Software

Before becoming a teacher, I fixed and put together computers and networks in addition to creating websites. In order to get that work done, and now as a teacher, I rely on a lot of very helpful, free software. I often recommend these programs to my friends and family. Here are some of the best choices for parents and teachers:

To install the programs on your computer, follow these directions:

Office Suites – Word Processing, Presentations, Spread Sheets

[Logo] LibreOfficeFree Alternative to Microsoft Office

  • Free and open source.
  • Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux.
  • To install, visit LibreOffice and click download. On the download page, choose the first option. It is about 200MB, so be patient letting it download. When it is done downloading, start the install. Choose the default options during installation.
  • When you run it the first time, choose the word processor (Writer). When you save a file you want to send to a teacher or use at school, choose the .doc (Word) option in the “File Type” menu.
  • Try out LibreOffice’s other components for spread sheets, presentations, which are similar to Microsoft Office and can be saved as Microsoft Office documents, too.
  • Visit [Logo]PortableApps.com if you don’t want to install this programs on your computer. You install it to a USB Flash Drive (or a folder on your computer), so removing it is as easy as deleting the folder to which you unpacked it.

Web Browsing

[Logo] Firefox (with Adblock Plus)

  • Free and open source.
  • Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux.
  • To install, visit Firefox.com and choose the download link. When it is done downloading, start the install. Choose the default options during installation.
  • After you install Firefox, visit the Adblock Plus page. This extension will make Firefox block ads within pages. This helps protect your children from unnecessary ad viewing since they’re supposed to be using the computer to learn — not to shop. Click “Add to Firefox” to install. Firefox will need to be restarted, then select the EasyList option
  • Visit [Logo]PortableApps.com if you don’t want to install this programs on your computer. You install it to a USB Flash Drive (or a folder on your computer), so removing it is as easy as deleting the folder to which you unpacked it.