- Linux for Young Human Beings - Educators Delight! Home Schooling!
If you are a parent or an educator, or a friend of one, you need to know about this:Edubuntu
Linux for Young Human Beings
Welcome to Edubuntu
Welcome to the world of Edubuntu, a Linux distribution designed for schools and other educational environments. Built on the popular Ubuntu, it is a complete operating system that includes an office suite, web browser, many educational applications, and much more. Edubuntu is designed to allow a teacher or network administrator to be able to setup a complete classroom quickly and easily. Edubuntu is committed to the principles of free and open source sofware which means it is free of charge and will always remain that way. Open Source software aims to preserve the freedom to use, copy, make changes and distribute those changes. This means Edubuntu can offer higher quality software at no cost, while allowing everyone to modify Edubuntu to fit the exact needs of their particular environment.
Any good educational platform should provide applications specifically for it's target audience and Edubuntu is no exception. For the younger crowd, just starting out with computers, Gcompris offers a fantastic early learning environment. For slightly older pupils, there are a number of games and activities from the Tux4Kids and KDEEdu projects and for those in high school and older, there is a full office suite as well applications for instant messaging, graphics, sound and video. And that is just by default! Edubuntu also includes access to thousands of other high quality open source programs at no cost.
Edubuntu builds to be a complete and ready to use educational environment. As such, Edubuntu comes pre-installed with a complete office suite, teaching and learning programs, pre-school resources and much more across a range of categories. Here is a brief summary and some screenshots for the most popular Edubuntu packages, and if you need more, Edubuntu has thousands of additional applications ready for you to install.
OpenOffice.org is a complete office suite similar to the Microsoft Office suite. It features a word processor, as well as spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, database, and mathematical formula applications. OpenOffice.org can open and convert most Microsoft Office documents and has support for many different languages.
Firefox is the incredible successor to the hugely popular Mozilla browser. Amongst its many features are tabbed browsing, which makes viewing multiple sites a breeze, pop-up blocking, live bookmarks and great accessibility support. Combine these with its fantastic customisation engine and you have the most powerful web browsing at your fingertips.
Email, IM and VoIP
Moving beyond the simple web browser, Edubuntu also comes with an email client and personal information manager, Evolution. Video conferencing with Ekiga as well as instant messaging and chat with Gaim provide communications tools that teachers and students need in an Internet age.
In the graphics deparment, diagrams and flowcharts are a breeze with Dia. Xsane provides an easy to use scanner interface. 3D modeling and animation are Blender's specialty. Image editing similar to Adobe Photoshop is done using the GIMP. Scribus provides layout and publishing capabilites similar to Adobe Illustrator.
Sound and Video
For all your video and audio play and editing needs, Edubuntu provides several programs including Rhythmbox for music playing and Serpentine for burning audio CDs. Sound Juicer rips audio CD tracks to your computer. Totem is an excelent video and movie player and you can use Kino to edit video clips. Sound Recorder can be used to record audio clips to your computer.
* Explore the stars - KStars is a Desktop Planetarium that provides an accurate graphical simulation of the night sky. The program includes details for 130000 stars, 13000 deep-sky objects and all of the planets. KStars has an easy to use interface, so it can be used by everyone, from amateurs through to astronomy experts. You will also find a great deal of general information regarding telescopes and other astronomy related matter.
* Research the periodic table - Kalzium is a package for discovering and researching information about the periodic table and the elements. It includes pictures for most of the 111 elements present, along with more detailed information including atomic models, spectrum analysis, chemical data and energies.
* Test your chemistry skills - Atomix is a puzzle game, the purpose of which is to make up the molecule displayed from the pieces scattered throughout the level. You can only move them up, down, left and right and they don't stop moving until they hit something.
* Program in Logo - KTurtle is a Logo programming language interpreter. The Logo programming language is very easy to learn and thus it can be used by young children. A unique quality of Logo is that the commands or instructions can be translated, so the 'programmer' can program in his or her native language. This makes Logo ideal for teaching kids the basics of programming, mathematics and geometry. One of the reasons many children warm to Logo is due to fact that the programmable icon is a small turtle, which can be moved around the screen with simple commands and can be programmed to draw objects.
