Helping Macs take back the classroom via Open Source - Macenstein

Helping Macs take back the classroom via Open Source

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

Back in the early days of schoolroom computing, Apple was pretty much the only game in town (well, MY town, anyway). Unfortunately, over the years, as PC companies began to crank out cheaper (and buggier) machines, budget conscious school boards began turning away from the Mac, reasoning it was better to have 2 virus prone, unintuitive beige Windows computers which required the purchase of a ton of extra (inferior) software plus the hiring of an IT department to manage them, rather than to have one perfect Mac that could do everything and last forever (how’s that for an Apple Fanboy rant?).

Well, faithful Macenstein reader Simon Elliot aims to help increase the Mac’s current education marketshare via the power of open source. Simon has compiled a fairly impressive listing of freeware and open source software for the Mac that can be used to create a rich teaching environment on the Mac for little or no cost.

The Free Mac Classroom (which is over a couple hundred entries long and growing daily) includes such favorites as VLC Media Player, Neo Office, Skype, Google Earth and the like, but also includes a staggering amount of apps I had never heard of. While the majority lend themselves directly to learning, there are a ton which are geared toward Mac system administration and just getting your “Mac geek on” in general. From the music apps Finale Notepad and Ebony & Ivory, to the Yacas Computer Algebra System, there are apps here that cover pretty much every subject in your curriculum (I’m assuming Phys ed was already been cut long ago).

The apps are broken down into categories such as Productivity Tools, Pictures, Educational and Specialist Software, Internet and communication Tools, Music, Movies, Utilities, Business Applications, and Useful Websites (we’ll assume our omission was an oversight).

Whether you are looking to find a way to manually turn up your laptop’s fan, emulate early Mac Os’s, do some constructive solid geometry modeling, or download driver’s for PC Gamepads on your Mac, you’ll find something cool you never knew about on this list. Check out The Free Mac Classroom.

2 Responses to “Helping Macs take back the classroom via Open Source”
  1. James Hubert says:

    Cool! Some good links there, thanks!

  2. archi penko says:

    personally, i find Open Source Mac a really helpful page… listing everything clearly in categories and level of popularity/usefulness..

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