Free Stuff


With school starting next Tuesday, it’s time for a refresh to classrooms and resources.

There have been back to school promotions at many teacher favourites:

Apple, BestBuy, Scholastic, Staples, Walmart, Yahoo!, Zellers

or just go hog wild!

For the web using teacher, you need to check out Alisa Miller’s post.  It’s entitled “100+ Ways to Score Freebies for Your Classroom”.

The price is right and there are things there to make every great classroom even better.

I’ll use the opportunity to plug my own GEC Computers in the Classroom Newsletter.  Every month, there’s a new 10 page newsletter there with resources, suggestions, and inspiration.

Wishing all my educator readers the very best for the new year.

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Blogged with the Flock Browser

Netherlands adopts Open Source Software


From the AP, comes this story: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gK-eb7SFzG8QLvOOlfdt_cPMnFmwD8TGNLJ80

I can’t begin to agree wholeheartedly with organizations that take this approach. One of the biggest reasons why you’ll hear people talk about this approach (and it makes so much sense) is the cost savings. After all, why would anyone pay the huge fees when there is an equally as good or even better solution available as Open Source. The biggest example that often gets tossed out in these examples is Open Office. While it’s a terrific example, there is so much more.

Many people are available of the high quality alternatives. You hear of the Audacity or Firefox products to a lesser extent. But there’s so much more. If you’re new to this whole concept, take a wander around http://sourceforge.net/. You’ll be able to find free alternatives written by terrific programmers. Not only that, but you’ll have a shorter path to contact the developer for whatever reason. My favourite home browser is Flock, which is based on the Firefox product. When I had a question, I just fired off my query to what you might think is your typical faceless point of contact. I received a response with suggestions for what might resolve the situation overnight. You can’t get that anywhere else.

If you aren’t new to this area, you’ll undoubtedly feel good for the taxpayer and the computer using clientelle in the Netherlands.

Even the casual computer user requires more than one or two applications to survive these days. When a solution is just a download away; when support is just an email away; when quality and usability are constantly under revision; where user needs determine the development pattern of the product, it only makes sense.

The best solution isn’t necessarily the one that you might think of first.