Software For Kids

Useful code (and games) for all …

Link

Information for students on colleges, online degree programs, and online degrees for working adults.

February 23, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Tux Math… with Aren (5) and Riza (9)

Out there, a set of committed software coders are creating games and tools for young minds. So are our kids taking to them? You bet… hear the story from two kids in whose home FN lives at Goa, India.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Classmate PC…

Intel’s lower-cost computer for kids.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Taking FLOSS to the classroom, industry-style

Confederation of Indian Industry initiative Shiksha India helps promote use of technology for making teaching-learning more effective. Focus areas are content and coaching. Gurgaon-based project manager Narinder Bhatia narinder.bhatia at ciionline.org explains what the emphasis is on.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EDC, the Education Development Centre

Victor Paul, PhD, the country director of the Educational Development Centre at Bangalore-India http://www.edc.org explains what is the agenda of this organisation promoting, among other things, educational software in schools.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Quest Alliance: promising quality education, skills training

The Quality Education and Skills Training Alliance (QUEST) is a partnership of public, private and NGO. Aakash Sethi who leads this Bangalore-based organisation explains what its priorities are. Quest partners include a number of big names include Microsoft Corporation, Azim Premji Foundation, Byrraju Foundation, Education Development Center, G E Foundation, One World South Asia, Pratham, USAID, WIPRO Technologies, etc.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Video + school = videoshala

When video starts being educational in parts of Gujarat (western India), it gets called videoshala. Shala is the world for school. Deepika explains the concept behind VideoShala.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thanks you, Mr Premji

Indian software czar Azim Premji has diverted some of his (and his team’s) energies into creating “not for sale” educational resources for children. As one goes about telling others about the potential of the software from azimpremjifoundation.org, five-year-old Aren is a willing accomplice in making the point. It’s fun to use (and, at zero-price, easy to access). Wish more could use it! But it really needs to reach schools catering to the under-priviledged, so that the social role of such software could be met.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

FLOSS … and computer usage in education

“Open Source and education has a lot of mindshare match,”: says Dr. M Sasikumar, Principal Research Scientist and Incharge of the R&D Unit at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) in Navi Mumbai. An interview with a passionate supporter of FLOSS in education.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Thanks you, Mr Premji

Indian software czar Azim Premji has diverted some of his (and his team’s) energies into creating “not for sale” educational resources for children. As one goes about telling others about the potential of the software from azimpremjifoundation.org, five-year-old Aren is a willing accomplice in making the point. It’s fun to use (and, at zero-price, easy to access). Wish more could use it! But it really needs to reach schools catering to the under-priviledged, so that the social role of such software could be met.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Images from a symposium

Some images from the ET Symposium, a meet on educational technologies, held in Bangalore in end-August 2008. Doesn’t claim to be a complete report by any stretch of imagination. See http://www.questalliance.net

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

IITians attempt to teach (tiny kids, in FLOSS)

An interesting experiment to teach schoolkids about the power of Free/Libre and Open Source Software. An interview with Dr Farida Umrani. Umrani is Research Associate
at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay Powai, Mumbai – 400076 Maharashtra
Cell no. 9323267196 She has been working with Prof. Sridhar Iyer at Dept of Computer Science, IIT Bombay on content development for school computer science based on Edubuntu.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Learning, teaching, learning… Free Software

At the August 2008 GNU/LUG (GNU/Linux Users’ Group) meet in Miramar, Goa, participants share knowledge and ideas about Stellarium, the astronomical free software product. An example of how teaching and learning, and the sharing of useful knowledge, happens at a Free/Libre and Open Source Software network. Check it out.

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Software… from the EDC (Bangalore)

Software, from the EDC by you.

Finally, managed to lay my hands on this software. It’s interesting, or so it struck me after I saw it being played with.

Victor Paul, Ph.D, Country Director of the Education Development Center (EDC) in Bangalore, India, wrote in to say: “It was a great pleasure to meet you and discuss briefly about EDC and our T4 project activities during the Quest symposium venue at Bangalore. EDC staff will give you some of our educational CDs (Group teaching & learning software) and another CD cum brochure containing all details about our products and programmes for your information. Please let me have your feedback on them.

Some details of their work from here:

The dot-EDU India Technology Tools for Teaching and Training (T4) project has over 558 technology products designed to enhance student learning in Grades 1-5, complemented by extensive teacher training and monitoring. Locally developed and in audio, video or software formats, these products bring innovative teaching and learning practices to nearly 22 million students in more than 251,673 schools.

Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) Radio has been a tremendous resource for promoting improved teaching and learning practices at the primary level in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. Working closely with the State governments, EDC develops interactive radio programs in a variety of subjects based on the curriculum and targeting the needs defined by teachers themselves. EDC’s Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI) lessons engage students through local stories, songs and physical activities, while supporting teachers in developing student-centered teaching skills.

