20 Open Source Applications for Students and Lifelong Learners

About this article
The web offers many different open source applications that help with office work, collaboration, learning and exploration, annotations, citations, archiving and much more. Here are 20 open source applications that would be especially useful to students and lifelong learners.
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Office and Collaboration

openoffice

  • OpenOffice - OpenOffice is a popular open source software suite that can be used for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, databases and much more.
  • Spicebird - This free collaboration platform offers email, instant messaging, calendaring and other web services.
  • Writewith - Writewith is a web-based application that makes it easy for groups to write and work together online.
  • Dolphin - Dolphin is customizable, open source software that can be used to create social networks, forums and other types of interactive communities.
  • Vyew - Vyew is a free web-based collaboration platform that provides real-time web conferencing, presentations and much more.

Learning and Exploration

stellarium

  • Stellarium - Stellarium is an open source planetarium that displays a realistic 3D sky on your computer.
  • KGeography - This free geography learning tool makes it easy to learn about various locations on a world map.
  • Sage - This free mathematics system is a great open source alternative to Mathematica and Matlab. It can be used to study basic, intermediate and advanced mathematics.
  • Jmol - This free interactive application is perfect for chemistry students who want to view 3D models of chemical structures.
  • Parley - Parley uses a flashcard method to help students memorize vocabulary and other information.
  • TuxWordSmith - Similar to Scrabble, TuxWordSmith is a word game that can be played in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, French, Greek, Russian and German.

Archiving, Annotations and Citations

zotero

  • Zotero - This free Firefox extension is excellent for students who need to manage and cite sources for a research paper.
  • Archon - This award-winning open source software is a favorite among archivists. It can be used to record, view and browse descriptive information and digital objects.
  • Total Text Container - This easy-to-use storage application works well for documents, notes, passwords, contacts, bookmarks, images, spreadsheets, task sheets and other types of files.
  • Fedora Repository - The Fedora Repository can be used to support and collect any type of digital content.
  • Jarnal - Jarnal is a note taker/PDF annotator. It also works well for journaling, presentations and project collaboration.

Miscellaneous

inkscape

  • Inkscape - With capabilities similar to Illustrator and CorelDraw, Inkdraw is the perfect vector graphics editor for artists who are looking for free software.
  • ASPT - ASPT is a web-based management tool that can be used to track progress on individual or team projects.
  • DataVision - DataVision is an open source report writer that automatically pulls information from databases and data files.
  • Aggie - This desktop news aggregator pulls the latest information and news from your favorite websites and displays it on one easy-to-read web page.

Popular Schools

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Featured Schools

American University

  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication
  • Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
  • Graduate Certificate in Agile Project Management
  • Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Analytics and Management

What is your highest level of education?

Johns Hopkins University

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice: Clinical Nurse Specialist Specialization - Online
  • Master of Arts in Communication
  • Certificate in Government Analytics

What is your highest level of education?

George Mason University

  • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Master of Health Administration in Health Systems Management
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder Certificate

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • Master: Legal Studies
  • Undergraduate in Legal Studies
  • AASBA in Business
  • Psychology

Which subject are you interested in?

Georgetown University

  • Master of Science in Finance
  • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
  • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

What is your highest level of education completed?

The George Washington University

  • MSHS in Health Care Quality
  • Masters in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services
  • Graduate Certificate in Health Care Quality
  • Graduate Certificate in Multimedia Development

What is your highest level of education?

University of Delaware

  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Business Administration - Finance

What is your highest level of education completed?

Northcentral University

  • Doctor of Business Admin - Applied Computer Science
  • M.A. in Psychology - General Psychology
  • Education Specialist - Organizational Leadership

What is your highest level of education?