Schools may thrive on a mix of proprietary and open source software. Here are some questions to ask about tech planning and open source, with links to further discussion:
- Needs & goals... Where are we now? Where do we want to go?
- People & change... How will we deal with change (in technology, people, ideas)?
- Implementation... How will we get there?
- Evaluation... How will we know when we are there?
- Getting started... Advice for the first steps
Good planning occurs when compelling principles are balanced with practical realities, as illustrated by this table:
|Some principles of good tech planning||Some realities of tech in K-12|
Table: Some principles & realities of tech planning.
While considering open source, look for...
|...advice about tech planning & open source|
|...questions to ask yourself & your school|
Open Options is a product of the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. These materials are in the public domain and may be reproduced without permission. The following acknowledgment is requested on materials which are reproduced: Developed by the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, Portland, Oregon.
This Web site was developed and maintained by the Northwest Educational Technology Consortium. The federal funding for the regional technology consortia program ended on September 30, 2005, and no further updates are planned unless additional funding becomes available. However, much of the content is still useful and NWREL will continue to provide access to this site to support educators and to meet its own technical assistance needs.