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[school-discuss] Re: [ilug-goa] Educational software for schools... (from Goa/India)

On Tue, 7 Oct 2003, mini jerome wrote:

> Hello,
> I am intersted in learning those softwares. The CD I collected from
> shruthi at ECAPPanjim is not working. It is the problem of mouse. With
> Tab I am able to work...
> But the knoppix CD u gave me with malayalam font was working
> fine. This FREEEDUC CD is also working on knoppix. Because of this I
> really started learning Linux because I somehow wanted to solve it.Now
> I installed linux on a 2 GB harddisk given that for children to use
> it. But I want some how the FREEEDUC CD to work.
> Mini Jerome

Dear Ms Jerome, Thank you for your feedback.

I wonder if anyone else has a problem in getting FreEDUC to work. For my 
part, Animesh "Banduji" did an excellent job in setting it up on my 
hard-disk, and as such it works without a flaw. It is possible that it may 
not recognise some hardware (mouse?) though Knoppix/FreEDUC is normally 
very good at detecting hardware.

Some believe that FreEDUC isn't very useful because it doesn't contain 
software that's directly related to the school syllabus here.

My view is that we need to look at computers as a tool that goes beyond 
the syllabus alone. FreEDUC does a very good job of making computers fun, 
rather than making it just another boring subject, adding to 
already-overburdened schoolkids.

It has a wide range of software for kids, but I found Gcompris the most 
comprehensive. (It's documentation could be better, and there are still 
about 4-5 games out of maybe 20 or more from Gcompris that I have still 
not deciphered. But my five-year-old daughter is helping me with this 
job.) The games the kid-in-me liked best included jig-saw puzzles of 
famous European paintings, chess (it was amazingly easy to introduce it to 
my five-year-old, who even knows to go for the HELP > HINT when she's in a 
fix, though she cannot read adequately). There are also interesting 
software to learn the names of colours, do basic addition as the dice fall 
down the screen, learn how to move the mouse (my daughter was using it to 
teach her grandmother, who is also interested in learning), and other 
aspects.I was most surprised when my daughter discovered how to play a 
game I didn't know existed! 

The bottomline is: we really need to find interesting software, so that we 
can make the point that computing can be an enjoyable activity for young 

Currently, some of the resources I have are:

- TCS literacy software in Hindi/Marathi, not GPL'd and without
  sourcecode, but freely copyable for any not-for-profit purpose.
- NIO films on mangroves (in Konkani) and 'Fly By Goa' on 
  environmental changes in the state. The first is a 10 minute
  televised film, the latter is an hour-long comprehensive program.
  We need permission from the NIO to deploy these in schools for
  entirely not-for-profit purposes. Perhaps Albert Gouveia could help.
- FreEDUC, of course.
- A whole lot of software, that's waiting to be evaluated, scattered
  across many distros. Debian does have a lot of such tools.
- Four CDs of the Government of Goa showing various aspects of
  tourism in the state. This is not strictly educational, but could
  be of use in education, if permission is granted for use in schools.
- We had earlier tried getting a copy of LinuxForKids.com CD, but
  apparently, the initial evaluation was that the software there
  was somewhat old. Wonder if anyone (ArvindC) could help us down
  load the latest from this site?
- We've downloaded SchoolOpenAdmin, but are yet to test it.

If you have additional resources, do let us know. Thanks! FN
Frederick Noronha (FN)        | http://www.fredericknoronha.net
Freelance Journalist          | http://www.bytesforall.org
http://goalinks.pitas.com     | http://joingoanet.shorturl.com
http://linuxinindia.pitas.com | http://www.livejournal.com/users/goalinks
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