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. The University of Scranton

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MBA - Healthcare Management
      • MBA - Accounting
      • MBA - Human Resources
      • MBA - International Business
      • MBA - Operations Management
      • Master of Accountancy
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    2. Colorado Christian University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Criminal Justice, M.S.
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      • Curriculum and Instruction, M.A. - Emphasis in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse
    Bachelor's
      • Communication Studies, B.A.
      • Criminal Justice, B.S.
      • Psychology, B.S.
      • B.S. Applied Psychology: Biblical Studies
    Associate's
      • Criminal Justice, A.S.
      • Psychology, A.S.
      • Communication Studies, A.A.
      • Business Administration, A.S.
      • Health Care Administration, A.S.
      • Human Resource Management, A.S.
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    3. Grand Canyon University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • DBA with an Emphasis in Marketing
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      • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
      • M.A. in Reading with an Emphasis in Secondary Education
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    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
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      • B.S. in Educational Studies (Does Not Lead to Teacher Licensure)
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    4. Purdue University Global

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    Doctorate
      • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
      • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
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    Master's
      • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
      • Master: Legal Studies
      • MS in Psychology
      • Master : Business Admin
      • Master of Public Health
      • MBA: Human Resources
    Bachelor's
      • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
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      • AASBA in Business
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      • Medical Assisting Certificate
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    5. Trident University

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    Doctorate
      • Business Administration (Ph.D.)
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      • Master of Arts in Education
    Bachelor's
      • Computer Sciences (BSCS)
      • Business Administration (BSBA)
      • Human Resources Management (BSHRM)
      • Homeland Security (BSHLS)
      • Information Technology Management (BSITM)
      • Leadership (BSL)
    Associate's
      • Professional Studies (ASPS)
    Certificate
      • CMCB - Certificate in Medical Coding and Billing
  • Campus and Online Programs
    6. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science - Film Production
      • MS - Entertainment Business (Campus)
      • MS - Game Design (Campus)
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      • M.S. - New Media Journalism
      • Master of Fine Arts - Creative Writing
    Bachelor's
      • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
      • Bachelor of Science - Software Development
      • BS - Cloud Technologies (Campus)
      • BS - Creative Writing for Entertainment (Campus)
      • BS - Film (Campus)
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  • Online Programs Available
    7. Walden University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Education (EdD) - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
      • PhD in Criminal Justice - General
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      • PhD in Psychology - Teaching
    Master's
      • MS in Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (Grades K-12)
      • MS in Education - Self-Designed
      • MS in Education - Elementary Reading & Literacy (Grades PreK-6)
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      • MS in Education - Mathematics & Science (Grades K-8)
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  • Online Programs Available
    8. New England College

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA in Business Administration/Management
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      • BA in Criminal Justice
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      • BA in Humanities
      • BA in Psychology
    Associate's
      • AA in Criminal Justice
      • AA in Psychology
      • AA in Business Administration
      • AA in Sociology
      • AS in Accounting
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  • Online Programs Available
    9. Florida Tech

    Program Options

    Bachelor's
      • BA in Applied Psychology
      • BA in Business Administration/Management
      • BA in Criminal Justice
      • BA in Accounting
      • BA in Applied Psychology/Child Advocacy
      • BA in Applied Psychology/Clinical Psychology
    Associate's
      • AA in Applied Psychology
      • AA in Criminal Justice
      • AA in Accounting
      • AA in Business Administration
      • AA in Healthcare Management
      • AA in Management
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    10. Fortis College

    Program Options

    Associate's
      • Associate Degree in Nursing
    Certificate
      • Dental Assistant
      • Lab Technician
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      • Medical Laboratory Technology
      • Medical Office Administration

Featured Schools

The University of Scranton

  • MBA - Healthcare Management
  • MBA - Accounting
  • MBA - Human Resources

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Christian University

  • Criminal Justice, M.S.
  • Communication Studies, B.A.
  • Criminal Justice, A.S.

What is your highest level of education completed?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA with an Emphasis in Marketing
  • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education

What is your highest level of education?

Purdue University Global

  • Master of Science - DNP Executive Leader
  • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
  • Bachelor: Liberal Studies
  • AASBA in Business
  • Medical Assisting Certificate

Which subject are you interested in?

Trident University

  • Business Administration (Ph.D.)
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Computer Sciences (BSCS)
  • Professional Studies (ASPS)
  • CMCB - Certificate in Medical Coding and Billing

What is your highest level of education completed?

Full Sail University

  • Master of Science - Film Production
  • MS - Entertainment Business (Campus)
  • BS - Sportscasting (Campus)
  • Bachelor of Science - Software Development

What is your highest level of education?

Walden University

  • Doctor of Education (EdD) - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment
  • PhD in Criminal Justice - General
  • MS in Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (Grades K-12)
  • MS in Education - Self-Designed

What is your highest level of education completed?

New England College

  • BA in Business Administration/Management
  • BA in Communication/Journalism
  • AA in Criminal Justice
  • AA in Psychology

What is your highest level of education completed?