Even with tight school budgets, you can still find amazing software for your PC at no cost. That’s right…completely free! Let’s check out the must have open source software for your classroom.
Audacity is an indispensable classroom tool for recording and editing audio. Import, export, record and edit just about any type of audio file. Add multiple tracks and effects then publish as a new audio file. This tool works great for project-based learning, language arts and language classes.
Recording on-screen tutorials is becoming more and more important for teachers, especially with the growth of the flipped classroom. The open-source tool to use is CamStudio. It easily lets you record all or part of your screen, add voiceover and more. The final product is a video in either AVI or FLV format.
Have you ever had a video that just wouldn’t play? Try VLC Player; it plays almost any video format. It’s a small program, simple to use and the video quality is excellent. Install it and have it handy when you get an FLV or other video that will not open in Windows Media Player.
7-zip is a great tool for compacting multiple files into ZIP or 7z formats. You’ll use it all the time to zip several files into one package that can be emailed or posted on your classroom website.
For older students or design savvy teachers, try Inkscape. This application is a full-featured vector drawing program similar to Adobe Illustrator. Create print-ready graphic designs using a huge selection of tools and save in numerous file formats.
For open source image editing, nothing beats GIMP. Similar to Adobe Photoshop, the workspace includes numerous tools for creating graphic masterpieces. The learning curve is a bit steep so reserve GIMP for use with older students.
To create stunning classroom documents, use Scribus. Produce brochures, posters and more with ease. This application is a complete publishing suite with countless features to bring your documents to life. Final products can be saved as various formats including print-ready PDF’s. The next time your students create flyers or brochures, give Scribus a try.
GreenShot is simple, lightweight tool for taking screenshots or screen-clippings. Snip part or your entire screen; or, even take a scrolling snapshot of a webpage. Then, add annotations, highlights and more. Save the image or paste into a document. It’s a must-have for teachers!
Try these open source applications and post your thoughts on the forum. We would love to hear your feedback.