In the field of distributed computing, thousands of people have computers running so-called screensaver or passive programs when their machines are not being used for other projects. These are not the screensavers normally thought of, but programs that are contributing to the growth of human knowledge. A lesser number are running active programs that require their interaction with the data provided them. As discussed in this article, these latter programs have far greater educational value than the former, and many are suitable for education at all levels, from middle school to college, and in informal and formal educational settings.
Mumford, G. S. 2008, Astronomy Education Review, 7(1), p.103–112