Software

DESIGN

  • BLENDER 3D: http://blender.org
    Featuring sophisticated modeling and rendering tools, Blender is an incredible 3D design environment capable of meeting the most demanding student/teacher needs producing Pixar quality results. (design)
  • GIMP: http://www.gimp.org
    The Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is an great graphics tool that is often compared to Adobe Photoshop. It is excellent for such applications as photo retouching, image composition, authoring, format conversion, and even 2D animation. Can you afford to give your kids access to sophisticated imaging tools on every computer? With the GIMP, you can! (design)
  • INKSCAPE: http://www.inkscape.org
    Inkscape is an incredible open source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. An excellent tool for creating logos, headings, or any other graphic that you might want to use on a web site or publication. (design)
  • MUSESCORE: http://musescore.org/
    MuseScore is a free cross-platform WYSIWYG music notation program, that offers a cost-effective alternative to professional programs such as Sibelius and Finale. (music/productivity)
  • OPENOFFICE/NEOOFFICE (Mac): http://www.openoffice.org; http://www.neooffice.org
    Substitution for Microsoft Office. Provides for all the productivity needs of any student/ teacher/professional and includes integrated word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, and database applications. Pluggable and extendable, OpenOffice offers flexible tools that are free, open, and compatible. (productivity, word processing)
  • QCAD: http://www.ribbonsoft.com/qcad.html
    QCAD is an application for computer aided drafting in two dimensions (2d). With QCAD you can create technical drawings such as plans for buildings, interiors, mechanical parts or schemas and diagrams. QCAD works on Windows, Mac OS X and many Linux and Unix Systems. The source code of the QCAD community edition is released under the GPL (Open Source). (design)
  • SCRIBUS: http://www.scribus.net/
    Scribus, a capable desktop publishing application, offers “press-ready” output, CMYK color with ICC color management support, and versatile PDF creation features. A number of school districts use this to produce yearbooks, newsletters, and other professional publications.
    (design, publishing)

