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Free and Open Source LMS and E-learning Platforms

Remote work and e-learning platforms are becoming a tendency now because of global markets. Furthermore, the need of platforms to support online collaboration are booming because of the COVID 19 (Corona Virus) pandemic. Furthermore, a LMS delivers and manages all types of content, including video, courses, and documents. So, rubrics, teacher and instructor facilitated learning, a discussion board, and often the use of a syllabus are part of the application. In this way, it’s easier for many schools, universities and companies to continue with their educational programs.

While there are many self-managed solutions that charge for user or monthly payment there are other options. Nevertheless, there are superb open source and free alternatives in the market. In this article we want to focus on Open edX and Canvas which can be implemented with no licensing costs.


Open edX Platform

This is an e-learning platform backed by universities like M.I.T and Harvard and companies like IBM and Microsoft. Also, it’s the technology used by edX to deliver courses online and that currently serves around 18 million users.

Currently they support many universities worldwide to implement and launch programs. Additionally, they work with companies worldwide to launch in-company programs for their employees. For example, Microsoft and IBM have programs to teach about computer science and programming languages.

The platform is free to use and you can find the source code here:

https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-244620272fa39bc10bc5efbbf5a15d01

Also, you can implement it in your own server or use cloud services like AWS or Google Cloud. The cloud benefit is that you pay as you use it.


Canvas

Canvas is an e-learning platform currently used in many colleges, universities, and K-12 schools. Also, it’s open-source LMS by Instructure Inc. The license  is for use by anyone interested in learning more about or using learning management systems.

Any teacher can start by free on their own and then hire a company to escale when it’s needed. If you’d like to use Canvas in your own course there is no need to do all the work of installing it because Canvas Cloud is free for teachers to use, sign up to get started.

The platform is free to use and you can find the source code here: https://github.com/instructure/canvas-lms/wiki#installation-tutorials

Also, you can implement it in your own server or use cloud services like AWS or Google Cloud. The cloud benefit is that you pay as you use it.


Guidelines to start teaching online

You can find information to start teaching remotely from Harvard University in their official website. Indeed, you can find references in how to get started, best practices and additional resources.

It’s always a good idea start by making experiments and learn from them. Accordingly, you can take small steps and start with what you already have in paper and then try to launch videos and online conferences.


Next Steps

During these difficult times we in Origo can provide technological support to implement and maintain applications in the cloud. As mentioned before, you won’t have to pay for licensing but only for the cost of running the services and maintenance.

If you have additional questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

We can guide you during the entire process. Send us an email to info@origo.ec