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Thanks to your support, 2015 marks 30 years of the FSF! In the next 30 years, we want to do even more to defend computer user rights. To kick off in that direction, we're setting our highest-ever fundraising goal of $525,000 by January 31st. Read more.

$525K
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Free Software and Education

How Does Free Software Relate to Education?

We are looking for free educational games, or information about free games that can be used for educational purposes. Contact <education@gnu.org>.

Software freedom plays a fundamental role in education. Educational institutions of all levels should use and teach Free Software because it is the only software that allows them to accomplish their essential missions: to disseminate human knowledge and to prepare students to be good members of their community. The source code and the methods of Free Software are part of human knowledge. On the contrary, proprietary software is secret, restricted knowledge, which is the opposite of the mission of educational institutions. Free Software supports education, proprietary software forbids education.

Free Software is not just a technical question; it is an ethical, social, and political question. It is a question of the human rights that the users of software ought to have. Freedom and cooperation are essential values of Free Software. The GNU System implements these values and the principle of sharing, since sharing is good and beneficial to human progress.

To learn more, see the Free Software definition and our article on why software should be free (as in freedom).

The Basics

The GNU Project was launched in 1983 by Richard Stallman to develop a Free Libre operating system: the GNU operating system. As a result, today it is possible for anyone to use a computer in freedom.

In this six-minutes video Richard Stallman explains briefly and to the point the principles of Free Software and how they connect to education.

In Depth

Download and watch the video at a higher definition in the Ogg Theora (ogv) free format.

Transcriptions of this video are available in English, Spanish, and other languages.

SubRip subtitle files are also available for download in English, Spanish, and other languages.

 [FSF logo] “Our mission is to preserve, protect and promote the freedom to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer software, and to defend the rights of Free Software users.”

The Free Software Foundation is the principal organizational sponsor of the GNU Operating System. Support GNU and the FSF by buying manuals and gear, joining the FSF as an associate member, or making a donation, either directly to the FSF or via Flattr.

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