Thursday, April 3, 2008

Free Software

Our school district is likely to make the shift to Linux next fall. Right now I do not know if this is going to be an all out shift or if we will still keep some Windows machines (right now the only Macs we have are dinosaurs). While I love open source and have written before about how the right combination of open source, online apps, and web 2.0 tools can create an ideal technology setup for school settings I still see a need not to totally sever the cord with Microsoft. If only because we still have some software that will not work on any other machine. However, by fall this might not be so true when you look at the rapid growth in the open source sector.

Since the beginning of the school year I have wanted to create a feature on our website where teachers, students, and community members could go and find free software they can trust. With our almost certain shift in operating system I anticipate a small learning curve come September. The biggest confusion will be what software to use or which programs roughly equate to what we used before. I think we can kill two birds with one stone if this downloads page on our website is presented as both a resource and instructive. I have spent the better part of today putting this together. If you have seen our digital backpack you will recognize the style since I hijacked the code to make this.

I am looking for feedback.
  • What programs should I include that are missing?
  • Are there better alternatives to the programs I included?
  • What would you include in a resource like this that I have missed?
  • What download links are faulty (I don't have a Mac to test the Mac downloads)?

P.S. I am still looking for feedback on the digital backpack.


Amanda Carlson said...

Hey Mr. Anderson i tried to download all the different types of video editing programs(linux, mac, and windows) from my laptop and school and none of them worked, a box popped up and said it was an unknown file. Wanting to know if i wanted to search for the file? I'm not sure what kind of problem this is. i would like to find a free video editing program that works well.
Amanda Carlson

Carl Anderson said...

@amanda carlson: Thanks for the feedback. This feature of our school website (and my blog) I am considering in a state of beta. There were some issues with the initial links I posted. I have updated the site, hopefully with the correct links, and added some other software. I will continually be on the lookout for software to add to this tool.

When downloading and installing software make sure you download software for the correct operating system.