* Create geometric constructions - Kig is a allows teachers and students to create high precision geometrical constructions. These can be built on and used to explain concepts like perpendicular bisectors, tangents and arcs.
* Plot mathematical equations - KmPlot is a mathematical function graphing and plotting package. KmPlot has a built in a powerful expression parser and you can plot different functions simultaneously and combine their terms to build more complex mathematical functions. It supports functions with parameters and functions in polar coordinates. Plots may also be printed with high precision.
* Calculate percentages - KPercentage is a mathematical application that helps pupils improve their skills in calculating percentages. Percentages are split into three types and KPercentage tests pupils on these in three training modes. In addition to this, there is a random mode which will pick questions from each of the three percentage question variations.
* Practice Fractions - KBruch is a small program to help pupils practice calculations involving fractions. There are four different types of fraction exercise:
o Exercise Fraction Task; where pupils have to solve a given fraction task
o Exercise Comparison; where pupils have to compare 2 given fractions sizes
o Exercise Conversion; where pupils have to convert an already given number into a fraction
o Exercise Factorization; where pupils have to factorize a given number into its prime factor
* Play at Math - TuxMath is an educational arcade game starring Tux, the Linux mascot! Based on the classic arcade game "Missile Command," Tux must defend his cities by solving arithmetic problems.
* Tux Paint - Tux Paint is a free drawing program designed for young children. The program provides an easy to use interface with fun sound effects and an encouraging cartoon mascot that gives help to children while they are painting.
* Generate Fractals - Xaos is a fractal generator with a whole host of extra features for teaching pupils about fractal patterns.
* Practice Spanish verbs - With KVerbos you can practice Spanish verb conjugation. The program comes with a large set of over 9,000 Spanish verbs that you can choose from to begin your verb training. The package also keeps track of previous scores so that pupils can identify where their strengths and weaknesses are. Some exercises also have a time limit to raise the level of difficulty for more advanced users.
* Play Hangman - KHangman is the classic hangman game with pupils try to guess a word, letter by letter. At each miss, the picture of a hangman is added to. After 10 incorrect tries the game is over.
* Generate and give tests - KEduca is an educational testing package, allowing teachers to create tests for pupils to take. KEduca includes a module for constructing and saving new tests, as well as a separate module for loading and running the exams. Questions can be enhanced with images, multiple choice answers with varying grades, and time limits.
* Learn touch typing - KTouch helps pupils to learn to type quickly and correctly. With many different modes and detailed reporting, KTouch truly makes learning touching typing easily.
* Gcompris - Gcompris is a suite of over 80 educational games and activities for kids age 4 to 10 to learn with. These include:
o computer discovery: keyboard, mouse
o algebra: table memory, enumeration, double entry table, mirror image
o science: the canal lock, the water cycle, the submarine, electric simulation
o geography: place the country on the map
o games: chess, memory, connect 4, oware, sudoku
o reading: reading practice
o other: learn to tell time, puzzle of famous paintings, vector drawing
How is Edubuntu related to Ubuntu?
Edubuntu is based on, and is indeed dependant on Ubuntu. As packages are updated in Ubuntu, they are also updated in Edubuntu, as they share the same repository. This also means that they both have the same release cycle, which occurs roughly every six months. You will also find that many Edubuntu developers are also developers for Ubuntu too.
I don't know much English, can I also get help in my language?
Of course you can, as well as this document being translated into several other languages, there are a few Edubuntu localisation teams around the world as well as a huge number of Ubuntu localisation teams. If you think you can help, why not join up to your local team?
How Can Get Involved?
Edubuntu is built by a community of people, most of whom are volunteers. Edubuntu welcomes the advice and feedback from as many different people as possible. It's what makes this project work. There is a need for help in every area - documentation, developing, testing, advocacy, support, so if you want to get involved please do. Just email the Edubuntu mailing list or join the #edubuntu IRC channel on irc.freenode.net.
Man: I wish I'd had THIS when I was going to Grade School!
Categories: Educational - Operating System - Complete Educational System - Educational Applications - Mac System X - Panther - Tiger - PPC - MacIntel - Windows