A topic thrown around in the realm of online learning is the difference between Commercial versus Open Source Virtual Classrooms. When looking at customer reviews, it seems that there are very few differences between the two. I decided to dig a little deeper, though, to come to a better understanding. From what I can tell, there is no clear right or wrong choice, but simply what will work best to help you reach your goals.
Commercial Virtual Classrooms
Open Source Virtual Classrooms
I think it is obvious why, in an online learning environment, we would choose to use a commercial virtual classroom rather than an Open Source- privacy laws. It is rare that we use information in the online classroom that would compromise FERPA laws, but even the name of a student is confidential information. If we are using Open Source classrooms, security is not guaranteed. It is difficult to make any type of "guarantee" in the online world, but with an agreement with a commercial company, the chances of any information being shared or anyone entering the classroom without specific permission is nearly impossible. The issues when choosing can easily be narrowed down to five categories: cost, service, innovation, usability, and security. All of these should be considered when choosing an online learning platform, but when laws demand privacy, security is easily the quality that takes precedence.