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Author Topic: Educational Software reviews?  (Read 16093 times)

app103

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Educational Software reviews?
« on: August 12, 2007, 11:17:10 PM »
I was just thinking about what our review section at DonationCoder is missing and needs.

September is almost upon us and in the US that means back to school...so what we need are some reviews of educational software for children.

Maybe I can encourage the members with kids (or teachers) to share their experiences and possibly get their kids (or students) involved with helping them write some reviews? (a child's point of view is very important in this category)

I found a great page with tons of reviews, but most of them are quite old, dating from about 1998-2003, and it seems that nothing is downloadable, only for purchase on disk.

But this is the kind of software I am thinking of and I think it could be a great addition to our review collection.

So maybe we can start by listing what is available, downloadable (freeware/donationware/shareware), and for what ages/subjects and see if we can get some reviews going.

What do you think? Does this sound like a good idea?

mouser

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2007, 11:25:18 PM »
I'd love to see more educational/school software reviews, at all levels from preschool to post-graduate university stuff.

cmpm

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2007, 06:25:20 AM »
here's a college level open source course site-

http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/index.htm

a free and open educational resource (OER) for educators, students, and self-learners around the world.

Darwin

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2007, 08:51:37 AM »
Thanks for the link cmpm - free courses - I like it!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

XMinus1

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2007, 07:17:52 AM »
here's a college level open source course site-

http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/index.htm

a free and open educational resource (OER) for educators, students, and self-learners around the world.

Have you actually figured out how to view/listen to lectures?  I've browsed the site a few times, downloaded various course materials, but I have yet to find anything other than sylabusses and schedules (just today I tried "Ancient Rome" http://ocw.mit.edu/O...CourseHome/index.htm and "The Emergence of Europe" http://ocw.mit.edu/O...CourseHome/index.htm and got nowhere.  The "Download this Course" link on the homepages got me a zip with a bunch of junk.  Do they offer what the Teaching Company offers, video/audio lectures?  (I can highly recommend the "Teaching Company":  I've purchased 3 of their works, and I will be buying many more in future).

Grorgy

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2007, 07:35:15 AM »
according to the blurb in there, you might find lectures for some of the courses, depends on the lecturer i would imagine, i know at the university i go to that very few of the lectures are even recorded in audio let alone video, i think it would be best used as guided reading through a topic and if you find some lectures it would be a bonus

Quote
MIT OCW provides users with open access to the syllabi, lecture notes, course calendars, problem sets and solutions, exams, reading lists, even a selection of video lectures,
  (my emphasis)

app103

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2007, 07:42:37 AM »
Giveawayoftheday has Equation Wizard 1.2 available for free today only.

Maybe someone with better math abilities than me might like to grab it and take it for a spin and write a mini review for it.  ;)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2007, 09:48:11 AM »
Seems very simple to me - doesn't have any trig functions and can't cope with fractional powers (eg. x^(1/2) which is just a square root).

See:

sc.gif

Any fractional powers more complex than that it just gives up:

sc.gif

even though both of these are trivial to solve.

I suppose it is useful if kids want to cheat on their homework with quadratic equations:

sc.gif

but frankly what is the point ?
« Last Edit: September 01, 2007, 09:54:47 AM by Carol Haynes »

Darwin

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2007, 09:56:26 AM »
Rapid-Pi is cheap (if you are a student) and much better than Equation Wizard... The new version (2) adds support for all office applications and a standalone mode (ie you're not confined to using Word/Office).
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2007, 10:30:52 AM »
It doesn't do the same job though - Rapid-Pi is an equation editor/addon on to facilitate adding equations to WP documents.

Equation Wizard doesn't do anything like that - you enter and equation and it tries to solve it or an expression and it tries to simplify it. I can't see any effective to cut and paste expressions/equations to other apps and it is standalone. Just seems to be very limited in what it can do.

Darwin

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2007, 10:38:12 AM »
It doesn't do the same job though - Rapid-Pi is an equation editor/addon on to facilitate adding equations to WP documents.

Equation Wizard doesn't do anything like that - you enter and equation and it tries to solve it or an expression and it tries to simplify it. I can't see any effective to cut and paste expressions/equations to other apps and it is standalone. Just seems to be very limited in what it can do.

You're not seriously suggesting that I actually READ the description of the app on the giveaway site are you? Puhlease!  :P

OK, busted (Darwin hangs his head and sulks in the corner!).
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Carol Haynes

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2007, 11:10:17 AM »
Not being snotty about it - but I don't think Equation Wizard is worth the bandwidth to download even from giveawayoftheday!! Certainly not worth $30 !!!

Othalian

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2007, 06:24:11 AM »
Hi,

An excellent piece of software for students who need to brush up on their algebra is xyAlgebra. You can get it from here http://www.xyalgebra.org/. This is the only educational software, that I know of, that mentors you as you learn. If you make a mistake xyAlgebra returns you to the relevant lesson so you can relearn the basics before you are allowed to move on. Best of all it is totally free!

Regards

Othalian  :)

jpm2112

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2008, 02:23:41 PM »
here's a college level open source course site-

http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/index.htm

a free and open educational resource (OER) for educators, students, and self-learners around the world.

WOW! That site is awesome. Thank you for the link, there aren't many sources better than M.I.T!

app103

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2008, 03:05:09 PM »
If you want audio/video of lectures, this would be the place to go:

http://webcast.berkeley.edu/courses.php

Be sure to check previous semesters...they have more complete lecture offerings and you won't have to wait for the files to be posted and they offer different courses not on the most recent list. (dropdown in upper right corner).

jpm2112

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2008, 03:01:48 PM »
Cool, thanks for that link as well!

sabrina07080236

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2008, 10:37:23 PM »
I found an interesting Equation quiz for Math teaching. Hope it gives you some new ideas! :)


http://www.sameshow.com/samples/math-symbols/math-symbols.html
« Last Edit: October 09, 2008, 08:54:00 PM by sabrina07080236 »

ipman

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Re: Educational Software reviews?
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2010, 01:32:31 PM »
On MIT website I found quite interesting children software to learn programming. It is called Scratch.
The thing is this language is visual. And you can create a software using just a mouse. From the other side the scratch language doesn't have some math functions like sin() or cos(), but there are  loops, if-operators and events.

Apart from controlling sprites, you can control sound, analyze mouse coordinates and keyboard input.

It really takes just a 5 minutes to explain basic ideas of programming.

Scratch is a freeware and can be downloaded from here: http://scratch.mit.edu/download
« Last Edit: March 31, 2010, 06:17:27 AM by ipman »