Desert Island Discs

If you were setting up a new school and had a suite of PCs, Internet access but very limited other resources – what would you want to include in your top 8 software titles?

I ask this because a school in Kenya is in just this situation and has asked for help.

Number 1 for me is Scratch .  A brilliant tool that can be used at a range of levels, free and well supported.  Score would be about 90%.  To improve I’d like to see more support about what ‘getting better’ could be and for a way to move beyond this environment into a more fully featured SDK.

Crazytalk is great and could be used in a lot of contexts.  At the time of writing it’s on offer at £15.50 so not expensive.  It’s good ‘fun’ again but it seems a little more 1 dimensional – I’m not sure what you would achieve with 6 lessons with this software that you wouldn’t achieve with 1 BUT it could provide the engagement factor for more substantial work in other aspects (learning English for example).  A rating around 75% would be about right for me.

Another favourite for younger children is the 2Simple family. The main drawback would have to be the cost, the software itself is excellent and seems to do a focussed job well but the number of titles a school would need probably make this difficult to achieve. The software would score highly but the cost has to make it a 50% option I think.

I’ve not used Open Office for a long time – anyone got any thoughts?

I’d probably suggest Paint.Net and Picasa for images.

I’m not sure if foreign schools can use Live@Edu but if so then this would be a first class option for email hosting.

What do you think?

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