Open Source School Programs

The Penn Manor IT Team strongly values open source software and values. For nearly 20 years, the team successfully implemented high-quality, low-cost, open source alternatives to proprietary applications and services. But open source represents more than zero cost; open source principles promote technological freedom of choice and a community spirit of learning.

Moodle, first installed in 2004, is a high-quality open LMS alternative to Blackboard, Edmodo, and Schoology. Since 2010, Penn Manor school libraries have relied on Koha, a free, community-driven collection management system. Open source software programs such as Apache, Nagios, NextcloudPuppet, and WordPress are essential to district enterprise infrastructure. The PM Tech Team maintains a list of great open source software for education.

Penn Manor School District support’s Pennsylvania’s largest classroom Linux laptop program. As of 2018, more than 4000 student laptops run Linux and open source software. The district’s 1:1 laptop learning program launched in January 2014 when 1700 Penn Manor High School students received school laptops running open source software exclusively. The open source 1:1 program expanded to middle school students in August 2015 and was extended to students in grades 5 and 6 during 2018.

Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, featured our 1:1 high school program. Red Hat featured our open source programs and student help desk in a wonderful documentary. In 2016, Penn Manor received an Award of Distinction from District Administration Magazine.

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