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.

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Featured Schools

Herzing University

  • MBA
  • B.S. - Business Management With No Concentration
  • Associate of Science - Business Management

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?

Colorado State University Global

  • MS - Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • BS - Computer Science
  • Undergraduate Certificate - Project Management

What is your highest level of education?

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?

Penn Foster High School

  • HS Diploma

What is your age?

Grand Canyon University

  • DBA - Management
  • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
  • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education

What is your highest level of education?

Walden University

  • MS in Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (Grades K-12)
  • MS in Education - Self-Designed
  • BS in Psychology - MS AIM Track
  • BS in Criminal Justice - Advanced Topics Criminal Justice AIM

What is your highest level of education completed?

Regent University

  • Ph.D. in Communication
  • M.A. in Communication
  • B.A. in Communication

What is your highest level of education completed?