Error: I'm afraid this is the first I've heard of a "writeback" flavoured Blosxom. Try dropping the "/+writeback" bit from the end of the URL.

Tue, 02 Mar 2004

Educational Software for non-Windows OSes?

I knew this would happen sooner or later, it seems a Windows installation at home is becoming unavoidable.

Our son, Florian, wants to use the computer for something more than just paint stuff with xpaint or attaching earrings to a Potato. Not a bad idea, but there doesn't seem to be too much on the market for my home setup. I own an Intel (actually AMD) based desktop currently running Linux and an iBook running MacOS X. I could be talked into installing additional OSes, but would like to avoid Windows or MacOS 9.

I've googled a little and came across the Open Source Education Foundation, Tux4Kids (currently down) and The KDE Edutainment Project among some other interesting things like Tux Paint. But nothing I've found there really fits what I'm looking for.

Florian is six, he's a first grader, which means he's just started to learn reading and writing and his maths skills for this term are bounded by the number 20. This is where all the open source efforts I've found are lacking, they target a much older audience.

What do I need

  1. Software that is localized - he doesn't speak any language other than German yet.
  2. Software that is easy to use.
  3. Software that is fun to use.
  4. You should be able to learn something by using it.

Certainly I could write something myself but would fail badly with all but the first point in my list above. I'm neither a teacher nor a GUI wizard (quite the opposite).

All commercial software I've found requires Windows or with very much luck MacOS 9. My current plan is to try to get one of those commercial packages to run with Wine and if that fails to give in and install Windows ME in a VMWare sandbox, but maybe there are alternatives? I'm willing to pay, both money or with my time.

I've also started to ask for non-Windows versions with some of the major German educational software companies, but don't expect too many responses.




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