EDUCATION

  • VNC: http://www.realvnc.com
    Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a tool that enables remote control of a distant desktop – excellent for technical support and any professional environment, in that it enables the user to monitor and/or take control of a remote computer from any location on the network.
    (productivity)
  • MIRO: http://www.getmiro.com/
    Great open-source, non-profit video player for Windows (suitable for most video formats). The software also works with the open Internet to bring you free content; the built-in content guide has thousands of free video feeds (many in HD) and streaming video sites – http://www.miroguide.com/. (media)
  • MOODLE: http://docs.moodle.org/en/
    Moodle is a software package for producing Internet-based courses and web sites. It is a global development project designed to support a social constructionist framework of education. Moodle is provided freely as Open Source software (under the GNU Public License) and is increasingly used in Universities and k-12 across the globe. (productivity, education)
  • TUXPAINT, TUXTYPING, and TUXMATH: http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/tuxpaint/; http://tuxtype.sourceforge.net/; http://www.newbreedsoftware.com/tuxmath/
    Three great applications for primary age kids. They are easy to use, fun, and encouraging, with great sound effects and animation that will keep elementary students engaged for hours.
    (education)
  • VLC: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
    Video LAN Client (VLC) is the media player playing almost any media file and format, including streaming media files, on any platform. A great tool for Mac and Linux users. (media)
  • AUDACITY: http://audacity.sourceforge.net
    Audacity is a powerful, easy to use audio recording and editing tool, which is great for recording podcasts and other live audio, converting tapes and records to digital formats, and any other digital audio needs you can imagine. Teachers even use it for reading and language fluency, speech counseling, and foreign language training. (sound)
  • CELESTIA: http://celestia.sourceforge.net
    An incredible space simulator that lets you explore the universe in 3 dimensions with the help of some great features. (education)
  • STELLARIUM: http://stellarium.sourceforge.net/
    A free open source planetarium for your computer. It shows a realistic sky in 3D, just like what you see with the naked eye, binoculars or a telescope. It is being used in planetarium projectors. Just set your coordinates and go. (education)
  • FREEMIND: http://freemind.sourceforge.net
    Freemind is the premier free mind-mapping software. Itís a great program to increase your productivity as it lets you to easily keep track of projects, document your research progress, keep your notes organized, brainstorm, etc. (productivity)
  • GCOMPRIS: http://gcompris.net/-en-
    A great tool for children age 2-10. Comprised of a whole suite of tasks and activities, including computer discovery, algebra, science, geography, reading, and others, GCompris offers a wealth of learning opportunities. (education)
  • MATHTRAX: http://prime.jsc.nasa.gov/mathtrax/
    MathTrax is a graphing tool for middle school and high school students to graph equations, physics simulations or plot data files from NASA. The graphs have descriptions and sound so you can hear and read about the graph. Blind and low vision users can access visual math data and graph or experiment with equations and datasets. MathTrax and the MDE SDK received a 2007 Tech Museum Award and was named the 2006 NASA Software of the Year runner-up!
    (education)
  • VIRTUAL MICROSCOPE: http://virtual.itg.uiuc.edu/
    The Virtual Microscope is a NASA-funded project that provides simulated scientific instrumentation for students and researchers worldwide as part of NASA’s Virtual Laboratory initiative. Currently there are 90 samples totaling over 62 gigapixels of image data. The Virtual Microscope supports functionality from electron, light, and scanning probe microscopes, datasets for these instruments, training materials to learn more about microscopy, and other related tools. (education)
  • NVU: http://www.nvu.com/
    A complete Web Authoring System for Linux Desktop, Microsoft Windows and Macintosh users to rival programs like FrontPage and Dreamweaver. NVU makes managing a web site a snap. Now anyone can create web pages and manage a website with no technical expertise or knowledge of HTML. (publishing)
  • OPEN MEETINGS: http://code.google.com/p/openmeetings/
    A free browser-based software that allows you to set up instantly a conference in the Web. You can use your microphone or webcam, share documents on a white board, share your screen or record meetings. It is available as hosted service or you download and install a package on your server with no limitations in usage or users.
    (productivity)
  • GRASS: http://grass.fbk.eu/index.php
    Commonly referred to as GRASS, this is free Geographic Information System (GIS) software used for geospatial data management and analysis, image processing, graphics/maps production, spatial modeling, and visualization. GRASS is currently used in academic and commercial settings around the world, as well as by many governmental agencies and environmental consulting companies. GRASS is an official project of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. (productivity, design)
  • GNU CASH: http://www.gnucash.org/
    GnuCash provides a great, free alternative to paid-for accounting software. Designed for personal and small business use, it offers bank account, stock, income and expense tracking, in addition to double-entry accounting. (productivity)
  • PIDGIN: http://www.pidgin.im/
    Pidgin is the ultimate, free instant messaging tool. It provides you with one window through which you can simultaneously interact with different people, whichever instant messaging platform theyíre using. (productivity, media)
  • NOTEPAD++: http://notepad-plus-plus.org/
    Reliable, customizable, intuitive and free, Notepad++ is the most popular Windows-based CSS editor around. It offers everything: syntax highlighting; folding and auto-completion for CSS, C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, SQL, HTML, XML and PHP; multi-file viewing; tabbed editing; zoom in/out; and bookmarks. (design)
  • HANDBRAKE: http://handbrake.fr/
    HandBrake is an open-source, GPL-licensed, multiplatform, multithreaded DVD to MPEG-4 converter. Basically, itíll rip any DVD (or DVD-like) source into an MP4, MKV, AVI or OGM. It also supports the ripping of subtitles (burned into the video). (productivity)
  • GAPMINDER: http://www.gapminder.org/
    Developed by Rosling software does more than simply display the data – it brings them to life! The animations transform provided statistics into moving bubbles and flowing curves that make development and global trends (or any other set of data you wish to visualize) clear, intuitive, and even playful. (productivity, education)