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

  • Online Programs Available
    1. University of Southern California

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership
      • Doctor of Social Work
    Master's
      • Masters of Arts in Teaching
      • Masters in School Counseling
      • Master of Arts in Teaching Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
      • MSN for Aspiring Family Nurse Practitioners
      • Master of Science in Integrated Design, Business and Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Penn Foster High School

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    High School Diploma
      • HS Diploma
  • Online Programs Available
    3. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Ed.D in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning - Qualitative Research
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      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
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      • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
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    4. Purdue University Global

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    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
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      • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
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      • BS in Communication
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      • Medical Assisting Certificate
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    5. Northcentral University

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    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Business Admin - General Business
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      • M.A. in Psychology - General Psychology
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      • Education Specialist - Organizational Leadership
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    6. The Chicago School

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    Master's
      • Dual Degree: MA Counseling Psychology and MS Applied Behavior Analysis
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    Certificate
      • Certificate in Forensic Psychology - M.A. Non-Licensure Track to Licensure Bridge Program
      • Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis
      • Suicide and Cyberbullying Prevention Certificate
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    7. Syracuse University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Masters of Communications
      • Masters of Science in Computer Science
      • Masters in Accounting
      • Masters in Business Administration
      • Masters in Public Administration
      • Masters of Library and Information Science
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    8. Liberty University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DME: Doctor of Music Education
      • LLM: International Legal Studies
      • EDD: Curriculum and Instruction
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      • MA: Communication
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      • BED: Business Education 6-12
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      • AA: Business
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      • CTG: Communication
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  • Online Programs Available
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      • MBA
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    Bachelor's
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  • Online Programs Available
    10. Florida Tech

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA/Management
      • MA in Organizational Leadership
      • MBA
      • MBA/Accounting
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Featured Schools

University of Southern California

  • Doctor of Education in Organizational Change and Leadership
  • Doctor of Social Work
  • Masters of Arts in Teaching
  • Masters in School Counseling

What is your highest level of education completed?

Penn Foster High School

  • HS Diploma

What is your age?

Grand Canyon University

  • Ed.D in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning - Qualitative Research
  • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

What is your highest level of education?

Purdue University Global

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
  • BS in Communication
  • AASBA in Business
  • Medical Assisting Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Northcentral University

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

What is your highest level of education?

The Chicago School

  • Dual Degree: MA Counseling Psychology and MS Applied Behavior Analysis
  • M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Certificate in Forensic Psychology - M.A. Non-Licensure Track to Licensure Bridge Program
  • Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

What is your highest level of education completed?

Syracuse University

  • Masters of Communications
  • Masters of Science in Computer Science
  • Masters in Accounting

What is your highest level of education completed?

Liberty University

  • DME: Doctor of Music Education
  • MA: Communication
  • BS: Psychology
  • AA: Business
  • CTG: Communication

What is your highest level of education?