Summercore 2008

"Free and Open Source Software as an alternative to traditional commercial software"
Steve, Matt and Adam

Link to our planning document that includes a table illustrating open source software title alternatives to commercially available titles.

Steve's Delicious Bookmarks on OpenSource
Matt's Delicious Bookmarks on OpenSource
Personal Security

Voicethread on the topic of the value of Open Source in education:

Open Source Software Options

I only cite tools on this page that I have used or use regularly in my practices

If you find yourself tired of trying to keep up with constant software/updates and you have a little technical saavy, then you might consider looking into some open source software applications for your home computers. Additionally, so much of what we do now is web based that it isn't essential that you have the latest, greatest software. If you have an up to date Internet browser and a few other useful applications, you're often times good to go.

Word processing, spreadsheet, presentation software:
  • Open Office-this is an excellent software suite that works cross platform and plays well with Microsoft Office. It has a full featured word processor, spreasheet tool, and a presentation application.
  • Google Docs-this is an entirely web based word processing tool that allows you to access and work on your files from any web based computer on the planet. The software allows the user to save files in Word format. It also allows users to export files as PDF files. Google Docs has a host of other features, including integration with blog accounts and a really neat feature that allows you to give other individuals access to your documents for purposes of collaboration. Update: Google Docs now has "Presentation" software, which allows users to create Powerpoint-like presentations entirely via the web.

Email and IM software
There are so many good, free email/IM software tools to choose from. Most all of them have good, solid privacy controls that let the user fully control the communication experience.
  • Yahoo Messenger-great IM application-also allows the user to make phone calls to other users.
  • Skype-This is an incredible application. It allows free phone calls from your computer to home phone lines and cell phones (in the US and Canada I believe). It also has a really cool conferencing feature that allows many users to talk at the same time. You can even install another software application on your home computer that allows you to record your conversations with people. This is very useful for research, reports, and presentations. Hot Recorder is one such software application that allows you to record Skype calls.

Browser Software:

Utility Software:
  • Google Pack is a suite of utility software that may be downloaded from Google. This software suite contains Google Earth, Picasa photo organization software, Google Desktop, AdAware antispy software, Firefox, and more. You don't have to install all of this software-you certainly may pick and choose

Web 2.0 Software:
  • For Wikis: Wikispaces, of course (wikispaces is the service that hosts this wiki)
  • For blog creation:,Edublogs
  • Voicethread-entirely web based multi-media project creation tool. Users can upload pictures and add voice narration in a matter of minutes (perhaps even seconds!) after their account is created.