SEMTEC The SE MN preK-12 Technology Coordinators

Welcome to SEMTEC! Home of SE MN Educational Technology Leaders!

Hey Folks,


I'm looking to find out what "FREE" software your districts are using. I'm most interested in free programs that your district has implemented into your curriculum as a larger implementation. Say something like all 4th grade teachers use xx software for Reading.


I'm not interested in the stuff that is paid for or even trial software. I am interested in the free stuff your districts use.


I'm looking for Pre K-12


Oh I'll take good websites too that have free stuff.


My goal is to develop a portfolio of products for most if not all grade levels at my district that we support.


Thank you in advance for your help.

Views: 44

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

This is what we outfit our K-8 labs with.

Tux Paint and the additional rubber stamps
Thunder Screen Reader

That's what I remember for now.
A few others, more so used by the staff for the students, and not so much used by the students:

Any Audio Converter -
DVD Flick -
Shoutcast & Winamp (both on server, VLC to listen)-
More possibilities:

Google Earth (which now includes Google Sky) -
Google's Sketch-Up -
PhotoStory 3 - PhotoStory Download Page at Microsoft
OpenOffice (the latest version can open the MS Office 2007 format) - I don't use this in the labs, but I know Lake City does, and we provide an installer CD for students to take home -
Skype - more for the teachers, but it could be in the labs -
We use iTalc for Lab Management
GIMP for Photo editing in place of PhotoShop/high school
EzThumbnails to resize photos quickly/teachers/high school
Video PAD editor from NCH for editing school videos/high school
Seterra/High School Social Studies
Photo Story3/ Jr High Social Studies and FACS
Foxit Reader in place of Adobe reader for all levels of computers
Audacity for Audio editing/high school used by Business ed to pre test kids level of computer knowledge Jr High Social Studies/high school to create websites and blogs Create free teacher webpages and websites for the sports teams storage of photos and slide shows
WIN RAR 390/All computers for zipping/unzipping files
Defraggler, Ccleaner, used by IT staff all computers
FOG /IT staff imaging
VNC/IT Staff remote control
WinDirStat/IT Staff File reviews
Inkscape (Adobe Illustrator open source =)
LMS - Moodle
Email - Google Apps (gmail)
Document collaboration (Google Docs)
Wiki/Eportfolio (Google Sites, wikispaces, etherpad, ect)
Video Storage - Youtube
Screen casting - Screenr/Jing
Web editing - NVU
Screen image capture - Picpick
Flickr - photo storage

With the recent decision of Ning not supporting free websites anymore - I am very interested in ELGG. Anyone use it?
Anybody have any educational games that they use that are free?
Matt, this was a great idea. It is very helpful to see what free things other Districts are using.
Some others:

CutePDF - creates PDF's from any document using the print... functionality (chose CutePDF from the printers list). There are others that work the same way, but I've never seen nor had a problem using this tool.

ooVoo - like Skype but has the ability to do video conference calls - Skype does not. Video conference calling does have a fee, but in a pinch the 30-day trial lets you do it for free. Otherwise works just like Skype (free for user to user, audio or video).

Damon and I just tried oovoo yesterday and the audio and video quality was quite bad. Have you tried it? Skype was much better quality at that time of day for both of us. I was hoping oovoo was going to be able to replace Skype but not with the test we did.
Loren and I test-drove ooVoo with one of the Stewartville teachers (Glomski) one evening a couple of weeks ago because Glomski wished to use the video conferencing capabilities in ooVoo to have a couple of students take part in his driver-training class remotely (one from Rochester and another from Saudi Arabia). That test worked out quite well for us (I was at home and Loren was at his home and Bill was at his house) when it was done at 7pm (I liked the fact that others who wished to join the video conference don't need ooVoo, just a web address in order to join in), so maybe the daytime has issues with bandwidth that makes it work like crap? We had done a brief ooVoo test during the school day in the afternoon, but Bill ran out of time after only a few minutes, and we had to end the little video conference. That was a situation with me at D-E and Loren and Glomski in Bill's classroom, and that worked fine. Video was a little whitewashed, but Loren solved that with some settings changes, and keeping the camera from pointing up and viewing the major contrast that the ceiling lighting was creating.

Matt Anderson said:

Damon and I just tried oovoo yesterday and the audio and video quality was quite bad. Have you tried it? Skype was much better quality at that time of day for both of us. I was hoping oovoo was going to be able to replace Skype but not with the test we did.
I'd be interested in trying oovoo again but it was pretty bad for Damon and I and Skype at the same time was much much better.

We recently did a Skype video call to a Conneticuit classroom for our 1st graders to talk to their penpals. I think the majority of the problems were due to their bandwidth on their end. Probably nothing we could do about that.

Reply to Discussion


© 2019   Created by Bryan Berg.   Powered by

Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service