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Sunday, February 18, 2018

weeWX: open source software for your weather station

  • Some schools did experiment with a change in methodology ie how to teach students today. They are going for project based teaching. One of them could be the setup of a weather station! Obviously it involves the collaboration of several teachers and students but that is a great asset for students today as nobody can work all alone. They see the example of teachers helping each other. They see various students giving their input,comments, questions…..and that makes teaching and learning real fun!  It could be the best preparation for their future when they would be called to work with different type of people!

    Today we are presenting an open source program called weeWX. On the same page one can: download; read documentation; go through the users’ group; learn how to publish readings etc…...If one prefers youtube videos in order to learn, here is the link. An interesting factor is that most schools are using the raspberry pi 3 in order to maintain the weather station!!

    The weeWX program can do several things:

  • Support for many popular weather stations;
  • Uploads to popular weather sites including WeatherUndergroundPWSweather.comCWOPWOW, and AWEKAS and others;
  • Uploads to your website using FTP or rsync;
  • Extensive celestial almanac;
  • Ability to create or modify skins (the look and feel of your weather site);
  • Support for localization;
  • Simple, but extensible templating system;
  • Native support for US or Metric unit systems;
  • Support for sqlite or MySQL databases;
  • Calibration corrections;
  • Filtering of anomalous values;
  • An easy to understand, simple, extensible micro-kernel architecture;
  • Ability to extend weeWX with new services and reports.









    Sunday, February 4, 2018

    Creating and maintaining projects in school : GanttProject


    Some schools are leaving the lecture lesson type and moving towards the hands on experience. Not only students need to work directly on a project but they need to work with others, collaborate and change throughout the experiment. It’s the learning process where students learn to edit all the way through, as they interact with other students and teachers.

    The world they’re going to work in one day, is based on projects. Hence it makes sense if they start preparing for the future. Today we’re presenting another tool in the hands of educators in order to help their students write their projects: GanttProject. Some functions done by GanttProject are:

    • Create tasks and milestones. Aside from the start date and duration, every task may have priority, cost New in 2.7, color and fill pattern, text notes and user-defined custom fields.
    • Organize tasks in a work breakdown structure. Hierarchical tree where progress, dates or costs of lower level tasks is summarized on the higher levels. Summary tasks can be collapsed to hide tasks which are not important at the moment.
    • Draw dependency constraints between tasks, like "start X when Y finishes" and GanttProject will take care of enforcing these constraints. You can add a lag or use other types of constraints.
    • Create baselines to be able to compare current project state with previous plans..
    • PERT chart for read-only view can be generated from the Gantt chart.
     



    Sunday, January 21, 2018

    Avoiding too many emails: SpamAssassin


    The use of ict in schools should have given more free time to students, teachers and parents. Alas in some cases it did not happen! One of the reasons is that when one opens up his/her email account, there are so many emails! Email marketing is still being used. Some companies do sell our information. In other times we do give our information for some free goodies….yet in the end we are overwhelmed by the amount of junk mail we receive. I’ve heard people saying that they have hundreds if not thousands of emails in their inbox!! The overall result will be that such people will not open their email account as they see it as an impossible task even though they receive urgent emails!

    Is there a solution? Well first of all working in a school we should all be educated to start thinking before giving in our information. Will they share our information? Please do take some time to read the information before signing in!

    Secondly we have an open source program in order to train our email program to know what’s spam (unwanted emails) and what’s not. We introduce SpamAssassin. On that page one has where to download; wiki; forum; documentation and FAQ.

    If one prefers YouTube videos then one should visit: YouTube


    Tuesday, January 9, 2018

    ArgoUML

    ArgoUML is the leading open source UML modeling tool and includes support for all standard UML 1.4 diagrams. It runs on any Java platform and is available in ten languages.
    ArgoUML 0.26 and 0.26.2 were downloaded over 80,000 times and are in use all over the world.
    If you need to download, read the manual or write to the forum your own personal difficulties, you have to visit just one single webpage.
    If you prefer a you tube video, it is here.


    Sunday, December 24, 2017

    Claroline Connect

    We do receive from schools around the world, as to what kind of e-learning platform to use nowadays.  Everybody wants to share, discuss, question, help, search etc…..The classroom of today is not simply closed between four walls! Sometimes, some parents can come forward to help in a unique way. It has to be colloborative between different generations too. It has to be user friendly and to be used in various operating systems. Some would like to have a free e-platform! Open Source can bridge all these gaps!

    There are various answers. Today we’re going to focus on Claroline Connect (CC). If you want a quick summary of what it can offer to your school, then go here. More information is found here.

    Collaboration: it is with others that we learn best! One can exploit all the power of the group with CC.

    Technology: because learning is not simply memorizing contents anymore, CC wants to put all the potential of technology in the service of learning.

    Flexibility: CC allows you to learn anytime, anywhere, on any device.

    Creativity: As a a learner or as a trainer, you can create innovative and meaningful contents.



    Sunday, December 10, 2017

    Encrypting your usb

    Many students, teachers and parents make use of usbs. They are more handy and practical than the burning of CDs or DVDs. Well that was the positive point. What about many usbs getting lost or simply stolen? What about the files? What if a teacher has exam papers and it is lost? Parents and students too may have some sensitive material. Everybody has some private information that is intended for personal use. One would not wish that it will be freely circulated with other people, friends or not.

    Hence the word encryption is appearing more frequently. Encryption involves a process where if the usb falls into the wrong hands, one cannot access any of the files encrypted. They are practically safe. One looks for a simple system and that is compatible with more than one operating system (ie mac, windows, linux and android). Today we are suggesting: AEScrypt.

    Download:

    Documentation:

    Discussion forum:

    Password Generator:

    YouTube tutorials:





    Sunday, November 26, 2017

    GNU Backgammon


    GNU Backgammon

    Some of our readers want some open source program for fun. Yes we always present material for schools and it seems that we’re always presenting scholastic material! Ok. Let’s present something completely different. But it’s still open source and could be used on Linux, windows and Mac.

    It is the famous game of backgammon. It is educational after all because students need to use their minds along the game!! Yet it is fun to play. There could be teams where students learn to collaborate in order to win a game.