L&L wants your opinion!
Send comments to email@example.com.
Participate in our monthly reader poll at
Are Free Tools Worth the Price?
Most commenters and poll takers agree that free tools are often
surprisingly useful in the classrooom.
Get More Than You Paid For
The old adage “what you pay for
is what you get” is no longer true
for most open source applications.
Many of these applications are as full-featured as their commercial counterparts. As for bugs, the response by the
open source community is far more
responsive in updating and fixing
problems than you will ever get with
the large commercial companies.
When your curriculum drives you to
find a technology solution, look toward
open source, and you might be surprised what great tools are available.
Seven Hills School
Walnut Creek, California
I have found that any free or open source
programs that are available for download
are not worth the trouble in configuring
or retraining users to accept a different
program. Often the “communities” built
to support these programs do not have
the depth to support them.
New Hampshire Society for Technology
Hollis, New Hampshire
Just Right for a Down Economy
Many school districts simply cannot
afford licenses, lengthy agreements,
or upfront costs with today’s economy
and budget cuts. Free tools bridge that
gap and ensure our students learn in a
John David Son
Kentucky Society for Technology in Education
It’s All About the Curriculum
It is important to focus on the reason
we use these tools in the first place.
Any resource material, technology
related or not, should support the curriculum, not be the curriculum. To say
that a teacher must revamp the curriculum to either use the tool or compensate for its loss is putting too much
emphasis on the tool itself.
Exeter Twp. School District
Stir Things Up
Education needs to move from static
objects to dynamic ones. Our students
and the world model this behavior
regularly. Much the same as textbooks
anchor and drive our curriculum beyond usefulness, reliance on too many
proprietary software tools can lead
to stagnation. A few good purchased
tools and a bevy of free ones will keep
We Are the World
Free tools are invaluable regardless of
the time, effort, and sometimes frustration involved. They are our only
option in “flattening classrooms” and
engaging students in global collaboration and learning. Free Web 2.0 tools
provide a level playing field so that all
students worldwide have the possibility to understand one another.
It Isn’t Easy Being Green