eMINTS Pre-Conference Announcement

These 3-hour hands-on workshops are offered from 1:00 – 4:00 on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 to kick off this year’s eMINTS National Center Conference.

Wock Your Webpage with Weebly – Learn how to transform your online classroom webpage with Weebly – and you can link to the world!

Applying Research-based Strategies Using SMART Products – Participants will gain a deeper understanding of how to connect the Nine Instructional Strategies to your SMART Notebook lessons to improve student achievement.

Digital Journey to Authentic Learning – Participants will learn how to blend creativity into student-centered activities and how to use Share software to create and publish in the 21st Century classroom.

Unlocking the Potential of Google Apps – Participants will experience the benefits of using Google Apps within their buildings, grade level teams and even with students.

Using Open Source Content in the Blended Classroom – explore technical tools that are freely accessible online for public use and how these tools can economically extend your classrooms into the 21st century- expanding the learning experience and opportunities for all.

Visit http://www.emints.org/conference-2012/conference-schedule/ for more information on these workshops, keynotes, and all of the breakout sessions offered at our annual eMINTS National Center Conference. Hurry! Registration closes on February 3, 2012.

We hope to see you there!

Cara Wylie

eMINTS National Center Conference Coordinator

Thursday’s Tip: Open Source Software

Some people love their open source software. - Click for source.

One of the major problems with equipping schools with new technology is the cost of constantly updating and replacing software. Not only is software expensive, but the licenses for an entire school building or district really add to the overall cost. This obstacle means that schools will be stuck with outdated tools or, even worse, go without.

This is where open source software can save schools an incredible amount of money and resources. Open source software is software developers have created that are free to use and distribute. They share the coding for the software so that users may create their own applications and fixes for bugs that may arise. The process for improving and updating open source applications has improved so much that it’s become as efficient as those of for-profit software. The other great thing is that using the software is free. Most developers just ask for donations and/or participation in their edit and revision process.

Here’s a list of some popular open source applications ready for download today:

These are just a few of the more popular open source programs out there. There is plenty more open source software out there. Lists of open-source software can be found at Damicon, Wikipedia, and Ubuntu.

All of this software is free to download and distribute. Expensive updates and licensing are no longer necessary. Plus, many of these applications work well with existing for-profit software already present on most computers.

Which open source applications do you use on a regular basis? Which software do you wish had an open source equivalent? How might the use of open source allow more accessibility for our students?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center. He would also like for you to be aware that he publishes this blog using WordPress and facilitates his training sessions using MOODLE, both open source applications.