Saturday, 22 November 2008

Open now for free software

I've just updated the Open Education Disc in the More section of Webtools. There is a brand new selection of free, open source applications covering a whole host of things. This may have been designed with students in mind but I have to say that tutors, their families, hey, everyone will find something useful here!

There is a way to download the whole shooting match onto a DVD but you probably won't want all the stuff. I have already used a couple of the goodies there in the last week as a matter of necessity in a tight situation. HTT Copier copies web sites and a client needed a copy before an advisor with whom he was dispute removed it. It has more normal uses though - if you are teaching somewhere without an internet connection but want to use a web site then use HTT to save it onto a USB drive or your computer. Works a treat.

The other application that came in useful was VLC - a media player that seems to be able to cope with anything. There I was with a laptop and a Narnia DVD, announcing to a group suspicious of anything techy, how simple playing a DVD was on a laptop and, er, the DVD player didn't like the regional code for the DVD!! Ooops. But I switched to VLC and away we went, trouble free.

Lots more there. The best is not actually a teaching tool but you just have to get the screensavers. So much cooler than the standard Windows fare and no adverts, really professional graphics. Beautiful.

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