This article deals with the use of Open Source Software (OSS) at the primary and secondary level of education in Slovenia. The challenges and advantages of using OSS in educational processes are discussed. The main advantages of OSS are: economic freedom, stability, reliability and a possibility of making modifications but - on the other hand - the main problem for schools can be installation and support. The research carried out to determine the use of OSS in schools is described and the results are compared with the results of similar research studies in Germany, Sweden and UK. The results of both surveys show, that Linux and OpenOffice.org are the most popular OSS applications on computer desktops. The most important conclusion (according to our research) is that lack of knowledge prevents a faster introduction of OSS in education.
Course-support environments are an important technical development relating to computer communications in education that involves the linking of a web-compliant user interface and web-compliant tools and applets with an underlying database. This paper presents a comparison among three different course support environments. One of them is a commercial product and the other two are open source software. The comparison includes various features from the student, and the instructor point of view.
Most students use computers without thinking about how the software and the hardware works internally. So, their occupational outlook depends strictly on the equipment used by a potential employer. Obviously, in case of shoals of applications students which know about the handling of miscellaneous systems are preferred. The concept behind UNIX, BSD or Linux is to provide a set of small but efficient and specialised chiefly tools. More complex problems can be resolved by combining these tools. So, learning how to work with a UNIX-like operating system is learning how to break down a problem into manageable subproblems. But, schools are typically under-funded. That means, that they are unable to bye commercial UNIX-systems. A solution for this dilemma is the usage of Open Source Software like Linux. This paper presents a report of experience which is based on three lectures and practical courses on UNIX/Linux. We will show how to introduce the concepts of Linux as well as how to advance the motivation of students by facilitate individual successes.