The blog post is a shameless plug for one of my favourite JISC project outputs, EduApps. I hope it will direct readers to these terrific resources (if they haven’t already encountered them).
Developed by the JISC Regional Support Centre Scotland North & East , EduApps are free-to-use programs that can be run off a USB stick. Many are portable versions of existing mainstream technologies such as Skype and Firefox, or scaled-down alternatives to large, expensive packages (e.g. Portable-Artweaver instead of Photoshop).
For anyone who has ever had to request a software installation from an IT department, running programs from a stick is a fantastic idea. I’ve lost track of the number of times I have used my EduApps to make a call on Skype, quickly edit a sound file with Audacity, or unzip an archive with 7-ZipPortable. I always include a selection of EduApps on the Media Zoo USB sticks I give to participants in our Carpe Diem workshops.
The programs are divided into eight collections that focus on specific needs. TeachApps, for example, is a collection of software specifically designed for teachers or lecturers, while the LearnApps collection is specifically designed for learners.
A recent addition has been the Create&Convert collection for Word and OpenOffice, which “brings together in one neat package a range of open source programs that can quickly and capably translate electronic documents into an accessible alternative format, such as audio or a talking book. All of the tools are the outputs of the Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY) Consortium, and are therefore completely free to use and distribute.”
All EduApps have been tested and copyright-cleared by the RSC team, and are ready to go.
So excuse this plug, and please use these wonderful tools. And let me know if there are other free (and stable!) programs not included in the EduApps collections.
Keeper of the Media Zoo