IRI for English (Hindi, English): “Learning English is Fun” Tulsi, Siyan, Raju, Chanda and Mithu – the radio characters in the “Learning English is Fun” series – are helping over 14 million students and teachers in primary classes learn English. The two levels of this IRI series for English as a Second Language reach Grades 1-3 multi-grade students and teachers in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.

Math, Science, Social Studies (Kannada): “Chukki Chinna” & “Chinnari Chukki” Akka, Sonu, Putti, Achu, Punchrangi and Manu (radio characters) are helping almost 6 million students and teachers in Grades 1-5 across Karnataka learn Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Kannada and English. Based on ‘hard spots’ identified by Karnataka teachers, trainers and the State Government, both of these IRI series help teachers to more effectively teach difficult content in the five subject areas.

Math, Science, Social Studies (Hindi): “Jhil Mil”

“Jhil Mil” is an adaptation of the “Chukki Chinna” IRI series from Kannada to Hindi. Expanding the reach to students in Hindi speaking states, Didi, Bablu, Raju, Munni, Udan Goda and Mattu (the radio characters) help nearly 2 million students and teachers in multi-grade 3rd to 5th classes learn Mathematics, Science, Social Science, Hindi, and English.

Educational Videos EDC’s educational video programs guide and model project-based learning approaches that support students and teachers in difficult-to-teach content areas in Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. Students are encouraged to form opinions and test hypotheses by engaging in innovative and interactive group projects modeled through the video and facilitated by the classroom teacher using locally available resources. Over 960,000 4th and 5th multi-grade students are reached through 40 videos telecast on the Government of India’s EDUSAT satellite.

Group Teaching & Learning (GTL) Multimedia Software The GTL software brings teachers and students together to conduct interactive activities around a single computer. The software allows students to focus on difficult science concepts in greater depth by providing over 10 hours of games and group activities. Students explore various science topics through a rich combination of learning resources for use both on and off the computer – from songs, to IRI programs, lesson plans, videos and quizzes. Current GTL titles include: “Animal Discovery”, “Ecosystems and Habitats”, “Sanitation and Hygiene Learning Game”, & “What is Disease?”

Digital Library (DL) Hosted by the National Informatics Center (NIC) Karnataka, the DL is an on-line searchable catalog of learning materials in audio, video and print formats. The DL allows teachers to access all dot-EDU India T4 learning materials as well as those produced by government and private/public sector providers. Resources are available in English, Kannada, Tamil, Telegu and Oriya languages. The DL helps ensure that educational materials developed by international and national organizations and donors remain widely accessible.

Contacts for the EDC: #42, 39th Cross, 8th Block, Jayanagar.P.O, Bangalore-70, Karnataka, India. Ph.No. +918022449244 /45, Fax: +918022449247.
Website: http://ies.edc.org/T4India

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August 24, 2008 Posted by | Educational, Free-to-use, Games, Resources | 3 Comments

Cool Site of the Day

Cool Site of the Day http://www.coolsiteoftheday.com has picked on this site for special mention on August 23, 2008. A priviledge. If you like Software for Kids please vote for us here on August 23, 2008: http://www.coolsiteoftheday.com/frmindex.html

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August 23, 2008 Posted by | Websites | , | Leave a comment

Software for kids… tutorial from Aren

Aren (5) explains the goodies that come with the GNU/Linux operating sytem, from a kids point of view… specially Gcompris, some games and more.

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August 18, 2008 Posted by | Educational, Free Software, Games | 2 Comments

Tux Math… with Aren (5) and Riza (9)

Out there, a set of committed software coders are creating games and tools for young minds. So are our kids taking to them? You bet… hear the story from two kids in whose home FN lives at Goa, India.

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August 16, 2008 Posted by | Educational, Free Software, Games, Resources | Leave a comment

The Teacher Toolbox… an interesting blog

Teacher's Toolbox

An interesting site that I came across today.  http://adrianbruce.com/teacher-toolbox/ It contains quite some useful info and links. Incuding some to art, blogging, books, cartoons, chess, competitions, digital story telling, digital video, educational software, English, homework, humour, math, morning tea, phonics games, phonics resources, podcasting, poetry, problem solving, professional development, reading comprehension, science education, “shameless self-promotion”, stress reduction, stressbusters, things they don’t tell you at university, thinking skills,Web 2.0, website resources, word games and writing.

Check it out!

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August 9, 2008 Posted by | Educational, Resources, Teacher resources, Websites | Leave a comment

Educational resources… from azimpremjifoundation.org

Sukumar Anikar <anikar@azimpremjifoundation.org> [1] and Prasad <prasad@azimpremjifoundation.org> managed to get across to me a copy of a DVD … and what a DVD at that! It contained a whole lot of fascinating educational software for school children.

