It’s that time of year again. Time for school districts to start putting their budgets together for the next fiscal year. As we’re all aware, some wonderful innovations will end up on the fiscal chopping block. A Student Information System doesn’t need to be one of them. Student Information Systems (SIS) allow school districts and their faculty and staff to store student information in a place where it can be readily accessed by other faculty and staff, students and even students’ parents or guardians. This space is on a Web server. Student Information Systems can track such information as schedules, academic performance, parent contact information and interventions. So why do I say that something that sounds so expensive doesn’t need to be cut from the budget? The answer is SchoolTool. SchoolTool is a full-featured, open source Student Information System. With SchoolTool, your district can have ready access to student information usually only possible with expensive proprietary software.
Presentation software, such as LibreOffice Impress, a free, open source application, provide a fun and interactive way to introduce young women to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). With a little instruction on how to use the software, young women (and young men) can create lively and original presentations the likes of which might just amaze you.
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Sometimes fgures speek louder than words.
People who homeschool will love the vast amount of educational technology resources available as open source. Homeschooled students will have access to software that can enhance learning in all areas of the curriculum. There are also applications for multimedia, productivity and even Bible studies. There’s so much useful software that I can’t do it justice here. Check out Energize Education through Open Source, available through Amazon.com or Barnes&Noble, to learn more.
I’m going to take a break from discussing open source educational software and take a look at something fun. Some of you may fondly reminesce about games that ran in DOS, such as DOOM or Heretic. The good news is that you can run these games again in DOSBox. DOSBox is an open source DOS emulator that allows you to run your favorite DOS games. All you need are the original game files and you’re ready to go (these can be found online, so you won’t need a time machine). DOSBox is available for Linux, Microsoft Windows and MacOS.
Forget Lumosity. gbrainy is a collection of open source games designed to stimulate the thought process. The games included address logic, mathematical knowledge, memoory and verbal analogies. gbrainy is free and available for Linux, Microsoft Windows and MacOS. So get gbrainy and start putting your brain to work.