Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Free Software for your Learners (or staff)

The award winning Open Education Disc has recently released another version which like previous versions is more free software, aimed directly at learners, giving them the necessary tools to help them complete their learning. The Open Education Disc was designed by teacher/trainers to help learners complete their study without the need for expensive software licenses, or having to resort to piracy.

The collection of software now includes (as part of its OpenOffice)…

· A word processor, Writer - for producing documents, reports, newsletters, and brochures.
· A spreadsheet called Calc.
· A presentation package, Impress.
· A Drawing package for producing diagrams or 3D illustrations.
and Database tools.

It also has a free…

· PDFCreator to generate PDF documents directly from any Windows program.
· GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) suitable for those wanting to manipulate digital photographs.
· software for video editing
· and screen recording software.

You can read more about each of the programs here. This site also offers a few tips on how to download your own copies for use or distribution (as well as links to more freebies).

It’s interesting that in an old blog post I referred to ways that a training centre based in West Sussex was using free software like this four years ago (when this software suite was called the OpenCD). Its clear that many have been using free software for a while now!

This more recent post also highlights the importance of free and Open Source Software, and explains why it is becoming increasingly important for the Work Based learning Sector.

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