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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2021

Chenggui Duan and Tracy K. Lee

Free and open-source software (FOSS) has been used worldwide because of the advantages of user control, cost-saving, flexibility, openness, freedom, more security and better…

Abstract

Purpose

Free and open-source software (FOSS) has been used worldwide because of the advantages of user control, cost-saving, flexibility, openness, freedom, more security and better stability. The purpose of this study is to explore the status quo of educational application of FOSS and the trends from international perspectives and its implications for higher education in Hong Kong.

Design/methodology/approach

The method of cluster analysis was used in this study. The Web of Science database was used as the data source and all relevant literature for the year 2010–2020 on the theme of “FOSS” was collected for analysis. The information visualization software CiteSpace was used for citation visualization analysis, revealing the research results of FOSS worldwide, including hot spots and development trends.

Findings

This paper found that FOSS has become an important research area and is playing an important role in the reform and development of education. Meanwhile, the development and application of FOSS have regional imbalances and strong differentiation, including the educational sector. The paper also found that although FOSS has entered the stage of interdisciplinary development, the research and development of FOSS in the field of education is insufficient, which poses a huge challenge to decision-makers, teachers and students.

Originality/value

Implications for higher education in Hong Kong including: attach importance to and vigorously promote FOSS research and practice to benefit more teachers and students; teachers and students need to be trained for acquiring the awareness and skills of FOSS applications and formulate different strategies; the government should provide greater support to formulate and implement a short and middle-term development plan to facilitate the application of FOSS; and Hong Kong higher education institutions may strengthen exchanges and cooperation with counterparts around the world to jointly promote the development of FOSS. It is hoped that the findings will provide a reference for the study and application of FOSS in higher education in Hong Kong.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

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