A couple of nights ago, I ended up ‘playing’ some educational games with Aren, 5, and told him that my friends had sent the same across free. “Did you say ‘thank you’?” he asked me in turn. In fact, he kept ‘playing’ on these games, though it was almost midnight, and even though he’s too small to obviously understand many of the concepts being taught here (decimal fractions, and what not … but big enough to be interested in the wild animals of the jungle and to try and comprehend how fruits and a balanced diet gives us the energy we need to do work). The ‘games’ sent across in this DVD work excellently and without flaw (so far) on my Ubuntu laptop. They have been adjusted to work with the GNU/Linux operating system.

It drew my interest enough to dash across another email to Sukumar and Prasad, requesting more programmes.Given the medium of instructions being used (and subjects taught) in Goa, I am particularly interested in software dealing with:

  • English language
  • Hindi language
  • Maths
  • Environmental Science
  • General Science
  • Social Science
  • Co-curricular subjects

Check out the long list of what’s available. http://www.azimpremjifoundation.org/html/E_Learn_Mat_table1.htm

The Azim Premji Foundation is actually keen to work with educational institutions (rather than with individuals, if I understood right) for obvious reasons.

Said the APF in a mail to me: “We always support the state governments by providing them the Digital Learning Resource (DLR) for deployment in Government schools. Generally, the support is by providing the right to replicate our content to the state, without any costs. Our Digital Learning Resource is not provided if the intended use is for commercial purposes. We also share content with NGOs and other institutions who manage schools where there is no barrier on admissions and where no fee is being charged.

And Mr Anikar added, Almost all our titles or Digital Learning Resource are
trilingual i.e. in English, Hindi and in any one of the regional languages. While we have just 10 titles in Marathi the same is not available for immediate release as they have to be validated by a state government. However, we will share other titles that are in English and Hindi. Further, we are also in the process of making our content compatible with [GNU]Linux platform and hence for the present we will be sharing only such titles which are compatible with both windows and Linux and those that have been tested. The remaining titles would be shared on a future date and on completion of testing. We will be clustering our titles in a couple of DVD’s and send it across to you in the next week…. We also wish to state that there is a process that needs to be followed in implementing the Digital Learning Resource in schools which we will share the same with you once you confirm the receipt of Digital Learning Resource

And: “A note of caution — our Digital Learning Resource are not meant to help in computer literacy. The target group is children in the age group of 6-14 years and the Digital Learning Resource primarily presents concepts related to Maths, Science and Language related to the curriculum for classes Standard I to Standard VIII.”

By way of background, from their website:

Azim Premji Foundation has commenced the digital content creation effort in the year 2002. So far, Foundation has created over 100+ master CD titles for the classes 1 to 8 and the same have been translated into various regional languages in India including few tribal languages. The content is created with the pedagogical focus to enable the children to directly use and learn where the teacher will act as facilitator. The attributes of the content are; curriculum oriented, child-centered, self paced, interactive and multimedia based content.”

You probably know that Azim Premji is the Chairman and CEO of one of India’s largest software companies, Wipro. Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azim_Premji] says he was rated the richest man in India between 1999 to 2005 (and is probably among the top five now).

This impressed me:

Premji is known for his modesty and frugality in spite of his wealth. He drives a Toyota Corolla and flies economy class, prefers to stay in company guest houses rather than luxury hotels and even served food on paper plates at a lunch honouring his son’s wedding.”

Check it out. Really useful stuff. The educational content on the DVDs, I mean!

[1] Head – Technology for Education, Azim Premji

Foundation, #134, Doddakannelli, Next to Wipro Corporate Office,

Sarjapur Road, Bangalore – 560 035 Tel: 91-80-66144900/901/902

(Board) 91-80-66144922 (Direct) Fax: 91-80-66144903 Mobile:

09449820054 www.azimpremjifoundation.org

August 9, 2008 Posted by | Educational, Free-to-use, Indian software | 2 Comments

Yobler.com … educational videos

“Yobler.com is a website where users share educational videos, audios and articles with their friends. The purpose of this website is to build the largest educational online community where users also have the power to market their videos.” http://www.yobler.com

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August 8, 2008 Posted by | Educational, Resources | Leave a comment

The Digital Study Hall (DSH)

Netflix + YouTube + Kazaa take all of these together, and give it an educational focus. What you have is the Digital StudyHall (DSH). It is being described as “a research project that seeks to improve education for the poor children in slum and rural schools
in India.”

How does it work?

We digitally record live classes by the best grassroots teachers, transmit them on the “Postmanet” (effected by DVDs sent in the postal system), collect them in a large distributed database, and distribute them on DVDs to poor rural and slum schools. Education experts and teachers use the system to explore pedagogical approaches involving local teachers actively “mediating” the video lessons. By harvesting a “viral phenomenon” of community participation, DSH aims to help train teachers and deliver quality instruction to underprivileged children. The project is a collaboration between computer scientists and education experts.


