View Full Version : Ubuntu in Pine Valley School District - Western New York State

February 3rd, 2012, 12:16 AM
My name is Kelsey Braun. I am a Computer Specialist at Pine Valley School District in Western New York State. We had an empty class room I converted into a computer lab and set up some of our older laptops and a few older iMacs. I use a couple of different distro's; LUbuntu, and Debian for the iMacs. I did a lot of research and chose LUbuntu for our main distro, LUbuntu is very light weight and our laptop are not that old, so the R60's and some generic makes just fly. Students are now using GCompris and ChildsPlay for reading and math exercises, and teachers are including GCompris in their curriculum. Students are very excited to go down to the Linux Lab and play the GCompris Suite. I think it would be wonderful for programmers to start working on some special education software as well. If they could come up with a package similar to Boardmaker or Proloquo,(communication software for autistic or verbally impaired children). Currently I am using GCompris, ChildsPlay, some of the KDE suite, and Tux Math, typing, etc. I have also incorporated the Wacom Intuos Art Pads into the lab. MyPaint and Gimp work wonderful with it. If anyone knows of any other good primary to 6th grade educational software out there, let me know.

Pine Valley's website (http://www.pval.org), scroll through the pictures on the home page and you will see me with the students in the Linux Lab.

Here is our school Newsletter (http://www.pval.org/cms/lib/NY19000481/Centricity/ModuleInstance/979/Nov-Jan%20Newsletter.pdf), go to page 10 and it gives a brief description of our Linux Lab.

Glad to be apart of this forum.
Kelsey Braun

February 3rd, 2012, 12:20 AM
The first two you mentioned are excellent. We used them when we were foster parents.

I know there are more, but I'm not at home right now. I'll try to get back to this.

February 3rd, 2012, 04:09 AM
Welcome to the forum :-)

It's good to see that children are being exposed both to technology and open source software at such a young age.

I'm not terribly familiar with educational software, however I'm sure some here are and have no doubt you'll find many answers. The only thing I can recommend is Edubuntu (though you've probably looked into this before) : http://www.edubuntu.org/

Hope this helps.

February 3rd, 2012, 04:43 AM
Shoot. Looks like all I have on my machine is Childsplay, Tux Paint and gCompris at the moment.

The Edubuntu preschool bundle is available in the repos.

Go to the Software Center and type "preschool" in the search bar.

Be warned. however: I haven't added the bundle, so I can't tell you how much chaff will come along with it. If you don't end up using some of the packages, all you will have done is taken up a bit of disk space. Those applications won't just start up by themselves and eat your memory!

Good luck. You know, of course, that in 6 months time those kids are going to be showing you how to do new things on the computer, right? It's amazing to rub the gray hair on the parts of your head that aren't bald while you watch the 6 year old sitting on your lap surfing to NickJr to watch his favorite episode of Sponge Bob or playing coordination development games like a champ.