Most of the exciting open source software we have discussed in MOSSS blog posts has been for classroom educators, “where the rubber meets the road” to appropriate an old advertising tag line. We are strongly in favor of getting useful tools into the hands of students and teachers. However, there are tools that administrators should know about, too, tools that improve the success of a whole school or district.

Here are a couple of links for the district level, administrators and IT staff.

Maybe the librarian (with proper backing from the district office) should consider the Evergreen open source library software developed by the Georgia Public Library System:

IT staff (often/usually/always) have too much to do and find it is more difficult to set up a test of some new software, even as a summer project. Here is a great idea, simple “stack” installations, not only the application you want to test, but the entire set of supporting software (databases, web servers, etc.). Even better, it gets installed in a directory on a working system so you don’t have to devote a whole machine to the test (unless you want to). You can install more than one stack on the same machine. You can delete the install in a quick, painless way if you don’t like the application. The complete installers even automate the basic configuration steps for the entire stack by asking you to answer some appropriate questions.

The wizards at BitNami have packaged many tools for Blogging (WordPress, Roller), Content Management Systems (Joomla, Drupal, etc.) Wikis, Online Course Management (Moodle), and much, much more.