Open Tools

A Guide to Open-Source Educational Technology

Teach Open Tools, created by the Center for Teaching and Learning at Baruch College, is a database of openly licensed tools that are especially useful in educational settings to help students and faculty build engagement and collaboration in and out of the classroom space.

In addition, this site hosts a growing repository of step-by-step tutorials on getting started with individual open-source technologies and an ever-expanding collection of use-case articles written by and for CUNY-wide open-source practitioners.

What does Open Source Mean?

Open source software is software that can be inspected, used, modified, and shared by anyone and is designed to be publicly accessible. Open source projects, products, or initiatives embrace and celebrate a broad set of principles, including:

Exchange

Collaboration

Transparency

Meritocracy

Community

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Open-Source Digital Tools are…

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Available to anyone for any purpose

On paid, freemium, or otherwise ad-based or data-extracting proprietary platforms, users often sign long agreements (has anyone read a whole one?) that turn over the rights to the work they create to the software provider. With open-source tools, you have control over what you do with your work, including the usage rights you assign to it.

Available to anyone for any purpose

Open-source platforms distribute their software and source codes freely, without the need for payment or institutional licensing to access their tools—and with the ability to take the code itself and create new things! That’s useful for everyone from the explorative first-time user to the seasoned software developer.

Ripe for public scholarship

Open-source research-based work can reach audiences beyond the university and bridges the gap between scholarly expertise and the public’s desire to better understand current events.