The main aspects of DSH are:

A live deployment of DSH has been operating in India since the
summer of 2005. As of summer of 2008, we run pilot “hubs” in Lucknow, Calcutta, Pune, and Dhaka, covering approximately 30 schools. And during this time, we have accumulated more than 1000 recordings of lessons in English, math, and science, in Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and English. We have also started applying the same approach to agriculture extension work (Digital Green) and awareness campaign for rural healthcare (Digital Polyclinic, operating in Lucknow and Ghana).

Today, DSH is still a young research project, as we continue to work on rigorous evaluations and seek to understand many outstanding questions. We have, however, already seen initial promising signs, and we hope to eventually scale up the system to cover a far greater number of children, contributing toward the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education.

SOURCE: http://dsh.cs.washington.edu/

August 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ET? What’s that?

QUEST Alliance executive director Aakash Sethi — writing on behalf of the America India Foundation, Education Development Center, Intel Education and QUEST Alliance — via ET Symposium <etsymposium@gmail.com> informs about a Symposium on Education & Technology in Schools…Converging for Innovation & Creativity. It is being organised by QUEST Alliance along with America India Foundation, Education Development Center, and Intel Education.

Sethi says: “The symposium will be held from 20th to 22nd August, 2008 at the Atria Hotel, 1 Palace Road, Bangalore. It will bring together education and education technology practitioners, policy makers, scholars and experts, academicians and students for an exchange of ideas and to showcase innovations on educational technology in India. The symposium is designed to encourage in-depth dialogue and explore different perspectives on issues and challenges related to technology use in Indian classrooms.”

He says this symposium will highlight current work on how technology is improving education, around the world, and in India. Keynote speakers include Dr. Robert Kozma, Emeritus Director and Principal Scientist at the Center for Technology in Learning at Stanford Research Institute International in Menlo Park, California; Dr. Nancy Law, Professor and Director of the Centre for Information Technology in Education at the University of Hong Kong; Dr. Punya Mishra, Associate professor of Educational Technology at Michigan State University; Dr. Geetha Narayan, Founder and Director of Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology and Dr Daniel Light, a senior scientist at EDC’s Centre for Children and Technology.

The symposium, according to its organisers, is designed to include plenary sessions during the first two days followed by four half day workshops with the experts on various themes relevant to technology and education in India on the third day. This forum will offer a good opportunity to understand conceptual frameworks for integrating technology in education and think through practical issues and challenges for doing the same.

Further details at http://www.questalliance.net

August 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Educational power points….

Friends at Sangath pointed to this site, that contains tonnes of educational presentations (Power Points, mostly). Check it out: http://pppst.com/ Pete’s Power Point Station.

It describes itself thus: “Free presentations in PowerPoint format, and free interactive activities for kids.”

Links to resources in language, arts, math, science, social studies, seasonal and special themes, reading and writing, art music drama and dance, plants and animals, health and safety, abc’s fairy tales, physical education, geography, nutrition and the food pyramid, three branches of government, reading comp, countries and continents and regions, adhd and special need kids, rhyming words and confusing words, parts of speech, world languages, ancient history, bullying, library skills, children’s literature and authors, advertising and propaganda, world history, codes and ciphers and secret messages, clip art, templates, tutorials and more…

Quite a useful site this!

August 5, 2008 Posted by | Educational, Teacher resources, Websites | Leave a comment

Taking sharing to the classroom

The case for Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FOSS) in schools … this is a paper I put together for IOSN (International Open Source Network, South Asia) in Chennai.

It was a learning experience working on it. You can read or download the whole paper from here: http://www.divshare.com/download/3321637-94c

A quote:

In the text above, one is presented with more than just hints of the
varied and many possibilities that FOSS opens up for schools in South Asia.
There is clearly a profusion of tools available, which needs to be
adequately exploited. As of now, however, the lack of easy-to-access FOSS skills could cause a setback in the spread of Free/Libre and Open Source Software in South Asia. The lack of widespread awareness of these tools among educators, and importantly even those drafting the curricula, remains a matter for concern. Steps taken in this regard could go a long way in building a firm basis for the spread of FOSS, in schools and beyond.

August 5, 2008 Posted by | Educational, Free Software, Resource listings, Teacher resources, Websites | Leave a comment

What about software?

Goa has been focussing on getting its computer hardware in place… but what about software? Just the other day, while visiting my old school, it struck me. Real hard. Kids have little or no access to decent software to play around with. And learn. Such a tragedy when so much useful software is there for the asking. This idea took root sometime in July 2008.

July 25, 2008 Posted by | Opinion | Leave a comment

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